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Speeches By EPA Administrator

 

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

04/19/2002
Remarks for Governor Christine Todd Whitman,

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,

at the

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

April 19, 2002


Thank you very much for that introduction. It is a pleasure to be here today.

I have just had the chance to tour your facilities and witness first hand the important work that you are doing here.

As you all know very well, asthma is a critical problem facing our children.

You see the individual faces every day of the nearly 5 million children across the country who suffer from this disease.

Just as startling as numerous trips to the hospital are the days our children are missing from school - more than 10 million of them every year.

Clearly, asthma is not only hurting their health, is it hurting their education as well.

I appreciate the work you are doing here to help solve this problem for our families.

The Environmental Protection Agency has a long and effective partnership with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. A partnership of helping children.

Since I began my work at the EPA, I have been on a nationwide search for partners - partners with whom the EPA can work in pursuit of shared goals - namely, preserving, protecting, and improving our environment for our families and their futures.

I want to thank the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Dr. Stephens for their commitment to the health of Philadelphia's children. I am delighted we can work together to help bring relief to those with asthma.

At EPA, we want to help protect kids with asthma from those environmental risks that can make their asthma worse.

There are few things more important than the air we breathe, and there is nothing more important than doing everything we reasonably can to ensure that it is clean and healthy.

That is why President Bush recently announced the Clear Skies proposal that will significantly improve air quality in America.

In fact, Clear Skies will be the most meaningful improvement to our clean air laws in more than a decade.

This new proposal will reduce three harmful pollutants B nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and mercury B from power plants by 70 percent over the next decade.

It uses a system of cap-and-trade that places mandatory limits on emissions across the country, but gives power plants the flexibility they need to meet these targets in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

Clear Skies takes advantage of mandatory reductions, technological breakthroughs, and market forces to better and more quickly protect the health of our environment, ensure the health of our children, and secure the health of our economy.

Clear Skies doesn= t replace the Clean Air Act, it enhances it by achieving larger, faster, and more certain emissions reductions than are possible under the Clean Air Act.

We will get these important environmental results without unnecessary court battles, without risking American jobs, and without threatening our economy.

More important, these reductions will eliminate millions of tons of pollution from our air, stop tens of thousands of asthma attacks before they happen, and unveil miles of smog- covered vistas at our national parks.

After all, safe children and healthy families are goals that we all share and I am proud to be working toward them with everyone here.

With your hard work B and the help of the Clear Skies proposal B I am confident that we can meet our goals and leave our children and grandchildren a cleaner and healthier planet than we found.

Thank you.