U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the Environmental Protection Agency's response to his concerns about declining staff levels at the regional office.
Lipinski said in a statement he and other members of Congress sent a letter last month to the new administrator for the EPA's Region 5 office regarding their concerns about the number of inspections the agency was conducting in the Great Lakes region.
The congressman argued declining staff levels at the agency are "hindering its ability to carry out its responsibility to protect residents from pollution, toxic waste and other health and environmental concerns," according to the statement.
Lipinski added the coming weeks and months will be "the best indication" of how the EPA will respond to his concerns, rebuild its staff and reestablish its investigative authority in the Great Lakes region.
"I’m cautiously optimistic following the new EPA Region 5 Administrator’s response to my concerns about staffing shortages and lack of oversight at the agency," Lipinski said on his Facebook page. "I’ll be closely monitoring the situation to ensure that the EPA lives up to its promises to protect residents of the #IL03."