With more money come more problems. Illinois is scheduled to get $108 million as part of the Volkswagen diesel scandal settlement, but critics of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, who are preparing to disburse the funds, say Illinoisans are not getting enough input on how to apply the funds.“They purported for over a year on their website that they were going to have public meetings, public hearings to decide the best way to spend this money,” said John Walton, chair of Chicago Area Clean Cities, a group of government and corporate organizations that works toward reducing pollution. “There have been zero public meetings. There have been zero public hearings.”Alec Messina, director of the IEPA, said the IEPA met with many agencies and advocacy groups over the feedback period from Feb. 28 to April 20, that the IEPA never turned down a meeting request, and that the public was also welcome to submit comments by mail.“I would not agree that there have not been public sessions for people to weigh in. We’ve hosted a number of targeted meetings with people since this information has become available,” said Messina, who added that what the IEPA does with the feedback or whether it… Read full this story
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