EPA Reports 6.5% of Employees 'Essential'

It was EPA officials who learned that the state Department of Environmental Quality had not required corrosion treatments when Flint switched to using the Flint River for its water, resulting in lead leaching from aging pipes.

There have been discussions about eliminating "excess office space" to save money, but no talk of shutting the office, Kaplan said in the memo, a copy of which Reuters obtained.

The employees want to discuss rumors that the Trump administration plans to close the Chicago Region 5 office.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan, called the report "shocking". Joe Donnelly and Todd Young at the Superfund site in an industrial corridor of in roughly 25 miles from downtown Chicago.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration's mission is to curtail EPA's workforce by 25 percent and cut its budget down to $5.7 billion. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford) Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks at a news conference Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in East Chicago, Ind., following a tour of a public-housing complex where roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated because of lead contamination.

On March 16, Mulvaney announced a series of sweeping cuts to the EPA budget, proposing that its funding be slashed by a third.

"Whether you believe in modern science and thus believe in climate change or not, the fact is the EPA exists to protect human health and the environment", Emanuel said.

An EPA employees union criticized Pruitt for the proposed cuts ahead of the visit, saying the agency is already at "bare-bones levels" and that further reductions would threaten public health.

The economic effects of air pollution control, however, may very well be transferred to the neighbors that must deal with exposure to the as-yet not well understood effects of the gas.

In 2013, the EPA found dangerously high levels of lead in an alley behind the H. Kramer smelting factory.

In 2009, USS Lead was named one of the most contaminated sites in the country.

Nicole Cantello, the president of the union representing the EPA in Chicago employees, believes that closing the regional office would be a severe blow to protecting the environment. For the last five years, Lagunas has worked to ensure the water served on airplanes - airplanes across Region 5's six states - is safe for consumption.

Two dozen families remain at the West Calumet Housing Complex, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing noted that at times, there is too much coal to respond to a declining demand for the commodity, with rising temperatures and alternative energy sources cutting away at the previous need.

EPA spokesman J.P. Freire told CNN in an email: "Forget about the politics".

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