105 E. Colorado Ave
Denver Colo† 80210
†††††††††††††† I am writing today in reference to bill 606 the Ombudsman Reauthorization Act of 2002. The bill relates to the reauthorization and restructuring of the office of Ombusman of the Environmental Protection Agency.† The Ombudsmanís office has been instrumental in investigating and righting wrongs at Superfund sites where mistakes were made.† Every agency has entities in place to audit and investigate mistakes or wrong doing.†† Police Departments have internal affairs divisions.† The political arena has sub committees armed with special prosecutors to investigate wrongdoing.†
The environment is such an important issue.† It affects the air we breathe the water we drink, the food we eat, In other words not only our health but also our very existence.† It is just common sense, with such important issues at stake, that the American people have an Ombudsman concerning the environment.† It also makes sense that this office should be funded independently so that the EPA cannot control or hinder investigations.† The Ombudsman should be the one to pick which cases warrant investigation, not the agency that made the mistake. There are many wonderful people working for the EPA but as in all organizations people make mistakes.† There is no reason to be afraid of the truth.† We should all have the same interest at heart.† Environmental protection should mean a remedy protective of health and environment.†
The American people have been very fortunate to have had an Ombudsman like Bob Martin and a Special Investigator like Hugh Coffman, looking out for their interest.† I recently attended a conference with citizens who live near Superfund sites all over the country and applause followed after any mention of their names.†† Many citizens felt that they would have never been heard had it not been for the Ombudsman.† I live near the Shattuck chemical site.† I feel that the Ombudsmanís office was instrumental in correcting a mistake that had been made.
I implore you to support the Ombudsman process and to make sure that they are allowed to do their job, by letting them choose their cases and by funding them independent of the EPA.
Cindy Koke††††† †