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Speeches By EPA Administrator

 

National Drinking Water Advisory Council Meeting Washington, D.C.

11/13/1996
Carol M. Browner
Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Drinking Water Advisory Council Meeting Washington, D.C.


Prepared for Delivery
November 13, 1996


Greetings.

It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to join with you.

Thank you for serving.

I particularly wanted to meet with you now.

Now is a critical point in ensuring safe, reliable drinking water for the American people -- perhaps the most important line of defense in protecting public health.

Progress over the past 4 years.

In the years that I have been here at EPA, we have taken a number of important steps to ensure that every community has safe water to drink -- and this group has been most helpful in advising us along the way.

1.Under Bob Perciasepe's leadership, we redirected our efforts here at EPA to focus our resources where they can be of greatest use. 2.We announced our new Partnership for Safe Drinking Water with the nation's drinking water suppliers, to take immediate protective steps to address the problem of microbial contamination. 3.We put forward our proposal for reauthorizing the SDWA -- and the principles of that proposal are reflected in the legislation that Congress passed this summer. New law -- 4 important provisions:
1.The new law will strengthen our regulations -- to provide better protection for all parts of the population; to focus our energies on the highest risks to human health; to come up with responsible solutions for microbial contamination, disinfection byproducts, radon, arsenic. 2.The new law will strengthen consumer awareness, expanding the public's right to know. 3.The new law will help us to prevent contamination in the first place -- by evaluating the capacity of new systems, promoting operator certification, and taking further steps to protect source water. 4.And finally, the new law will provide critical new money to communities across the country. Bipartisan commitment.


After two and a half years of severe attack on public health and environmental protections, it was very gratifying to see Congress come together to pass this legislation -- beginning to restore the bipartisan commitment to public health and environmental protection that served this country so well for a generation.

Next period -- tough decisions.

The next period will be critically important. We will have to make tough decisions -- over crypto, disinfection byproducts, the allocation formula for the SRF.

Our hope will be to maintain the common commitment to a common goal -- not to see the coalition splinter over how we implement the law.

This group -- important.

Your help can be vitally important.

We are very fortunate to have access to your expertise, your hard work, and your ability to represent to us both your own views and those of the communities you come from.

This group is uniquely positioned to convey the views of so many facets of the American public.

We at EPA are eager to get down to work, to take this legislation and make real what is now only on paper -- so that real people in real communities can reap real benefits.

Thank you for joining in this very important work.