Outcry after report of potential EPA office shuttering

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The head of the Environmental Protection Agency toured an IN public-housing complex on Wednesday where roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated because of lead contamination, his first visit to a Superfund site that some environmental advocates called a major leadership test.

The leader of the Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to tour an IN public-housing complex where roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated because of lead contamination.

Pruitt visited the complex and the adjacent residential neighborhood that make up what's known as the USS Lead Superfund site.

"Since Administrator Pruitt plans to visit the area, he must also come to the Chicago EPA headquarters".

The visit, while praised by elected officials of both parties, drew protests.

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Residents and the Natural Resources Defense Council are calling for more support and testing.

The EPA began conducting soil tests at the site in late 2009 and finally reached a consent decree with the liable companies in 2014.

Scott Pruitt, the EPA chief in the administration of Republican President Donald Trump, joined dozens of other states in challenging the rule when he was attorney general of oil-producing Oklahoma.

The EPA will now review and reconsider revisions on effluent limitations made under the Clean Water Act under the Obama administration in 2015, Pruitt said.

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. Trump administration's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 would cut EPA funding 31 percent, the biggest planned cut for any federal agency. That includes financial help to make sure that happens.

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Chanting crowds weaved through streets of East Chicago on Wednesday near a Superfund site. Thirteen other families are appealing their relocation offers from the city housing authority or have been given notice to move.

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. "There's a hope that actually seeing the problems, meeting the people, seeing their stories and hearing their demands and concerns would turn even the coldest of hearts", Geertsma said.

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

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toured his first hazardous waste site on Tuesday amid proposed budget cuts that could devastate efforts to clean up contaminated land and water around the country.

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