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EPA Administrator Commemorates Oklahoma Lab's 40th Anniversary, Recognizes Contributions to Nation's Science

Release Date: 06/08/2006
Contact Information: Roger Cosby, 580-436-8512 / or Pati Schultz, 513-207-4094 /

(Dallas, Texas - June 8, 2006) Today U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson praised the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center for providing sound science in support of ground water and ecosystem protection decisions.

"President Bush values sound science and understands it is the basis for EPA's achievements and the genesis for our future successes," Administrator Johnson said. "The decades of high-quality scientific research produced by the Ada lab continue to allow the agency to hand down a cleaner, healthier environment to the next generation of Americans."

The facility in Ada, Okla., is EPA's primary center for expertise related to ground water and the subsurface environment. It conducts research in ground water restoration, ecosystem restoration, concentrated animal feeding operations and ground water protection.

The center's scientists were the first to recognize the importance of subsurface biodegradation of organic contaminants by naturally occurring microorganisms. They did ground-breaking work on the use of subsurface bioremediation for cleaning up subsurface contamination. They provided the science underlying most of EPA's guidance on using monitored natural chemical breakdown processes as a risk management technique.

The facility was the first EPA laboratory to recognize hard-to-treat chemicals (dense nonaqueous phase liquids or DNAPLs) at Superfund sites. Its research on permeable reactive barriers has been internationally recognized.

Currently, the Kerr laboratory is pioneering work on managing concentrated animal feeding operations' impacts on ground water. It is also pursuing major new work on how stream restoration benefits water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

For more information about the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center, visit