Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I want to take a moment today to honor Robert (“Bob”) Perciasepe, the Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Bob is a true public servant and dear friend who will be departing government service shortly. He has spent the past several decades protecting our environment and his work in this regard has been exemplary. The air we and our children and grandchildren breathe and the water we drink are cleaner because of Bob Perciasepe.
Bob graduated in 1974 from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources and then received his Master’s Degree in Planning & Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University. After Bob graduated from Syracuse, he began his career in public service with the Baltimore City Planning Department in 1976, eventually becoming the City’s Assistant Director for Planning in 1986. Later, he served as the Maryland Secretary of the Environment. It was during his service in my home State of Maryland that I first had the opportunity to know and work with Bob, particularly as he worked on an issue near and dear to me – protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
Following Bob’s service in Maryland, he served President Bill Clinton in two different capacities at the EPA, first as the Assistant Administrator for Water and then as the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air & Radiation. In these positions, he continued his tireless work to improve the air we breathe and protect our drinking and recreational waters.
Bob was instrumental in working with us in Congress to pass the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act – a law that provided critical protection standards for drinking water. When he led the Office of Air & Radiation, he signed the first official finding that mercury pollution from our Nation’s power plants should be controlled.
Bob left government service but he didn’t stop working to protect human health and the environment. He went to work for the National Audubon Society, where he continued to champion conservation and environmental progress. When Barack Obama became president in 2009, Bob returned to federal service as the EPA’s Deputy Administrator and served as Acting Administrator between the tenures of Lisa Jackson and Gina McCarthy.
Bob’s dedication to public service and his practical approach to problem-solving were evident from my first interactions with him. His fun-loving nature, intellectual capacity, and devotion to duty make him an exemplary public servant. We all breathe easier – literally – because of Bob Perciasepe, so I wanted to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for his service and congratulate him on his countless contributions to protecting our Nation’s environment during his long tenure at EPA. I have no doubt that Bob will maintain his untiring commitment to the betterment of the environment in his next venture, and I wish him all the best.
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