Pruitt allies explore hiring private lawyers to rewrite EPA rule

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday would not address rumors about whether Chicago's regional office would be closed - even as the head of that office issued a memo calling the reports "pure speculation".

However, he didn't offer any details in his 90-second statement.

The EPA's objective is to come in and make sure people's health is protected, and that their land and health are secure in the long run, Pruitt said.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials on Tuesday denied reports the agency will close the office in Chicago that oversees regional environmental protection efforts including the Flint, Michigan drinking water clean-up and Great Lakes restoration. Last month the Trump administration released a proposed budget called for reducing EPA funds by more than 30%, alongside a 6% cut at the Department of Energy. He tells WSJM News the EPA is expected to get major cuts in the next federal budget, but he doesn't think shuttering the office that serves the Great Lakes is a smart move.

Earlier in the day, Pruitt declined an invitation to attend a roundtable discussion, organized by the NAACP, on the environmental crisis facing residents of the Calumet and West Calumet communities of East Chicago.

The rule would have required utilities by next year to cut the amounts of toxic heavy metals in the wastewater piped from their plants into rivers and lakes often used as sources of drinking water.

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During his visit, Pruitt provided brief comments at a press conference in East Chicago but quickly exited without answering questions from reporters.

Perhaps we should thank Administrator Pruitt for visiting East Chicago today. "Ultimately, city residents - including but not limited to Superfund site residents - need full replacement of their lead service lines at no or greatly reduced cost to them", she wrote.

"We can't drink the water". They chanted and held signs reading, "East Chicago Demands Clean Water".

Instead of an executive order rolling back regulations requiring corporations to prevent contaminating the air, water and soil, Trump should issue an executive order protecting the residents of "Main Street" who are dealing with the consequences of lax environmental regulations, Brooks said. Housing officials said their goal is to move out all families by May.

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.

Resident Demetra Turner, 44, who left Chicago a decade ago for public housing in IN, said she was trying to find safe housing for the two children who live with her.

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