Acting EPA administrator Horinko lauds Leavitt nomination as new administrator

President George W. Bush has announced his intent to nominate Governor Mike Leavitt of Utah as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Aug. 14, 2003 -- President George W. Bush has announced his intent to nominate Governor Mike Leavitt of Utah as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Acting Administrator Marianne Horinko, who has been serving in the position since July 12, had the following comment:

"I look forward to welcoming Governor Leavitt to the Agency as EPA Administrator. This is a great Agency with an important mission - to protect human health and the environment. Governor Leavitt will enjoy working with the dedicated and passionate people here, as I do. We will do everything we can to help facilitate a smooth and speedy transition, and will work with Governor Leavitt to achieve the important environmental goals put forth by this Administration."

Governor Leavitt is currently the longest serving state chief executive in the country, an honor known as the "Dean of Governors." He has served as Utah's governor since 1993, and he is the former chair of the National Governors Association, the Western Governors Association, the Republican Governors Association and the Council of State Governments. Governor Leavitt is a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and he chairs the state and local government subcommittee.

Governor Leavitt has led Utah and other western states to significant environmental improvements through leadership, consensus building and partnerships. Today, Utah meets all federal air quality standards. This was not the case at the beginning of the Leavitt Administration. Utah also has the nation's cleanest watersheds, and they have improved significantly during his tenure.

Seventy-three percent of Utah's streams currently meet federal water quality standards, compared to 59 percent a decade ago. And Utah's most environmentally-sensitive lands are better protected because of his service. He protected 500,000 acres of Utah's state lands that are surrounded by national parks, monuments, recreation areas and wilderness study areas.

He also helped establish Utah's Quality Growth Commission, which has conserved approximately 35,000 acres of critical land forever, protecting wildlife, watersheds, and historical and agricultural assets in the state, the White House press office said.

Under Governor Leavitt's leadership, Utah has ranked as the best financially-managed state in the nation by USA Today in June 2003. In 2002, Utah successfully hosted the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Prior to being elected to governor, Mr. Leavitt joined the Leavitt Group, a regional insurance firm. He eventually became president and chief executive officer of the company, establishing it as one of the top insurance brokers in America. He also was a member of the Utah State Board of Regents, overseeing the state's nine colleges and universities. Governor Leavitt earned his bachelor's degree in economics and business from Southern Utah State University.

The full remarks of President Bush regarding the selection can be viewed at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/08/20030811-2.html.

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