April 20, 2017

Duckworth Statement on Administration’s Threat to Eliminate EPA Region 5


[CHICAGO, IL] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today criticized reports that the Trump Administration is considering closing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 Main Office in Chicago, where more than 1,000 dedicated civil servants work. Duckworth met with many of the EPA's Region 5 staffers in Chicago last week to discuss the critical work they do to protect the health and safety of Americans living in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Duckworth is a member of the Environment & Public Works Committee and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife, which is tasked with ensuring clean water and helping prevent lead water contamination.

"At a time when families across our state are worrying about contaminated drinking water, it would be dangerous and irresponsible for the President to gut the agency that's charged with protecting the Great Lakes from pollution and keeping our children safe from lead poisoning," said Senator Duckworth. "Dismantling the EPA wouldjeopardizethesafetyof families across Illinois and the entire country."

During EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's confirmation hearing, Duckworth pressed him on the importance of appointing a permanent leader to head the EPA Region 5. Duckworth also got Pruitt to agree about the need to empower the dedicated men and women who serve in EPA Region 5 in the aftermath of Flint, Michigan, to act proactively when a state fails to protect its citizens. Video of Duckworth's questioning in Pruitt's confirmation hearing is available here.