EPA to reduce workforce with buyouts, early retirement plan
- Author: Carolyn Briggs Apr 21, 2017,
Apr 21, 2017, 2:43
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is in the Chicago area Wednesday to look at a public housing complex with unsafe toxins in its soil.
Roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated from the housing complex because of lead contamination.
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 visit from Pruitt comes amid reports that the agency was considering closing the EPA Chicago office responsible for environmental regulation of six states and the Great Lakes. He met with residents and toured the complex where evacuations began previous year.
Scott Pruitt, the EPA chief in the administration of Republican President Donald Trump, joined dozens of other states in challenging the rule when he was attorney general of oil-producing Oklahoma. "We hope Administrator Pruitt will accept our invitation". Pruitt said the EPA will take steps to restore the public's confidence, but he did not offer specifics.
The labor union representing Environmental Protection Agency workers at a regional office reportedly on the chopping block are asking for a meeting with the agency's administrator this week.
Chanting crowds weaved through streets of East Chicago; some held signs that read "East Chicago Demands Clean Water".
Eleven of the remaining families have found new homes and are in the process of moving, according to HUD. 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. 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.
Forty-four-year-old Demetra Turner says finding a solution is the fight of her life.
The lead-and-arsenic contaminated 346-unit housing complex was built in the early 1970s on the footprint of a former lead smelter.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Wednesday he's issued a 90-day delay for oil and gas companies to follow a new rule requiring them to monitor and reduce methane leaks from their facilities.
Residents of a lead-contaminated public-housing complex in IN and environmental activists are protesting ahead of a visit by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.