Municipal Government, National

EPA Union Asks Pruitt Not to Close Chicago Office

April 27, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Scott Pruitt

East Chicago, IN – As Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt visited the Chicago area Apr. 19, the union representing agency workers urged him to meet with them “to discuss the devastating impact of your proposed EPA cuts.”

American Federation of Government Employees Local 704, which represents 1,000 EPA employees in the Midwest, posted a formal invitation to lunch on Twitter Apr. 18, the day before Pruitt toured a public-housing project in East Chicago where about 1,000 residents were evacuated last year because of lead contamination. Pruitt, however, did not meet with the union or take questions from reporters about rumored plans to close the EPA’s regional office in Chicago. The office’s acting director, Bob Kaplan, said in a statement that while the agency was discussing ways to “eliminate excess office space,” reports that it was planning to close two regional offices were “false information.” Meanwhile, AFGE Council 238 President John J. O’Grady told reporters that the agency is already in “a crisis,” with staff reduced by one-sixth since 1999 and the Trump administration seeking to cut its budget by 31%. “That means it’s open season for any company or corporation wanting to dump,” he said. Read more

April 26, 2017

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