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Bringing Government And Public To Common Ground On The Environment

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By Sara Sciammocco

As he settles into his new role as chairman of an appropriations subcommittee, Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia, is visiting with employees of different federal agencies to discuss their work and priorities.

He held a town hall-style meeting at the EPA with Administrator Lisa Jackson and several dozen of the agency's employees.

During the meeting, Congressman Moran encouraged EPA employees to put aside partisan politics and ignore interest groups and others who “reflect the corporate fear of 'the agency'.”

“You don’t have to be trying to persuade people to do anything, just give them the facts and let them make up their mind," says Moran.

Moran also toured the agency’s high-tech emergency operations center. There, employees help manage disasters and communicate with field workers.

“I think what the most important things that the Obama Administration has done is to turn back to the scientists to try to get objective verification about what otherwise would be theory and hunch," he says.

Moran went on to say that civic activism is key to reducing air pollution and that he would like more school students involved in monitoring water quality.

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