| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

EPA's watchdog to investigate agency's performance in lead-smelter reports

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By USA Today
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 7:44 p.m.

The Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog plans to investigate the agency's performance in addressing the health risks posed by lead smelters in the wake of a USA Today investigation. The action was announced this week as part of the Inspector General's action plan for 2013.

USA Today's ongoing “Ghost Factories” investigation found the EPA and state regulators had failed to investigate and address risks to thousands of families posed by long-closed lead factory sites across the country.

EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr., whose office is charged with independently auditing and watchdogging the agency's programs and spending, listed the lead smelter probe as a new review priority in his office's Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Plan.

The scope of the lead smelter review has not been finalized, the office said.

Officials at the Environmental Law Institute, a non-partisan research and training organization based in Washington, applauded the IG's plan for a lead-smelter probe.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he's hopeful the inspector general's probe will shine further light on the agency's responsibilities to children, communities and taxpayers.

“For too long, regulators have neglected to fully investigate toxic sites in our communities,” Brown said. “We need to review sites that have not yet been tested and prioritize testing near schools, playgrounds and neighborhoods close to abandoned smelter sites. After the results come in, we need to take action to clean up residual contamination.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Arizona, Texas university shootings kill 2
  2. Searchers find cousins alive in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge area
  3. Scotland Yard’s Crime Museum goes on display in London
  4. More emails on Benghazi to go public
  5. House OKs end of oil export ban adopted in 1970s in response to Arab embargo
  6. Iowa ex-lottery security officer hit with new charges
  7. House GOP colleagues pressure Ryan
  8. Drone in Ellipse leads to citation for operator
  9. Inmates help dying prisoners in Ohio hospice
  10. Court blocks Obama water protections
  11. Gun rights supporters protest Obama’s trip to Oregon after campus shooting