EPA to reduce workforce with buyouts, early retirement plan
Joseph, said he would strongly oppose the closing of the Environmental Protection Agency's Chicago-based Region 5 Office, responding to a report that the federal government is considering the closure. The school was closed in 2016 due to high levels of lead on school grounds and is located near the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, which is scheduled for demolition. "Ultimately, city residents - including but not limited to Superfund site residents - need full replacement of their lead service lines at no or greatly reduced cost to them", she wrote.
Brooks also cited concerns about rumors the administration also might be considering eliminating two of EPA's regional offices, including the Region 5 office that now is overseeing cleanup efforts in East Chicago.
"The reason I'm here is because it is important that we restore confidence to the people here in this community that we are going to get it right going forward", Pruitt told the media after meeting with residents and lawmakers.
But superfund site resident Maritza Lopez welcomed Pruitt's visit.
"I think that if the head of the EPA is traveling anywhere in the region as a matter of courtesy, we've always seen that the administrator would come to the local office and meet with the staff", he said.
While Pruitt's visit was welcomed by officials in this small, industrial and Democratic-dominated city, he drew criticism from the union representing EPA workers. Joe Donnelly and Todd Young, and East Chicago's mayor for closed-door meetings in an industrial corridor of in roughly 25 miles from downtown Chicago.
Scott Pruitt walked out of a news conference without taking questions after he and other elected officials discussed their visit to a Superfund cleanup site at a lead-contaminated public-housing complex.
They said they've only gotten "non-denials" in response.
Pruitt toured the complex with IN officials, including Gov. Eric Holcomb and Sen.
NAACP President Cornell Williams Brooks said Pruitt and Gov. Eric Holcomb arrived Wednesday to address an environmental crisis "40 years in the making" in East Chicago, but President Donald Trump's budget plan contemplates gutting the EPA.
"We are truly in the fight of our lives", she said. They held signs saying, "East Chicago demands clean water", and "Living wages on a living planet". Despite thousands of protesters and a temporary stay, the pipeline began transporting oil at the end of last month.
The EPA will now review and reconsider revisions on effluent limitations made under the Clean Water Act under the Obama administration in 2015, Pruitt said. The EPA works to not only safeguard the environment, but also protect the public's health, he said.