1999 GREAT LAKES WATER QUALITY FORUM
SEPTEMBER 24-26, 1999
LIGHTLY EDITED, VERBATIM TRANSCRIPT
FRIDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 24
Commissioner Susan Bayh
Good evening and welcome to beautiful Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the International Joint Commission's 1999 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Public Forum. My name is Susan Bayh. I'm United States Commissioner from the state of Indiana and I am here on behalf of our Chairman, Tom Baldini, who has been ill. He is getting better and we all send him our regards but he's not with us here tonight. I know many of you will be wanting to wish him well and a speedy recovery.
I would like start by introducing my fellow Commissioners on the IJC. It's an international organization, three of which are from the United States. In addition to Tom and I there is Alice Chamberlin from New Hampshire on the St. Lawrence Seaway. I always remind people that it is part of the Great Lakes system. From the province of Québec Robert Gourd, who is from Montréal. We all like to visit him. Another wonderful place to visit, Vancouver is represented by Frank Murphy. We're very geographically spread out and of course Tom hails from Michigan. I will introduce the Canadian Chairman of the Commission just a little bit later.
I have first of all the privilege of introducing a very special lady. We're very very happy to have her with us here today. I have just recently moved to Washington, D.C. and things are a little different in Washington than from Indiana. When I got there I heard a very good story about the Senate chaplain and being new one of the new senators walked in and he saw the Senate chaplain praying intensely and he said of course you're praying for the Senators. After all he was the chaplain of the Senate and in his regular best minister voice he said, "Oh no! I look at the Senators. I pray for the people."
I am about to introduce a women who for seven years has lived in that environment. She has navigated one of the toughest jobs in the United States. She's been unphased by changes in Congress and the congressional leadership. She has remained unflappable by court decisions. She has stayed true to her mission as an administrator to protect the public health of the United States' air, water, and land from harmful pollution. Her philosophy of protecting our environment means protecting the health of our families, the health of our communities, and the health of our economy. Protecting our environment means giving us fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink, safe food to eat, and land that is safe to live in. Since taking over at EPA Carol Browner has taken on a new flexible approach that uses common sense actions to improve our system of environmental regulation. It makes clean up cost effective as well. She's done many major things. Some of those that I would like to highlight is:
She is the longest serving administrator in Washington. I am very happy and I hope you are too that Carol Browner represents our nation's families in cleaning our environment just not for her son and my sons but for all their grandchildren as well. Carol Browner (applause).