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The Latest: EPA head vows to build trust during Indiana stop

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 05:13 pm

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. - The Latest on the head of the Environmental Protection Agency's visit to an Indiana public housing complex that is contaminated with lead (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt says he's committed to restoring confidence in the Indiana community where about 1,000 residents were ordered evacuated from a lead-contaminated public housing complex.

Pruitt on Wednesday visited a Superfund site for the first time in his tenure, something elected officials from both parties noted. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, and Mayor Anthony Copeland, a Democrat, accompanied Pruitt, who toured the site and heard from residents.

Pruitt is also the first EPA chief to visit the Superfund site, which is about 25 miles from downtown Chicago.

Pruitt says leaders talked about setting concrete steps. However, he didn't offer any details in his 90-second statement. He refused to answer reporters' questions.

Residents of the complex and environmental activists protested ahead of his visit. They're calling for additional resources and continued support.

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12:05 p.m.

Residents of a lead-contaminated public-housing complex in Indiana and environmental activists are protesting ahead of a visit by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Chanting crowds weaved through streets of East Chicago on Wednesday near a Superfund site. Some held signs that read "East Chicago Demands Clean Water."

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to tour the complex with Indiana's top elected officials.

Evacuations began last summer. Officials say two dozen families remain at the 45-year-old complex, which was built on a site once occupied by a lead-products factory.

Forty-four-year-old Demetra Turner says finding a solution is the fight of her life. She says she's concerned for the two children who live with her at the complex.

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6:50 a.m.

The leader of the Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to tour an Indiana public-housing complex where roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated because of lead contamination.

Administrator Scott Pruitt will join Indiana leaders including Gov. Eric Holcomb in East Chicago.

Some environmental advocates are calling Wednesday's visit a first major test of Pruitt's leadership.

Pruitt has criticized the EPA for overreach and President Donald Trump's administration has taken steps to roll back environmental regulations. Also, Trump has proposed eliminating EPA's budget by nearly one-third.

Residents and the Natural Resources Defense Council are calling for more support and testing. The EPA workers union wants a separate meeting with Pruitt.

Officials say two dozen families remain at the 45-year-old complex, which was built on a site once occupied by a lead-products factory.

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