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Addressing Environmental Issues of the U.S. and Europe

Release Date: 05/15/2006
Contact Information: Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-4355 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - May 15, 2006) U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson is traveling to Brussels and Paris to further collaboration on environmental issues with European partners. Johnson will continue to advance his goal of accelerating environmental protection while keeping the U.S. economically competitive.

"Although newspaper headlines tend to focus on our differences, the United States and Europe are joined by some of the strongest ties in the world," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "In the U.S., we recognize our environmental responsibility does not stop at our borders. While sometimes we may differ on the means, the U.S. and Europe agree on the ends of working together to promote a healthier, safer environment for our home nations and our global neighbors."

In Brussels, Administrator Johnson will meet with officials of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union (EU). Discussions will focus on key areas of cooperation including joint research projects on air and water pollution, environmental health, toxic substances and pesticides. Also on the agenda are coordination with U.S. embassies and with Western European donor countries on environmental assistance programs for Eastern Europe, the Newly Independent States, and other parts of the world.

In Paris, the Administrator will confer with officials of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He will also discuss U.S.-French environmental cooperation with U.S. Ambassador to France Craig Stapleton and French Minister-designate of Ecology Nelly Olin. A recent OECD Environmental Strategy stated: "Environment and economic policies are closely interrelated; successful economic growth depends on a healthy environment; and progressive environmental policies can provide opportunities for sustainable growth."

In line with the U.S. position that environmental progress and economic prosperity are intertwined, Johnson will share lessons learned and ideas on environmental challenges ahead. Johnson will discuss the importance of technology in solving energy issues, especially technology that supports more efficient and economical production of renewable fuels.

More information on U.S. EPA's work with Europe: epa.gov/oia/regions/Europe/

Information on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: www.oecd.org