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U.S. and EU Sign Pact on Common Environmental Challenges

Release Date: 02/09/2007
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 / ryan.dave@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Feb. 9, 2007) U.S. and European Union scientists and researchers plan to work more closely in solving common environmental problems and sharing information on emerging issues such as nanotechnology under a new agreement finalized today in Brussels.

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and Director General for Research Jose Manuel Silva Rodriguez of the European Commission (the executive body of the European Union) have signed an “Implementing Arrangement on Environmental Research and Ecoinformatics.” Ecoinformatics is advanced computer and information technology necessary for environmental research.

“The United States and Europe share in the commitment of being good global neighbors,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “This agreement marks a new level of collaboration which will ensure our efforts to protect the environment and our citizens are supported by sound science.”

Cooperation under the EPA-EC Implementing Arrangement is expected to take many forms, including direct collaboration between U.S. and European researchers and associations; joint sponsorship of conferences, workshops and meetings; coordinated calls for proposals and mutual participation in peer reviews; and exchanges of information, methodologies, and data.

Among the collaborative research topics included in the Implementing Arrangement are efforts to address the linkages between environmental pollution and human health, as well as uses and impacts of nanotechnology in environmental monitoring, soil remediation, and water quality. Other topics include:

      sustainable chemistry and materials;
      environmental information systems;
      development of environmental and sustainability indicators;
      environmental technologies;
      air quality management;
      decision support tools; and
      environmental modeling.

View the agreement at http://www.epa.gov/oia/regions/Europe/index.html