STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN H. CHAFEE
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
HEARING ON THE NOMINATIONS OF DONALD J. BARRY AND SALLYANNE HARPER
FEBRUARY 3, 1998

Good afternoon. I am pleased to welcome everyone to this, the first hearing of the new year. The purpose of today's hearing is to consider the following Presidential nominations: (1) Donald J. Barry, to be Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, United States Department of Interior; and (2) Sallyanne Harper, to be Chief Financial Officer of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The President nominated Don Barry on November 7, and he nominated Sallyanne Harper on October 30, just before Congress adjourned for the year. The paperwork of both candidates is in, and it is my intention that the Committee act on these nominations before the end of this week.

PANEL ONE

I would like to give a special welcome to Don Barry and at this time, I also would like to introduce the members of his family who are present. Mr. Barry is joined by his wife, Teiko Saito (sight-oh), and his parents, Dr. and Mrs. George Barry.

I am delighted to report that Don Barry is an excellent candidate for the position before him. He has a long record of public service in natural resource policy and management. If confirmed, the laws and programs within this Committee's jurisdiction that he will oversee include: the Endangered Species Act, the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Coastal Barrier Resources System, the Wallop-Breaux Act, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and the Duck Stamp Act, to name a few.

Don Barry has seen natural resource policy both through Congressional eyes and administrative eyes. The Committee first had reason to take note of Don Barry when he worked as the Majority General Counsel for the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee in the late 1980s. For 14 years of his 23-year career, he has served in a number of capacities within the Department of Interior. In a remarkable display of unanimous support, all eight of his predecessors, from both Republican and Democratic administrations, have written a glowing letter of recommendation on his behalf (Without objection, this letter will be printed in the hearing record).

In recent years, Don Barry has worked extensively with members and staff of this Committee on the reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act and other tough issues. Without his tireless efforts, I do not know that we would have succeeded in forging the consensus on our ESA reauthorization bill and reporting that bill out of Committee. Throughout his career and particularly in his work with the Senate, Mr. Barry has demonstrated two qualities that have proven to be constant: a commitment to conservation of natural resources, and an ability to find solutions to difficult problems. These strengths have helped him to deal effectively with contentious endangered species issues and will prove invaluable in his role as Assistant Secretary at the Department of Interior.

I must say, I think the job of Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks is one of the best jobs in government. As the steward of the National Wildlife Refuge System and the National Parks System, your decisions are of great public interest and import. Don, I know you will be a strong advocate for these national treasures.

PANEL TWO

At this time, I would like to welcome Sallyanne Harper, and I also would like to introduce the members of her family who are present. Ms. Harper is joined by her husband, Francis J. Nathens; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Harper, III; her sisters, Dr. Patricia Harper Petrozza, Mary Ellen Harper, and Kate Kelly; her brother-in-law, Paul Kelly, III; and her brother-in-law's father, Paul Kelly, Jr.

Like Don Barry, Sallyanne Harper also is well-suited to the position to which she has been nominated. Over the last ten years, she has served in a number of capacities within the EPA. She was Associate Director for Superfund and RCRA Procurement Operations from 1987 through 1989, and she served as the Director for EPA's Financial Management Division from 1989 through 1992. She was Deputy Chief Financial Officer from 1992 through 1995. EPA's first Chief Financial Officer, Charles Grizzle, who was Ms. Harper's superior during those years, has written a strong letter of support for her nomination (Without objection, this letter will be entered into the hearing record).

As Acting Chief Financial Officer of EPA, Ms. Harper has helped to develop and manage EPA's new Planning, Budget, Analysis and Accountability System, which will allow the agency to focus on the nation's top environmental priorities in an economically efficient manner. If confirmed, Ms. Harper will be responsible for managing the financial resources of EPA.

I am confident that Ms. Harper has the experience and the integrity to face the challenges ahead and to help EPA to carry out its strategic plan into the next century. Thank you.