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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at EPA

                         Carol M. Browner

Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at EPA

                         Washington, D.C.

                      Prepared for Delivery
                          May 23, 1996

I want to thank Angela Chung, Versha Kumar, Amar Singh, and Terri Stowe and the Asian Pacific American Community
here at EPA for bringing us together today.

It is a great pleasure to celebrate the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans to EPA and to our country.

Our nation owes a great deal to the Asian Pacific Americans who have made tremendous contributions to our history --
working in the mines, on the railroad, on farms, in the shops and factories of our cities, in our laboratories and universities.

Asian Pacific Americans have a history of achievement, advancement, and success. But there is another history as well, a
history of obstacles to advancement -- internment camps, hard labor, discrimination, poverty.

Today, we must remember both parts of that history. And at EPA, we must resolve to serve the needs of today's Asian
Pacific American communities. Every community has a right to a clean, safe environment. Every community should be able to
look forward to a secure future for their children.

I want to thank APAC for working so hard to ensure that Asian Americans are well represented at every level of EPA. I am
absolutely committed to promoting a diverse workforce where all employees are encouraged to reach their full potential. That
is in the best interest of our employees, it is in the best interest of the Agency, and it is in the best interest of the American
people who look to us to protect their health, their air, their water, and their land.

In all that we do, protecting our environment means protecting public health. It means providing real benefits for real people
-- fresh air to breathe, safe water to drink, land that is safe to live on.

Since coming to the Agency, it has been my privilege to work with you in so many important ways -- to expand the public's
Right to Know about toxic chemicals in their communities -- to reduce air pollution in our cities -- to improve the safety of
our drinking water -- to make Superfund work faster, fairer, and more efficiently.

All of these accomplishments have come in the midst of the most severe attack on environmental protection since the
beginning of the Agency. I want to thank each one of you for your dedication and commitment during this very difficult time.
You do an exceptional job.

The American people have made clear that they want strong, effective public health and environmental protections. President
Clinton stood firm to uphold those protections. And as a result, those vital protections are in place and will remain in place.

But the price of a clean, safe environment is that we must always be vigilant. The job is not done. The responsibility will
always be ours to protect our health, our natural resources, our children's future.

I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to do the very best job we can for the people of this country, the air, the
water, and the land we all share.