Opening Statement Senator Dirk Kempthorne
Hearing on the nominations of Romulo Diaz for Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resources Management; and J. Charles Fox, Assistant Administrator for Water
July 30, 1998

Mr. Chairman, I thank you for the opportunity to question the Administration's nominees for the positions of Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resources Management and Assistant Administrator for Water.

As a Senator from the great State of Idaho, I am very interested in Region 10 of the Environmental Protection Agency. I am pleased to have this opportunity to ask Mr. Diaz about the future priorities of Region 10, and how those priorities will be reflected in relative funding levels for environmental programs important to Idaho, such as water quality, air quality and Superfund.

As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Drinking Water, Fisheries and Wildlife and sponsor of the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996, I have a particular interest in the nomination of Mr. Fox. August 6th will mark two years since the Safe Drinking Water Act was signed into law by the President. At the second anniversary of this law, it is appropriate to ask those charged with its implementation about their vision and priorities. I would like to hear Mr. Fox's views on how the implementation of the Act is progressing, and how EPA, under his guidance, plans to carry out the statutory guidelines of the Act.

Water is such an important issue to Idaho. We are now engaged in the process of answering the challenge to establish total maximum daily loads for pollutants in water-quality impaired water bodies. The Environmental Protection Agency's Assistant Administrator for Water should expect to work very closely with those in Idaho who are engaged in the task of protecting Idaho's water through targeted, flexible, local and state-driven initiatives.

Again, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to hearing the testimony of both nominees.