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Sergio Cuevas Water Treatment Plant, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
at the
Sergio Cuevas Water Treatment Plant
San Juan, Puerto Rico

December 12, 2002

Buenos dias. Es un placer compartir con ustedes hoy. I am pleased to be with you today.

The provision of safe, healthy drinking water to the people of Puerto Rico has long been a priority both for the Commonwealth and the EPA.

Access to safe drinking water is fundamental to the health and well being of all those who live in and visit Puerto Rico.

Every day, approximately 660 million gallons of water are used here in Puerto Rico for everything from brewing the morning coffee to irrigating and processing the sugar cane that sweetens it.

Ensuring that drinking water is safe for use is one of the most important things government can do for the people it serves.

I am pleased that EPA has been able to play an important role in ensuring that your drinking water supply is safe.

Since 1998, the Puerto Rico Department of Health has received more than $55 million in capitalization grants to help make sure your drinking water infrastructure is able to meet the demands placed upon it.

I am pleased that we can write a new chapter B and a new check B in our ongoing collaboration on behalf of clean drinking water for all the people of Puerto Rico.

The $10.7 million capitalization grant I am delivering today B along with the 20 percent match the PRDOH is providing B will be used to make a low interest loan for the new Anasco (Ahn-YAHS-co) water filtration plant as well as for other important safe drinking water activities here in Puerto Rico.

The work this grant will support at the Anasco facility is similar to work that will take place here at the Sergio Cuevas plant B thanks to an $11.7 million grant EPA awarded in September.

These two projects will replace two decades-old systems with new, modern water filtration plants.

Taken together, they will help ensure that the nearly 1.5 million people and families served by these plants will enjoy safe, clear drinking water for years to come.

I am delighted that EPA can help improve both the quality of the water B and the quality of life B for the people of Puerto Rico.

Now, I = d like to present this check for $10.7 million to Acting Governor (Ferdinand) and Secretary (Dr. Johnny) Rullan.

Muchas gracias.