EPA head vows to build trust during IN stop
It was Copeland who ordered the evacuation of the West Calumet residents last summer.
Pruitt said the EPA is continuing to follow through with Trump's order. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford) Eddis Marie Loving, of East Chicago, Ind., holds a sign as supporters and residents of East Chicago, Ind., rally near a public-housing complex Wednesday, April 19, 2017, ahead of a visit by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The community is what's a called a legacy contamination site.
After making his statement, Pruitt was asked if the agency planned to close its Region 5 office in Chicago, a short drive from East Chicago, as part of the Trump administration's plans to cut the EPA's budget by more than 30 percent; he walked away without answering the question, according to reports from the event.
The Trump administration's proposed budget calls for a 31% cut to the budget, including cuts to the agency's environmental justice program. The program is meant to support poor, often minority communities with severe environmental challenges.
"He categorically denied that they had any plans to do that", said Thomas Frank, one of five East Chicago residents who met with Pruitt on Wednesday. But he also wishes leaders like Holcomb and Pruitt will spend more time speaking with residents directly.
Brooks, surrounded by members of the NAACP, the Twin City Ministerial Alliance, the East Chicago/Calumet Coalition Community Advisory Group and the Community Strategy Group, laid out a list of demands.
"I think we know where we're apart, and we need to have further discussions on that point", he says. Instead of digging up two feet of contaminated soil for disposal, digging up eight feet. That includes financial help to make sure that happens.
EPA spokesman J.P. Freire told CNN in an email: "Forget about the politics". Career EPA employees have raised concerns about proposed staff cuts and plans to undo some environmental protection regulations under the leadership of new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Another 3,000 residents living in Zone 2 and 3 of the superfund site were not told to relocate. This year, IN will distribute filters to all residents IN Zones 2 and 3. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday that Pruitt, an avid baseball fan, is also planning to attend a Chicago Cubs game.
The agenda reinforces Pruitt's pledge to refocus EPA on its intended mission, returning power to the states, and creating an environment where jobs can grow. "This is not going to end in a day, a week or a month, but if we stay true to the course, I think you will see something horrific be righted".