EPA Chief Visits East Chicago Amid Fears Agency Is Leaving Region

(CBS) – The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday visited East Chicago, Ind., where people have been living on toxic land for decades.

His visit comes as fears persist the EPA is closing down its Chicago regional office, CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reports.

Protestors demonstrated as Administrator Scott Pruitt met with local and state officials about the continuing cleanup of toxic soil in some areas of the city. The demonstrators called for more lead testing and oversight from the EPA.

“The reason I’m here is because it’s important that we restore confidence for the people here in this community that we’re going to get it right,” Pruitt said during a news conference.

Workers continue to test soil, properties and neighbors for lead poising and other contaminants stemming from at least two business.

That work continues as reports suggest work will stop at the Chicago EPA offices that is overseeing the East Chicago project and water quality of Lake Michigan.

An internal EPA email says the stories stories are not true.

Pruitt left without answering questions about that. A source tells CBS Pruitt denied any potential closure when he met with locals Wednesday.

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