President compliments work of EPA

PRESIDENT McAleese visited the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters at Johnstown Castle and told staff that she was proud to be in their company.

The President congratulated EPA employees on the high standards they achieve, which, she said, are admired internationally.

'You promote a culture that protects and conserves our environment. You engage with all the partners you need to bring on board to make sure that Crew Ireland are helping steer the good ship earth in a direction that is sensible and good for all humankind.

During her visit, President McAleese was briefed on three new EPA citizen-based programmes that promote waste prevention and support environmental protection.

The Splash website is an innovative bathing water internet site that provides the latest results for bathing areas during the summer season, ensuring that the general public can make informed choices about where to swim.

The Environment in Focus site is a userfriendly site for those interested in information on recent environmental trends in Ireland, while the BeGreen website is a new resource bringing together all the guidelines and waste prevention programmes put in place by the EPA, local authorities and other agencies.

The President told staff that thanks to their work, we know and accept that as a society we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that the future development of our economy is proofed so as to contribute to the sustainability of the environment in which we live and work.

Mary Kelly, the EPA's director general, said the President's visit was a recognition of the importance of the environment in the daily lives of all Irish citizens and an acknowledgement of the high level of environmental protection delivered by the EPA. 'A clean, healthy environment is a national asset and must be protected and improved so that it can be handed on to future generations,' she added.

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