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Speeches By EPA Administrator

 

House "Regulatory Reform" Bill

03/04/1996
Statement of Carol M. Browner Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency House "Regulatory Reform" Bill


                      Prepared for Delivery
                         March 4, 1996






The Clinton Administration has been working for three years on constructive regulatory reform that protects public health and our environment through common-sense, cost-effective means. We were hopeful that the Republican Congressional leadership had heard the American people's desire for strong, common-sense environmental protection. We were hopeful, when we heard of the new regulatory reform proposal, that it might reflect that desire on the part of the public.

Unfortunately, the principle of moderation is missing, and instead we have another bill that undermines public health and environmental protection.

Under this bill, EPA could be forced to reopen every environmental rule on the books, unnecessarily subjecting rules to a resource-intensive process of review. Public health standards that have long since proved their usefulness, and new rules that are providing new and important protections to the public -- all could be subject to the same one-size-fits-all reopening.

The public's right to know about toxic chemicals in their communities, the ban on lead in gasoline, controls on toxic pollution from oil refineries, rules that keep raw sewage out of rivers, lakes, and streams -- all could be reopened. The cost to the taxpayers of this cumbersome review at EPA alone could be as high as $1 billion per year.

If the agency did not complete reviews on schedule, special interests could take vital public health protections to court and have them suspended.

I am deeply concerned that the bill would paralyze public health and environmental protection by forcing us to drop everything in order to complete an extraordinary amount of paperwork. Nor would we have the resources to protect the public from new and emerging threats such as cryptosporidium in drinking water.

Real regulatory reform protects the American people and the air, the water, and the land we all share. Instead, this bill puts polluters first, and that is not acceptable to the Clinton Administration.