EPA Shuts Down Rumor Chicago Office Is Closing: 'False Information'
Apr 21 2017 by Michele Stevens
Noting his first tour of a superfund site since being appointed the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt promised new action for residents in the in city grappling with a lead contamination crisis.
They wanted Pruitt to know how EPA cuts could affect the health and safety of their community, according to a report.
The site includes part of the former USS Lead facility along with nearby commercial, municipal and residential areas, including the West Calumet public housing complex. Another 3,000 residents living in Zone 2 and 3 of the superfund site were not told to relocate.
Barbara Bolling-Williams, state president of the IN branch of the NAACP, said she is cautiously optimistic following Pruitt's visit, but added that his visit comes with the threat of "a skinnier EPA budget, fewer regulations - and rumors Chicago's regional EPA office could be shut down looms IN the background".
The visit, while praised by elected officials of both parties, drew protests.
Residents and environmentalists are calling for more support and testing. Frank said though Pruitt listened carefully, he did not make concrete commitments about additional resources toward remediation efforts or other clean-up work.
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"It's the EPA's objective, and my objective, to make sure the people's health is protected here in East Chicago", Pruitt said. Also, Trump has proposed cutting the EPA's budget by 31 percent, nearly one-third, and eliminating more than 3,200 jobs, about 20 percent of the agency's workforce of 15,000.
Residents of the housing complex in IN were joined by environmental activists as they protested nearby before Pruitt arrived. The land we walk upon is contaminated. Thirteen other families are appealing their relocation offers from the city housing authority or have been given notice to move.
Forty-four-year-old Demetra Turner says finding a solution is the fight of her life.
Maritza Lopez, a Superfund resident, held up a multipage list of medications she takes daily to show those gathered at the NAACP news conference the effects of contamination in the neighborhood she has long called home. Pruitt was scheduled to to tour the complex where roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated because of lead contamination.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency said on April 18 that it has agreed to reconsider certain aspects of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas industry, in response to several administrative reconsideration petitions.
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday would not address rumors about whether Chicago's regional office would be closed - even as the head of that office issued a memo calling the reports "pure speculation".