Statement Of Keith Ruff
Environmental Protection Agency
Aging Initiative Public Listening Session
Iowa City, Iowa
April 15, 2003
Hello. My name is Keith Ruff. Thank you for having us here. Approximately 15 percent of this country's population have disabilities, which limit a person's abilities to participate fully in life. Some disabilities people are born with. Other disabilities are acquired through illness, accidents or people are exposed to some sort of dangerous toxins. I was born with my disability, but disability can affect people of any age, gender, religion or ethnic group. The reason I am here today is about the EPA's current proposal to devalue the lives of this country's seniors. Under the EPA's current proposal, a senior is worth 63 percent of the life of a younger person. What I am worth? Am I worth less than a non-disabled person? Am I worth less than a senior citizen? I worry that we are devaluing our own citizens and decreasing regulation which can lead to increased pollution and an unhealthy environment. Americans are interested in public servants working hard against the interest of polluters. I still hope that. I will only believe that the EPA's public servants are working hard to protect my interests against polluters when that insensitive proposal is either not adopted or even considered. Thank you.