President Donald Trump's proposed federal budget includes "devastating" cuts to environmental programs across the country, said Nancy Loeb, director of Northwestern's Environmental Advocacy Clinic.
EPA officials in Chicago and Washington did not immediately respond to questions about the report.
"I am committed to fighting any proposal to close the Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 office, which would threaten public health in communities across MI and endanger the Great Lakes for future generations". Pruitt has said he is unconvinced that emissions from human activities are the main driver of climate change.
Rumors have circulated Pruitt plans to cut the nearby Chicago EPA office and move it to Kansas, but a report stated he had no plans to visit the office and could instead attend a Cubs game. The EPA is discussing ways to eliminate office space to save money, Kaplan said. "Anyone stating anything to the contrary is spreading false information", he said.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan, called the report "shocking".
EPA spokesman J.P. Freire told CNN in an email: "Forget about the politics".
Trump's budget plan would slash the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by almost a third, including reductions for the agency's enforcement and compliance office and ending the $300 million-a-year Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, among other regional efforts.
Suspect Arrested in Killing of Oklahoma Deputy
The suspect, Nathan Aaron LeForce, 45, of Logan County, was taken into custody at approximately 2 p.m. after an extensive manhunt. Authorities say an Oklahoma deputy sheriff was shot and wounded by a suspect who then escaped in the deputy's patrol auto .
Budget cuts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could mean closure of the Chicago regional office, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Troy Hernandez, a member of the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization, said the group has worked closely with Region 5's environmental justice program to ensure vital clean ups. The agency found that 18 of the 43 homes where the water was tested exceeded 15 parts per billion of lead - the EPA's threshold for water safety.
The Sierra Club said Wednesday that employees at the EPA Region 5 headquarters in Chicago were "stood up by Pruitt, in spite of their invitation for their own boss to have lunch with them".
"It is not an overstatement to say this neighborhood is very, very polluted".
Graham McCahan, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the tighter standards are already saving thousands of lives every year. The site was later cleaned up.
Last month, the EPA announced it would begin remediation work on almost 200 properties after securing $16 million from the parties responsible for the contamination, which includes high concenrations of lead and arsenic in the soil.