Finance

EPA Chief Pruitt Calls For US To "Exit" From Paris Agreement

EPA Chief Pruitt Calls For US To

"Any attempt by this administration to close any US EPA regional office will further cripple environmental protection efforts, while also sending a clear signal to polluters to further contaminate the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Puget Sound, as well as our rivers, streams and wetlands", said American Federation of Government Employees Local 704 President John O'Grady, whose union represents EPA employees.

Roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated from the housing complex because of lead contamination.

Beyond that, the "basics" of the original authorization seem to suggest that the EPA would be establishing, enforcing, providing research for, and enabling others to comply with policies meant to protect the environment - just as many laypeople expect it should.

NAACP President Cornell Williams Brooks said Pruitt and Gov. Eric Holcomb arrived Wednesday to address an environmental crisis "40 years in the making" in East Chicago, but President Donald Trump's budget plan contemplates gutting the 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. O'Grady said buyouts and early retirements won't achieve that goal, because the math makes it unrealistic.

The private sector is set to get a big boost under this administration, and the latest talk to limit the power of the public sphere involves pushing legal consideration to outside counsel, potentially bypassing the influence of longtime EPA employees in favor of kowtowing to corporate concerns.

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Two dozen families remain at the West Calumet Housing Complex, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Some 330 were living there when the mayor called last summer for residents to be relocated.

Not only is the Trump administration eliminating federal funding for lead detection and mitigation programs - it's also asking Congress to slash funding for Superfund cleanup by a whopping 30 percent. Thirteen other families are appealing their relocation offers from the city housing authority or have been given notice to move.

Environmentalists say USS Lead Superfund in East Chicago, Indiana, is the poster child of environmental injustice. The EPA workers union wants a separate meeting with Pruitt.

"EPA is focusing on getting results by improving environmental conditions and human health in places like East Chicago", EPA spokesman JP Freire said in an emailed statement. The land we walk upon is contaminated.

"We can't drink the waters".

The US EPA says it would reconsider a rule on emissions from oil and gas operations and delay its implementation.



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