Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Trump's EPA to reconsider oil and gas emissions rule

Nellie Chapman | 20 April, 2017, 05:54

Environmental Protection Agency employees in Chicago are asking Administrator Scott Pruitt to take the time to meet with them on Wednesday after he visits a nearby Superfund site across the border in northwest in where the federal agency is working to address widespread lead contamination. "Some of you may be aware that EPA has discussed new ways to better integrate our efforts with the states, as well as eliminate excess office space, so that we can be more effective and save money". "Anyone stating anything to the contrary is spreading false information".

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks at a news conference Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in East Chicago, Ind., following a tour of a public-housing complex where roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated because of lead contamination.

The President's budget includes a directive for closing of two of the 10 EPA regional offices, but the official said no decision has been made about which offices. Some 330 were living there when the mayor called last summer for residents to be relocated.

They are anxious Pruitt won't do enough to eradicate the problem because he and President Trump want to roll back environmental regulations. "We've been there. That's why we have an EPA".

This office is responsible for holding the companies accountable for their share of the cleanup, such as a 2014 action that forced Atlantic Richfield and DuPont to spend an estimated $21 million at the East Chicago Superfund site.

Eleven of the remaining families have found new homes and are in the process of moving, according to HUD.

If the Trump administration - which has already proposed cutting almost one-third of the EPA's budget next year - were to consider closing the office, however, critics were ready to charge that it is a move that would hurt the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes. Thirteen other families are appealing their relocation offers from the city housing authority or have been given notice to move.

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.

Frank Lagunas is an EPA chemist that works out Region 5's Chicago office.

"And by whole, we don't merely mean making the land whole, we don't merely mean making the buildings whole", Brooks says.

Graham McCahan, a lawyer for the Environmental Defence Fund, said the tighter standards are already saving thousands of lives every year.

However, some advocates and local residents who protested ahead of Pruitt's visit questioned his motives. "The stakes are too high for him to avoid hearing from the front line engineers, scientists and other workers who make sure our drinking water and the air we breathe are safe for all Americans".