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Dingell Introduces Legislation to Prevent Closure of EPA Offices in Michigan, Nationwide

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) introduced legislation to prevent the closure of any Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regional or program office and protect thousands of jobs across the country. Dingell introduced the Recognizing the Environmental Gains in Overcoming Negligence (REGION) Act following reports that President Trump’s budget request would gut EPA and force several offices to shutter, including the U.S. EPA’s Large Lakes Research Station office on Grosse Ile and the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, which employs 435 people. The Grosse Ile facility houses over a dozen Emergency Response Division employees who are tasked with responding and cleaning up environmental hazards or accidents.

“Hardworking EPA employees in Ann Arbor and Grosse Ile play a vital role in protecting our communities – whether it’s reducing vehicle emissions and keeping the U.S. at the forefront of innovation or cleaning up toxic spills that threaten the health of our families and environment,” Dingell said. “We cannot afford to lose these jobs or halt the critical work taking place in these areas. This legislation will ensure that this important work continues in Michigan and at EPA offices across the country, where dedicated scientists, engineers and public servants are working every day to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink now and for the future. This must remain a top priority.”

Dingell visited the Ann Arbor EPA lab in May to speak out against proposed cuts to the facility, which conducts critical research, testing, analysis and technological studies in support of the establishment and monitoring of both fuel economy and vehicle emission standards. Dingell’s legislation would also prevent the closure of the EPA Region 5 office in Chicago, which serves Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio and is critical to protecting the air, drinking water, and health of residents in the Great Lakes states.

The legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Bobby Rush (IL-01), Louise Slaughter (NY-25). It is a companion to legislation Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL) introduced in the Senate. 

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