EPA's watchdog to investigate agency's performance in lead-smelter reports
By USA Today
Published: 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.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Georgia cops suspended for cussing out rowdy bus of schoolkids
- ‘Cannibal sandwiches’ of raw ground beef unsafe, CDC reports
- Budget plans remain in jeopardy
- Billboard showing U.S. soldier, Muslim woman splits observers
- Illinois overhauls its public pensions, cutting benefits for most workers, retirees
- Deep freeze in Midwest to last through weekend
- VA fears budget cuts will reverse drop in homelessness
- Wash. woman tweets of crash death, finds out it’s husband
- Bratton returns to lead New York City police force
- Sandy Hook 911 calls fuel sensitivity debate
- New York City commuter train derailment kills 4, hurts more than 60