Peters statement on reported potential closure of EPA Region 5 Office
21 Abril, 2017, 01:27
The visit comes amid reportsthat two regional offices, including the Region 5 office in Chicago, would be axed by President Donald Trump's administration - and office employees held a news conference to say they've already been cut to the bone.
The northwest IN city is now part of a superfund clean-up site after last year's discovery, which forced residents to evacuate and leave their homes.
As for any plans to close the Chicago office, Robert Kaplan, the EPA's acting Region 5 administrator, called the reports "not true" and "pure speculation" in an email to employees.
"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.
Local officials, including Indiana's Republican governor, Eric Holcomb, urged Pruitt to visit the site and address the issues surrounding the cleanup process, which has been lagging for several years.
An EPA spokesman did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Pruitt's schedule and the union's invitation.
Reports of the closure alarmed both Republican and Democratic lawmakers from around the region, which relies on the EPA to carry out work state and municipal governments can not handle alone. Frank said though Pruitt listened carefully, he did not make concrete commitments about additional resources toward remediation efforts or other clean-up work. 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. "We certainly call upon the president to take these reforms and weave them together in the context and on the back of an executive order for environmental justice", Brooks said. Administrator Pruitt has been the main proponent of the Trump administration's proposed 31 percent across the board EPA cuts, including plans to completely eliminate funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and to slash funding for many other critical environmental protection programs in Region 5.
Pruitt toured the complex with IN officials, including Gov. Eric Holcomb and Sen.
Chanting crowds weaved through streets of East Chicago on Wednesday near a Superfund site. More than one thousand people were forced to evacuate, according to Debbie Chizewer at Northwestern Law School, who has worked very closely with the affected residents. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford) Residents of East Chicago, Ind., and supporters rally near a public-housing complex Wednesday, April 19, 2017, ahead of a visit by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
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