EPA chief to tour lead-contaminated Indiana housing complex

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead on President Donald Trump's pledge to do away with environmental regulations that curb domestic oil and gas production.

Unfortunately, the Pruitt-Trump budget would also cut the EPA's enforcement office by 31 percent, letting many corporate polluters off the hook.

If the EPA in Kansas absorbed the Chicago office's jurisdiction, its 500 employees would be tasked with overseeing 10 entire states. "Rather than focus on politicized rumors, we are working with residents to make sure they and their families can live in a safe and healthy environment".

"The report that the federal government is planning to close the Region 5 office of the EPA should be concerning to us all". Lead in water and lead in soil are not related, and EPA has said that if up to 90 percent of the city's water lines are lead, all residents should use a certified filter.

In an August 23, 2016, photo, the EPA warns residents in front of West Calumet Housing Complex houses in East Chicago, Ind., about soil tainted with industrial contaminants.

There could be a plan in the works to strip Chicago of the regional EPA office.

"At this time, our discussions have not veered into the subject of an office closure". "Anyone stating anything to the contrary is spreading false information".

EPA spokesman J.P Freire called the reports "a hoax". 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.

"EPA is continuing to follow through with President Trump's Energy Independence Executive Order", EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement.

On March 16, Mulvaney announced a series of sweeping cuts to the EPA budget, proposing that its funding be slashed by a third. "Whatever the deficiencies of the Region 5 office, the folks there do play a critical role in protecting human health and the environment".

The agency said in a court filing it wants to review the restrictions, which are already in effect.

"It is not an overstatement to say this neighborhood is very, very polluted. We must work together to protect the natural resources we all know and love", he said.

In 2013, the EPA found dangerously high levels of lead in an alley behind the H. Kramer smelting factory.

A recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing noted that at times, there is too much coal to respond to a declining demand for the commodity, with rising temperatures and alternative energy sources cutting away at the previous need.

"Making a little tiny change in the way you treat your water or address a remediation could have devastating consequences", Lagunas said.

  • Eleanor Harrison