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Izaak Walton League MOU Signing, Centreville, Virginia

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
at the
Izaak Walton League MOU Signing
Centreville, Virginia

January 17, 2003

Thank you Jane (Kenny) for that introduction. It = s great to be here today to recognize an important partner in our efforts at EPA to protect the environment and human health.

For over 75 years now, the Izaak Walton League has worked tirelessly to promote the conservation of America = s waters, wildlife, land, and other natural resources. As someone who loves being outdoors, I = m grateful for the good work the League does on behalf of our environment and the American people.

Today, they are again demonstrating their environmental leadership by joining with us at EPA and the National Association of Shooting Ranges to address the health and environmental risks associated with the use of lead on shooting ranges.

Shooting ranges around the United States deposit more than 160 million pounds of lead into our environment each year.

Lead exposure poses serious health risks, especially to the most vulnerable in society B our children. Children with lead poisoning suffer from learning disabilities, brain damage, and other physical problems.

The good news is that if lead is managed properly and exposure minimized, the environmental and health risks are greatly reduced.

With that in mind, EPA worked alongside shooting sports organizations and the shooting range industry, to compile a manual that will assist shooting ranges in managing their lead properly.

By following the A Best Management Practices, @ shooting ranges all over the country can ensure that the proper measures are taken to protect the environment from further lead contamination.

This program also complements EPA = s new Resource Conservation Challenge, which calls on all Americans to join in the effort to recycle, recover energy, and minimize waste.

Through the plans the Izaak Walton League is implementing, there is the potential to recycle at least 100,000 pounds of lead shot and bullets per year.

Of course, as a voluntary initiative, we depend on the leadership of organizations such as the National Association of Shooting Ranges and the Izaak Walton League to implement our A Best Management Practices @ and do what = s right for the environment.

By signing this Memorandum of Understanding today, EPA and NASR are committing to work together in helping the Izaak Walton League implement lead management plans at each of their over 100 chapters.

As the first of its kind, this MOU sets an important example for other shooting ranges and organizations around the country to follow.

By working together, we can put some new and real meaning into the old expression B A Get the lead out. @

Now, I = d like to ask Paul Hansen and Rick Patterson to join me in signing this MOU.

It = s also my pleasure to present the following plaque to the Izaak Walton League for their commitment and support of our shooting range lead management efforts. Thank you for your leadership on this issue.