EPA begins review of key Obama methane rule

EPA begins review of key Obama methane rule

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

East Chicago resident Thomas Frank, right, speaks during a rally Wednesday prior to EPA head Scott Pruitt's visit.

Ahead of his visit, environmental advocates said they were hopeful that the administrator's arrival might signal additional support for East Chicago's residents, although they also said they have yet to see any indications of pending action.

They are anxious Pruitt won't do enough to eradicate the problem because he and President Trump want to roll back environmental regulations.

Brooks also cited concerns about rumors the administration also might be considering eliminating two of EPA's regional offices, including the Region 5 office that now is overseeing cleanup efforts in East Chicago.

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If Pruitt had chosen to visit agency employees in Chicago, he "could learn a lot about the great work EPA has done in our region to clean up the Great Lakes, improve our air quality, encourage clean energy, and create good jobs in clean technologies, and how President Trump's policies and budget proposal threaten to decimate the EPA and the communities here who depend on it", Illinois Sierra Club Director Jack Darin said in a statement.

Bolling-Williams, who was invited to Pruitt's meeting, said: "Pruitt listened to all of our concerns but he did not offer any solutions".

On Saturday, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed quoted an unnamed "city source" in reporting that the Trump administration "could be looking at closing the Chicago regional office" as part of proposed cuts to the EPA's budget. Union leaders called for a Wednesday meeting with Pruitt, who as Oklahoma's attorney general sued the EPA more than a dozen times to challenge regulations opposed by the fossil fuels industry. Another 3,000 residents living in Zone 2 and 3 of the superfund site were not told to relocate.

Local residents are struggling with a lead contamination crisis that has left their unfiltered tap water undrinkable and forced hundreds of families to evacuate their homes due to toxic soil.

For months, hundreds of families have been evacuated from their homes as the city attempts to demolish affected buildings, after children tested positive for risky levels of lead, some areas even found to be 70 times the federal safety standards.

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"We can't drink the water". The land we walk upon is contaminated.

Protesters snaked through streets of the largely black and Latino community where more than one-third of the residents live in poverty. Those demands include: Oversight of East Chicago's ongoing attempts to improve its corrosion control treatment; expanded blood-lead level testing of children under age 7; bottled water and home water filtration systems to residents throughout the city and testing the city's drinking water to determine the extent of the contamination. Housing officials said their goal is to move out all families by May.

Forty-four-year-old Demetra Turner says finding a solution is the fight of her life.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it would reconsider a rule on emissions from oil and gas operations and delay its implementation, marking the Trump administration's latest effort to dismantle Obama-era environmental regulations.

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This will be the seventh of 10 flights for Orbital under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. The 19-story booster soared off its seaside launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 11:11 a.m.

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