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Groundbreaking for EPA Region 8 Headquarters

    Thank you Robbie (Roberts) for that introduction.

    It is an honor to be with you in beautiful downtown Denver, to help break ground for the new headquarters of EPA Region 8.

    This building will be a showcase - for Denver and the rest of the country - on how site determination and building design can minimize the impact to our natural environment and provide a first-class indoor environment for our world-class employees.

    Over the years, I have designed and served as the general contractor for each of our family homes. In every one, I considered the impact they would have on the surrounding land and their use of water and energy. Our current home has won an award for energy efficiency, saving us hundreds of dollars a year on power costs.

    This headquarters will not only win awards, save tax dollars, water and energy - it will help to advance our Agency’s mission of protecting public health and handing the next generation a safer environment in which to live, work and play.

    Today, EPA finds itself at a crossroads. Either we can continue to make incremental advancements in environmental progress, or we can accelerate the pace of environmental protection.

    Earlier this year, I signed a Memo of Understanding between EPA and the American Institute of Architects - identifying opportunities for collaboration on sustainable development, green design, construction practices and operations, indoor air quality, and water and energy efficiency.

    Collaborative agreements like this one, improvements in technology, and new views on environmental stewardship -- these are the tools EPA must adopt as we confront the emerging challenges of the 21 st Century – these are the tools that will help transform our Agency into a driver of economic and environmental results.

    Buildings significantly impact our natural environment and resources. In the U.S., buildings alone account for 39% of total energy use and 12% of the total water consumption. However, with some forethought and planning, we can reduce these environmental and economic costs.

    The built environment has a vast impact on our natural environment, human health, and the economy. By adopting green building strategies that saves money and minimizes its impact on our environment, we continue to demonstrate that a healthy environment and a healthy economy go hand-in-hand.

    This building demonstrates the Agency’s commitment to practicing what we preach.

    I appreciate all of you for your hard work in supporting the creation of this innovative and environmentally sensitive new EPA Region 8 headquarters.

    Thank you.