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Water Monitoring Event, Harper's Ferry, West Virginia

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
at the
Water Monitoring Event
Harper = s Ferry, West Virginia

October 4, 2002

Thank you Shelley (Capito) for that introduction. I want to especially thank all the students for joining us here today to help test the water quality at Harper = s Ferry. 2002 is the Year of Clean Water B with the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act coming later this month.

Thirty years ago, many of America = s waters had become too dirty for swimming, fishing, and drinking. Something had to be done and the Clean Water Act launched an aggressive effort to clean up our nations waters. And since then, many of our waterways are once again safe, healthy, and clean.

The anniversary of the Clean Water Act is an opportunity to renew our commitment to providing Americans with pure, healthy water, while at the same time focusing the nation= s attention on the new water quality challenges we face. One of the tools we must use to keep our water healthy is water quality monitoring. With the water testing kits EPA provided today, you = ve had the opportunity to see first hand how to test the pH levels, water clarity, dissolved oxygen levels, and temperature to determine water conditions. And you = ve seen it = s not that hard and actually fun and interesting.

What we = ve done today is very important, because states use this information to identify areas that are having pollution problems. This is also a way that everyone can get involved with helping to protect our water.

In fact, the EPA has created National Water Monitoring Day B which will be held on October 18. We are encouraging citizen volunteers all across the country to join us in testing the quality of water in their local watersheds. We will use the information from these tests to take a snapshot view of streams, lakes, and coastal waters in America.

Water plays an important role in all of our lives, and each of us has a responsibility and an opportunity to be a part of keeping our water clean.

If you tell your friends and parents about what you learned today, you will help me and the EPA get the word out about the importance of water testing, and believe me that= s a big help. Working together we can ensure that 30 years from now B when the Clean Water Act turns 60 B we will be celebrating a successful legacy of clean water for this and future generations. Thank you.