J. PAUL GILMAN
FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
UNITED STATES SENATE
Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. It is a privilege to appear before you as the nominee to be the Assistant Administrator for Research and Development for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I am honored that President Bush has nominated me and I am excited about the opportunity to serve with Governor Whitman. I am delighted to be joined today by my wife Ginny and our sons Samuel and Will.
Let me first address my qualifications for the position. I believe my education, research, and employment experiences have all contributed to my qualifications. While employed at Celera Genomics I had the opportunity to participate in the creation of a fast-paced and highly productive private sector research enterprise. My knowledge of research management was greatly enhanced by this experience. I believe my immersion in the new fields of genomics and bioinformatics will be useful as we begin to use these tools to solve scientific and technical challenges in the environmental sciences. Serving as an External Member of the Department of Energy=s Laboratory Operations Board has afforded me an excellent opportunity for insight into the management of federal research facilities. While at the National Academies of Science and Engineering=s National Research Council I had responsibility for activities in the life sciences, including agriculture. The scientific and technical activities of the EPA were often the subject of our various review and reports. This provided me with an in depth view of some of the most significant issues faced by the EPA, the scientific context for these issues, and the research personnel and programs at the EPA working to inform the agency=s decision-making. At the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) I had direct responsibility for budget formulation and oversight for the EPA among other science-related agencies. My responsibilities also included participation in OMB=s process for the review of proposed regulations from the EPA. While employed at the DOE my specific responsibilities included advising the Secretary on scientific and technical matters. These included the programs studying human health and environmental effects of energy-related technologies, environmental research, and environmental remediation. During my 13 years working for the United States Senate, including 1 year as a Congressional Science Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, I had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of science-related issues, including environment and human health issues. I participated in the Committee on Environment and Public Works= investigation of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant accident, the passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, and oversight of the U.S. Department of Energy=s (DOE) research and development programs including its environmental research and remediation programs. As a staff member for a Senate Committee I had the opportunity to participate in and learn the Congressional budget process for federal agencies. As a staff member for Senator Pete Domenici I necessarily became a student of the federal government=s overall budget process. Lastly, my undergraduate education in the liberal arts included a broad involvement in the sciences. My graduate education and research focused in the earth and life sciences with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology.
I would like to share with the Committee my thoughts about the nature of science in government and at the EPA. I believe those who pursue science and engineering in government take on a special role and a weighty responsibility. You must be an advocate on behalf of the truth. There is a quote of Albert Einstein=s engraved in the monument to him outside the National Academy of Sciences. It captures my feelings and my commitment to this Committee and my President. It reads:
The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.
There has been substantial change in the Office of Research and Development at EPA under the past 2 Assistant Administrators. It has been aimed at improving the quality and utility of its science. Dr. Robert J. Huggett set major research programs on a new course. One that was designed to have science serve the mission of the Agency, not just research for the sake of research. He also initiated a substantial program for funding university-based research that is also focused on serving the mission of the agency. His successor, Dr. Norine E. Noonan, supported his initiatives and extended them. There is today a rigorous research planning process aimed at making the right research available to the EPA regulators when they need it. We are beginning to see the results of this effort. If confirmed, I will sustain these reforms and where appropriate, initiate new ones in the pursuit of the best use of science in the EPA regulatory process.
Thank you for this opportunity to appear before you, Mr. Chairman.