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EPA chief delays methane rule at behest of oil and gas firms

EPA chief delays methane rule at behest of oil and gas firms

Some residents of a lead-contaminated public housing complex in northwest in welcomed a visit from the new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, while a union representing EPA workers in Chicago criticized Administrator Scott Pruitt for not meeting with staff amid rumors that their regional office may be closed. "And that they can have confidence that their land, their health is going to be secure in the long term", Pruitt said in a brief statement to reporters who waited to hear him speak outside the now-shuttered Carrie Gosch Elementary School building.

Residents of East Chicago, Indiana and their supporters rally near a public-housing complex on April 19, 2017, ahead of a visit by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

"The administrator and governor are arriving at a moment where the residents of this city, these cities, literally are watching or witnessing their children being poisoned by lead in the water, heavy metals in the soil, contamination in their homes", Brooks said.

Members of the Chicago EPA office also want to meet with Pruitt over his proposal to close the office and move it to Kansas.

Pruitt on Wednesday visited a Superfund site for the first time in his tenure, something elected officials from both parties noted.

Prior to Pruitt's meeting with state officials, the NAACP called on the EPA to do more to help affected residents.

Pruitt has criticized the EPA for overreach and Trump's administration has taken steps to roll back environmental regulations.

An EPA spokesman did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Pruitt's schedule and the union's invitation.

Trump's budget plan would slash the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by almost a third, including reductions for the agency's enforcement and compliance office and ending the $300 million-a-year Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, among other regional efforts.

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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.

Debbie Chizewer, a law fellow at Northwestern University's Environmental Advocacy Clinic, said the East Chicago residents she works with were excited about the high-profile visit, but still anxious that cleanup efforts already underway will not go far enough.

They said they've only gotten "non-denials" in response.

In February, Holcomb declared East Chicago a disaster area due to unsafe environmental issues emerging from the USS Lead Superfund site.

Eleven of the remaining families have found new homes and are in the process of moving, according to HUD. Housing officials said their goal is to move out all families by May.

"We have been going through this, fighting tooth and nail", Adams says.

The people who live there are at risk of lead contamination at every turn.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has promised a back-to-basics agenda approach for the federal agency.

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.


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