EPA seeks to derail cleanup of coal power plant pollution

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The predominantly low-income city is working to address the contamination issues, but community members and advocacy groups have said more resources are needed.

Pruitt met Wednesday afternoon with Gov. Eric Holcomb and IN lawmakers IN a closed briefing about the USS Lead Superfund site IN East Chicago.

Pruitt also met with government officials ― including Holcomb, Sen. Pruitt was scheduled to to tour the complex where roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated because of lead contamination. The office would be consolidated with operations in Kansas, the paper reported. The city's mayor reportedly wants the EPA to return the land to residential status, which would allow the city to develop the land into anything it wished.

Michael J. Mikulka, president of Local 704, said the union never received a response to its invitation. IL lawmakers and Chicago EPA workers said they've reached out to the EPA about the possible closure. They called for reassurance of a thorough cleanup, additional testing and long-term support of residents.

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The NAACP released a set of demands on Wednesday that included an expedited groundwater study at the Superfund site and a commitment to obtain community input in the decision-making process.

"Scott Pruitt is continuing his relentless assault on public health and a stable climate at the behest of corporate polluters by seeking to dismantle life-saving methane safeguards", said Andres Restrepo, a lawyer for the Sierra Club.

In 2014, "the US EPA paid incentives of about $11.3 million to get 456 employees to voluntarily leave the agency, plus accumulated annual leave payments of $4.9 million, for a total of $16.2 million", O'Grady said.

EPA officials did not respond to questions concerning the petition. "Whatever the deficiencies of the Region 5 office, the folks there do play a critical role in protecting human health and the environment".

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.

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The White House proposed significant cuts to the EPA, and many officials think it could come at the expense of a couple of regional offices. "Each resident had a statement".

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is in the Chicago area Wednesday to look at a public housing complex with risky toxins in its soil.

Meanwhile, residents of the small, majority-minority city are still waiting for a solution.

"There was no back and forth", Frank said. "They are frustrated about that".

NAACP President Brooks says he's glad Holcomb has issued an emergency declaration for East Chicago, which he hopes will be extended indefinitely. That's before a proposed 31 percent budget cut, he said.

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