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EPA Administrator Whitman Dedicates New EPA Campus in Research Triangle Park

Release Date: 05/29/2002
Contact Information:

For Immediate Release
May 29, 2002

Media Contact: Ann Brown
(919) 541-7818
(919) 605-5827 day of event

EPA Administrator Whitman Dedicates New EPA Campus in Research Triangle Park

Research Triangle Park, NC – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman today dedicated EPA’s new world-class research facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), joining federal, state and community leaders and 2,000 employees and contractors to mark the official opening of the new campus.

“When planning for this facility began in the early 1990s, our goal was clear B build state- of-the-art laboratories and offices that embody the Agency=s environmental mission and save the taxpayers money,” said Administrator Whitman. “Through our partnerships with four federal agencies, three building companies, two architectural firms, and countless others, we have built one of the largest Agreen@ buildings in the world B a model for others like it around the globe.”

Whitman commended employees at the dedication for their contributions in support of the science and air quality planning and research that have led to the protection of the environment and human health. During the ceremony, Whitman unveiled an EPA seal and plaque to commemorate the dedication. They will be placed in the lobby of the main entrance.

“But even given its innovative design and construction, the most meaningful features of the RTP Campus are the people and the important work they do,” Whitman continued. “All of you sitting here today and those who came before you should be proud of the difference you have made for the environment and human health.

The new $273 million, 1.2 million square foot campus is EPA’s largest research facility dedicated to environmental research. Recognized internationally as a model “green building,” the facility is a showcase for demonstrating how site and building design, construction practices and routine operations can reduce energy consumption, minimize impact to the environment and provide a high quality indoor environment for employees.

New EPA Campus Dedication

Among the green building achievements are the following:
  • 40 percent more energy efficient than comparable, standard-design buildings.
  • Reduction of parking area by 25 percent by providing incentives for reducing single occupant vehicles.
  • 80 percent construction waste recycled.
  • 100 percent harvesting and natural filtration of stormwater runoff – using native grass, wildflowers, woods and wetlands.

The new facility consolidates operations, replacing seven leased facilities in the Triangle area and providing state-of-the-art research laboratories and modern office space for 2,000 employees and contractors. To date, approximately 1,600 individuals have been relocated to the new campus.

The new campus is located on a 133-acre site and includes 400 separate laboratories and 2,500 other rooms, including offices, conference rooms, classrooms, auditorium, library and cafeteria. The campus also includes EPA’s National Computer Center, located in a separate 100,000 square-foot building. Construction will begin this fall for a new onsite day care center for employees of EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The new campus brings scientists and analysts together to collaborate and integrate the research vital to carrying out EPA’s mission to protect the environment and human health. The new facility, with its flexible laboratory space and other support services, provides the tools needed by scientists to meet the challenges facing the Agency to address today’s complex environmental problems.

The dedication included an EPA Science Open House for employees and scientists from Triangle area universities, state government and other organizations who are partners and collaborators with EPA. The Open House began with a panel presentation on “Science in Environmental Decision Making – Progress and Opportunities,” chaired by Dr. Paul Gilman, EPA Science Advisor and Assistant Administrator for Research and Development in Washington, DC. The panel members were: Gilman, Ms. Kim Nelson, Assistant Administrator, Office of Environmental Information in Washington, DC; Mr. Jeffrey Holmstead, AA for Office of Air and Radiation; Dr. Stan Meiburg, Deputy Regional Administrator for EPA Region 4 in Atlanta and Dr. Kenneth Olden, Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park. The panel presentation was followed by posters and exhibits highlighting EPA research activities and tours of the new facility.

The Research Triangle Park is the center of EPA’s national air research programs and air quality office responsible for issuing regulations and policies to reduce air pollution across the
country. The research has improved understanding of exposures to air pollutants and their health effects and provided new technologies for use in pollution prevention and mitigation.

Research performed in RTP has provided the scientific foundation for EPA’s air quality regulations including the National Ambient Air Quality Standards under the Clean Air Act for particulate matter, ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and lead. In addition, research has supported efforts to address hazardous air pollutants. Scientists conduct or manage a full array of air pollution research at RTP that includes clinical and laboratory research, community epidemiologic studies, air quality modeling and engineering research.

Other high-priority research conducted in RTP includes safe drinking water, risks to children from environmental contaminants, and human health risk assessments of pesticides.

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