(Remarks as prepared for delivery)

I would like to begin today's Environment and Public Works Committee hearing by welcoming two individuals nominated to head key offices at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Scott Fulton is President Obama's nominee to head EPA's Office of General Counsel. He comes to us today with a long record of service at the Department of Justice (DOJ), in the U.S. Attorney's office, and most recently, nearly 20 years at U.S. EPA.

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) is the legal conscience of the EPA, providing indispensible legal advice to the Administrator and EPA staff. OGC works with the Department of Justice to represent EPA in court, including before the Supreme Court.

The Office of General Counsel plays a vital role in making sure that EPA is on solid legal ground as the Agency moves forward to address serious public health and environmental challenges. Over the past eight years, EPA has lost case after case in the courts, delaying efforts to clean up our air and water, and putting the health of our communities and the environment at risk. If he is confirmed, Mr. Fulton's decades of experience will be an asset as he works to ensure that the EPA follows the law, protects public health, and makes decisions that will stand up in court.

Paul Anastas is the President's nominee to be Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development. Unbiased science is the basis for sound decision making. The Office of Research and Development plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the Agency's decisions are free from conflicts of interest, are transparent and are held to the highest scientific standards.

Dr. Anastas has an extensive record of achievement at EPA, in academia, and in the private sector. He has been called the "Father of Green Chemistry" for his groundbreaking work to reduce waste and negative environmental impacts by changing the ways chemical products are designed, manufactured and used. Most recently, he has been Director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale University.

I believe both of today's nominees are eminently qualified to provide crucial leadership and expertise as EPA develops and implements policies that protect public health and build a strong economy. I look forward to hearing their testimony today.