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Visit to the EPA Environmental Research Laboratory, Raleigh, North Carolina

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
at the
EPA Environmental Research Laboratory
Raleigh, North Carolina

May 23, 2003

Thank you for that introduction. It's great to see the incredible work going on at the Environmental Research Laboratory here at Research Triangle Park.

I = ve just had a great tour B after what I've seen today, when I think back to the science labs we had when I was in school B a few racks of test tubes, a Bunsen burner, some petri dishes, a couple of microscopes, all of which looked like they were cast offs from Pasteur = s lab B it sure does seem like a long time ago.

Of course, having world class facilities doesn = t mean a thing if you don = t also have world class scientists B and we certainly have that level of talent and knowledge here at EPA and right here in this room. The work you are doing here truly is helping to make America's air cleaner, its water purer, and its land better protected. It's also helping protect the American people from acts of terrorism.

What I saw here today is impressive. My only regret is that time did not permit me to see everything that's going on here. The importance of sound science to the work we are doing cannot be overstated. As the environmental and public health challenges we face become ever-more complex, strong scientific study and analysis must inform the public policy decisions we make.

As we study issues such as endocrine disruptors, pesticide residues, and detection and cleanup of chemical and biological agents of terror, we have to make sure that the policies we pursue are driven by the science. That's the only way to make sure our efforts are both successful and have the confidence of the American people. The credibility of all we do rests on the quality of our science.

If I may end on a personal note, the hardest part of leaving my job here at EPA will be leaving the people of this Agency. There is an extraordinary collection of talent in this Agency, and it has been a real privilege to work with the men and women of the EPA B America's passionate protectors of our environment and the public health.

So thank you for the work you are doing here on behalf of the EPA and of the American people. I appreciate all you are doing to help leave America's environment cleaner than we found it. Thank you.