Statement Of Al J. Notzon, III
Environmental Protection Agency
Aging Initiative Public Listening Session
San Antonio, Texas
April 8, 2003
Executive Director, Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG)
As the director of the Alamo Area Council of Governments, it has always been interesting to see in this 12-county area how issues of growth have affected our region in different ways. The economy, aging, and the environment has affected our region in different ways. I was very pleased when I was told that we were going to marry two of the components that are part of the Council of Governments, one being aging and Carol Zernial, who is our Area Agency on Aging Director for Bexar County, is the person I look to for representing the needs of senior citizens, not just in terms of services provided but also some of the long term issues confronting seniors. I look to Peter Bella, who is our director of natural resources and who is my environmental guru. We have always had those two functions and I know that as we were talking about air quality, the effect on seniors was always one of the issues we talked about. It was not something that we considered to be separate but that you had programmatic issues that affected seniors whether we were dealing with criminal justice or the environment. This listening session today is a great opportunity for me to hear from the seniors themselves. My perception is that there is very definitely a linkage between the environment and aging and vice versa. The aged have a contribution to make in terms their learning experiences as that reflects on changes to the environment. I think this is an opportunity for cross-fertilization. The only question I have, after talking with Dr. Miles here, is about whether the elderly do not handle stress as well as younger persons. My staff and my children will tell you that as I have gotten older I have gotten calmer and I handle stress better. On a personal sample of one, I say that I am calmer and handle stress better since I am older. But my staff may disagree with me. Thank you for being here. I look forward to hearing your comments.