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Former Wisconsin Regulator To Lead EPA’s Chicago Office

A sign from the Environmental Protection agency warns East Chicago residents not to play in the soil, which is contaminated with lead and arsenic.

Photo: Lauren Chapman (IPB News)

A sign from the Environmental Protection agency warns East Chicago residents not to play in the soil, which is contaminated with lead and arsenic.

A former Wisconsin state regulator has been named chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional office in Chicago.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said Tuesday that Cathy Stepp will be in charge of EPA’s Region 5, which oversees the agency’s operations in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Stepp served briefly as a deputy administrator in EPA’s Region 7, based near Kansas City. Previously, she was secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and also served as a Republican member of the state’s legislature.

Her appointment drew praise from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and business groups in the state.

The Natural Resources Defense Council said Stepp favors the Trump administration’s “lax” approach to enforcement of environmental laws.

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