91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

EPA denies plan (at least right now) to merge Region 5 with Kansas office

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Workers replace a lead service line in Flint

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it has no current plan to close its Region 5 branch office in Chicago, and calls a Chicago Sun-Times newspaper story reporting the possibility an "unsubstantiated rumor." 

But despite saying the story "has no merit," there's clearly a reason for the rumor.

An EPA official says the agency may merge two of its branch offices, but hasn't decided if it will, let alone which ones. 

Region 5 in Chicago oversees Great Lakes states. It's played a big role in the Flint water crisis. 

The EPA official says the agency has no plan to scale back its oversight in the region – and even if the Chicago branch were to be merged, perhaps with the Kansas branch, a satellite office in the Windy City could be maintained, and other EPA workers could be embedded at various state agencies.

The official says that kind of approach could also deliver a better value for taxpayers.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
Related Content