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EPA Docket Center Ribbon Cutting, Washington, D.C.

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
at the
EPA Docket Center Ribbon Cutting
Washington, D.C.

February 19, 2003

Thank you Kim (Nelson) for that introduction.

It = s great to be here to commemorate the official opening of the EPA Docket Center B another important milestone in our efforts to meet the President = s goal of providing the American people with easy and direct access to the federal government.

Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work over the past six years by a group of EPA employees who came together from all across the Agency to see this project completed.

Through your efforts, EPA has successfully consolidated eight major headquarters dockets, previously located in sites all across the District and Virginia into one centralized facility.

This new facility will improve and simplify public access to EPA dockets and provide a wide range of research tools of which anyone can take advantage.

As I believe, greater accessibility to environmental information is one of the best means to environmental progress.

Increasing access to EPA = s dockets will help encourage and facilitate public input and participation in EPA= s regulatory process.

And, by consolidating and improving our docket operations, we are not only gaining greater efficiency, but saving on our costs as well.

Across the agency, we are always on the look out for ways to make our operations more efficient and accessible to the public.

That = s why, in addition to the opening of this center, it = s important to recognize the work that was done to create EPA = s electronic docket and public comment system (EDOCKET).

Since EDOCKET = s launch in April 2002 public access to our dockets has dramatically increased and the success of this system has not gone unnoticed.

Recently, EDOCKET was chosen to be the model for the federal-wide online rulemaking effort, now headed by EPA.

Both EDOCKET and our new Docket Center are important tools that will help make our regulatory processes more transparent and accessible, the benefits of which will be felt by this Agency, our federal partners, and most importantly the American people.

I want to thank all the EPA employees and management involved in this effort for a job well done.

Thank you.