Trump's EPA to reconsider oil and gas emissions rule

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 20, 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks Wednesday after meeting with residents in East Chicago. Another 3,000 residents living in Zone 2 and 3 of the superfund site were not told to relocate.

After making his statement, Pruitt was asked if the agency planned to close its Region 5 office in Chicago, a short drive from East Chicago, as part of the Trump administration's plans to cut the EPA's budget by more than 30 percent; he walked away without answering the question, according to reports from the event. John O'Grady, president of AFGE National Council of EPA Locals #238, said in a statement that this kind of program is better for smaller reductions in the workforce, and that this program "will not get the Administration where it wants to go - the utter deconstruction of the US EPA". The situation is so severe that Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) declared a disaster emergency in February.

The EPA's move to delay the methane rule is one of a string of "reconsiderations", or delays on Obama-era regulations recently enacted by the Trump administration.

Really, Scott Pruitt? Western Pennsylvanians know enough to recognize when you are blowing (coal) dust when you declare that "the war on coal is done" ("EPA's Pruitt Says He'll Be a Friend to Coal", April 14).

"East Chicago is a flawless example of the need for the specialized input and oversight of the EPA where there are concerns about the local and state response", Geertsma told HuffPost.

Pruitt, has reportedly faced criticism from receiving contributions from the fossil fuel industry and questioning climate change science. There are proven, low-priced ways to capture methane instead of letting it pollute our air, and the last administration put in place standards to make sure we do just that.

Demonstrators rallied in the lead-contaminated community to protest Pruitt's visit. In a memo to agency officials, Mike Flynn, the EPA's acting deputy administrator, said the goal was to complete the cutsby June.

"If they had any thoughts about closing this office, we wanted to take no chances and make sure that we stood in opposition", she said.

But superfund site resident Maritza Lopez welcomed Pruitt's visit.

It was Copeland who ordered the evacuation of the West Calumet residents last summer.

The lead-and-arsenic contaminated 346-unit housing complex was built in the early 1970s on the footprint of a former lead smelter. "And that's the impact of lead contamination in this East Chicago community have made clear some of the most pressing systemic challenges these families face".

"It is one of the hardest decisions I had to make to tell people to leave their homes", said East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland.

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