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Ex-EPA chief warns about water issues

Published June 10, 2007


KEY WEST - Water shortages and pollution are among the top environmental challenges Americans face, a former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency said.

"Other than climate change, the most important issue we face is water, " said Christine Todd Whitman, who directed the EPA from January 2001 to June 2003. "More than 40 percent of our streams and waterways are not fishable, drinkable or swimmable."

Whitman's remarks Friday opened a two-day annual symposium on this subtropical island that discussed aspects of the late Harry S. Truman's tenure as an American president. The 2007 topic, Truman's environmental legacy, commemorated the 60th anniversary of his dedication of Everglades National Park.

Whitman said Truman raised the awareness of the American people on the importance of preserving land and resources, like water.

She added that clean water is a big issue for the nation. She said low water levels at Lake Okeechobee and Florida's recent drought were examples of water challenges.

The symposium was at the Harry S. Truman Little White House Museum, where Truman spent nearly six months during his 1945-1953 term of office.

[Last modified June 10, 2007, 00:31:04]

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