[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ EPA report on reinventing environmental reg. system

Enviro-Mich message from "MICHAEL W. MURRAY" <MURRAY@nwf.org>

Upbeat press release below announcing report from EPA on reinventing
the U.S. environmental regulatory system. At least Carol Browner
recognizes (paragraph 5) that not all "reform" results in more efficient
government programs and benefits to citizens and the environment.

  Mike Murray



EPA has achieved real progress in reinventing the nation's environmental
regulatory system, according to a new report released today by the
Agency.  The improvements in environmental regulation are part of the
Clinton Administration's broad-based, overall reinvention effort to make
government work better and more cost effectively for all citizens,
communities and businesses.

Vice President Al Gore said, "This Administration is reinventing
government to make it more efficient and more responsive, and part of
that is common-sense reform of our environmental programs.  We're
cutting red tape, we're working with industry on pollution prevention, and
we're giving people the information they need to keep their 
families safe.  We're protecting the environment, and growing the
economy at the same time." 

"As a result of the Clinton Administration's efforts, EPA is doing more
today than ever before to protect public health and the environment with
far less cost and regulatory burden," said EPA Administrator Carol M.
Browner.  "We are making good on this Administration's commitment that
environmental protection and economic growth can go hand 
in hand."

     EPA's reinvention efforts began in March 1995 in response to Vice
President Gore's challenge to all federal agencies and departments to
create a federal government that is more efficient and costs less.

     "There is a right way to bring about change, and there is a wrong
way," Browner said.  "EPA will continue to provide innovative reforms
that promise greater environmental protection at less cost.  However, we
also will continue to fight those actions, proposed under the guise of
reform, that would roll back basic protections that benefit the health of
our people and our children."
     EPA's new report, entitled "The Changing Nature of Environmental and
Public Health Protection," tracks the success of EPA's reinvention efforts
over the past three years, including:

     Dramatic increases in the public's access to environmental information
and agency data.  The Clinton Administration is committed to the idea that
effective environmental protection begins with the broadest public 
access to information about pollution and environmental matters.

       As a result of improvements to EPA's website, visits to the site have
increased from less than a hundred thousand per month to over 27
million last month.

       For the first time ever, consumers will begin receiving reports from
their local providers on the quality of their drinking water. 

       Citizens now know more about toxic chemicals in their communities
through expansion of EPA's Public Right To Know Program.  The total
number of facilities reporting under the Toxic Release Inventory has
expanded by about 25 percent.

       Labels on pesticides and other household products are being written
in clear, easy-to-understand English to ensure safe use. 

       Vacationers will soon have access better to information on whether
beaches and coastal areas are safe for swimming.
     Significant reductions in paperwork and regulatory burdens.  The
Clinton Administration is making the largest effort ever undertaken by the
federal government to eliminate needless paperwork and weed out or
streamline frustrating bureaucratic procedures.   

       At EPA, over 1,300 pages of obsolete or duplicative environmental
requirements have been taken off of the books.

       The previous regulatory burden has been slashed by 20 million
hours, a savings of $600 million.

       Administrative reforms to the Superfund program has resulted in
more sites being cleaned up in the past five years of the program than in
its first 12 years.  Today, as a result of these reforms, cleanups are 20
percent faster and 20 percent less costly.

     New ways to prevent and control pollution that promise to move
beyond the old command-and-control approach.  Under new programs,
EPA is testing innovative ways to achieve greater environmental
protection while giving increased flexibility to those who know industrial
facilities best -- the people who manage those facilities.
       Through the Common Sense Initiative, which explores the possibility
of enhanced environmental protection through cooperative agreements
with entire industrial sectors, the metal finishing industry has adopted a
set of unprecedented performance goals.  These goals, which could
affect as many as 11,000 firms nationwide, could cut toxic emissions
from the industry by up to 75 percent compared to 1992 levels.

       Incentives for obtaining greater environmental protection now are
being incorporated into rulemaking.  For example, a major rule recently
issued to control pollution from the pulp and paper industry allows
companies a compliance delay if they commit to go beyond current
requirements and install more advanced technologies. 

       Under Project XL, which allows more flexibility to individual facilities
in exchange for greater environmental protection, EPA is currently
working with 27 different companies.  The Merck pharmaceutical
company, for example, gained a streamlined environmental permitting
process for a Virginia plant so it could introduce needed new products to
market more quickly.  In return, Merck agreed to go beyond compliance
with air quality standards and reduce its total air emissions by 20
percent, an action that is expected to improve visibility and 
reduce acid rain in nearby Shenandoah National Park.
     The report as well as the executive summary can be found on EPA's
web site at:   http://www.epa.gov/reinvent. 

R-36           	              # # #

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"