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Visit to Fort Meade Environmental Science Center, Fort Meade, Maryland

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
at the
Environmental Science Center
Fort Meade, Maryland

May 7, 2003

Thank you, Don (Welsh). It = s great to be here to see the incredible work going on here at the Environmental Science Center. I = ve just had a great tour and am quite impressed with everything going on here at this facility. 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 B stretching across seven different regional and headquarters programs B truly is helping 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, such as the anthrax attack in 2001. 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 anthrax and other biologicals, 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. Nothing would undermine our credibility faster than letting political science replace strong science.

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.