CHICAGO – A regional director with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is resigning in connection with the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

EPA chief Gina McCarthy said Thursday that Susan Hedman is stepping down effective Feb. 1. Hedman is administrator of EPA’s Region 5, which is based in Chicago and includes Michigan.

McCarthy said she accepted Hedman’s resignation to ensure the regional office remains solely focused on the restoration of Flint’s drinking water.

McCarthy also said she has issued an emergency order to “ensure the state and city immediately take actions necessary to protect public health.”