Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe, chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, applauded the release of the EPA’s first-ever “Draft Report on the Environment,” providing a comprehensive look at environmental quality and human health.


In the following statement, Inhofe applauded the substantial progress achieved since passage of the nation’s landmark environmental legislation over three decades ago, but also cautioned that the Administration and the EPW Committee have more work to do to continue the success story:


“As the EPA report showed, we have come a long way in cleaning up the environment over the last three decades. This report belies the scare tactics of environmental groups, who sing the constant refrain that, for a variety of reasons, things are getting worse, threatening the nation’s health and well-being.


“Nothing could be further from the truth. Our air is cleaner--air pollution has declined by 25 percent while the nation experienced substantial increases in population and gross domestic product. Our water is cleaner--in 2002 94 percent of Americans were served by drinking water systems that meet our health-bases standards, a 15 percent increase over the last decade. Along with these milestones, the American public is healthier, as infant mortality has declined and people are living longer than ever before.


“The EPA report also highlighted several environmental challenges that lie ahead. I look forward to working with President Bush to address these challenges. I hope Congress will continue to move forward on his environmental agenda, including Clear Skies, which represents the most aggressive presidential initiative in history to reduce power plant emissions.


"The report also reinforces my consistent belief that EPA must continue to improve the way it collects environmental data and ensure that it follows the best, most objective science when formulating rules and regulations. This is critical to producing sound environmental policies for the future of this country.”