Pruitt was scheduled to to tour the complex where roughly 1,000 people were ordered evacuated because of lead contamination. It's in their drinking water and it's in their soil.
The EPA began conducting soil tests at the site in late 2009 and finally reached a consent decree with the liable companies in 2014.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt says he's committed to restoring confidence in the in community where about 1,000 residents were ordered evacuated from a lead-contaminated public housing complex. The school was closed in 2016 due to high levels of lead on school grounds and is located near the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, which is scheduled for demolition.
The community is what's a called a legacy contamination site. It was listed on the "National Priorities List" of the worst contaminated hazardous waste sites in the country in 2009.
The Trump administration's proposed budget included a 31 percent funding cut to the EPA and a 3,200-person reduction in its workforce. The program is meant to support poor, often minority communities with severe environmental challenges.
AFGE Local 704, which represents 1,000 EPA employees in the Midwest, invited Scott Pruitt to a lunch meeting on Wednesday during his trip to the Chicago area, saying, "We need to talk".
Kaplan says the EPA "made some headway in setting some further meetings up" on the issue Wednesday.
The pair joined other state and federal officials, including Senators Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Todd Young (R-Ind)., meeting with East Chicago officials and community leaders. Some held signs that read "East Chicago Demands Clean Water".
They said they've only gotten "non-denials" in response.
EPA spokesman J.P. Freire told CNN in an email: "Forget about the politics". The demonstrators called for more lead testing and oversight from the EPA.
Pruitt visited the complex and the adjacent residential neighborhood that make up what's known as the USS Lead Superfund site. This year, IN will distribute filters to all residents IN Zones 2 and 3.
"It's the EPA's objective, my objective as administrator of the EPA, to come in and make sure that people's health is protected here in East Chicago".
Pruitt did not respond to the question when asked Wednesday. Only ignoring the environment and the public good can create a real job.