Sneed exclusive: City could lose its EPA regional office

Source: By Michael Sneed, Chicago Sun Times • Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sneed hears President Trump’s plan to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency workforce may include the closing of the EPA regional branch office in Chicago. The office could be consolidated with one in Kansas, according to a city source who’s plugged in to federal-government happenings.

The shift would impact not only Chicago, but the Great Lakes region as well. And the timing would be interesting considering the chemical spill earlier this week in Indiana.

It’s already been reported via Politico that President Trump’s budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, did single out the EPA as a particular target for budget cuts — and the EPA was to identify two regional offices for closure by June 15.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a response to Sneed’s scoop:

“The report that the federal government is planning to close the Region 5 office of the EPA should be concerning to us all,” Emanuel said. “At a time when US Steel is carelessly spilling dangerous chemicals into Lake Michigan, we cannot turn our back on the Great Lakes and allow the Trump administration to muffle the EPA. 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. The administration’s plan would be harmful to the environment and public health in Chicago, in Illinois, and in the entire Great Lakes region, and that should outrage all of us living in our nation’s heartland.”