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HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Gov. Eric Holcomb made an unannounced visit to a lead-contaminated neighborhood in northwestern Indiana before Pruitt authorized $1.7 million for soil removal at more than 25 homes.

Pruitt and Holcomb arrived Thursday morning near the former Federated Metals site in Hammond, where they spoke with at least one property owner before Pruitt left. Holcomb tells The (Northwest Indiana) Times that Pruitt signed a memorandum for the cleanup work that will start in May.

Hammond resident and former EPA attorney David Dabertin called the visit “disingenuous political theater.” He says Federated Metals closed more than 30 years ago and that nearby lead-processing facilities still operating are the more likely source.

Pruitt is facing investigations of outsized travel and security spending as EPA’s leader.


Information from: The Times,