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Lisa Jackson Opening Remarks

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Monday, January 19, 2009; 12:26 PM

JACKSON: Thank you, Madame Chairman.

Please allow me to begin by first expressing my gratitude to you and to Ranking Member Inhofe for holding this hearing, to Senators Lautenberg and Senator Menendez for their kind introductions, and to all the members of the committee for their thoughtful statements and to many of you for taking the time to meet with me over the past week.

If I may, Madame Chairman, I would like to re-introduce my husband, Kenny, who I am delighted to have here with me today. My sons, Marcus and Brian, wanted to be here today, but their demanding mother insisted that they go to school instead.

I'm also pleased to introduce friends from the Ramapough Mountain nation in Upper Ringwood, New Jersey: Wayne Mann, Vivian Milligan, Jay Van Dunk and Veronica Van Dunk.

They and too many other Ramapoughs have lived on top of a Superfund site for decades. They are vivid reminders to me of how EPA can be a force for good if it does its job well and what can go wrong if EPA falls short.

When I was nominated by the president-elect to lead EPA, Vivian called me and cautioned me with one simple request. "Don't forget about us." So I asked them here today, not to offer them empty promises, but as witnesses to what I hope will be the beginning of my journey as EPA administrator.

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