Speeches By EPA Administrator
Environmental Technology Challenge05/28/1996
| Carol M. Browner|
Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Technology Challenge
Prepared for Delivery
May 28, 1996
I want to thank Mayor Schmoke for the opportunity to be with you today. It is a pleasure to join all of you -- business
leaders, community leaders, environmental leaders -- as the City of Baltimore takes an important step into the future.
The City of Baltimore is recognized across this country as a leader in urban revitalization. We've seen Harbor Place. We've
seen Camden Yards. Today, Baltimore leads the way once again -- challenging yourselves and challenging communities
throughout the nation to pursue economic development in ways that protect our environment and renew our communities.
The Clinton Administration is committed to continuing to work with you to meet that challenge.
I want to begin my very brief remarks with a special announcement.
Many of you may be aware that several months ago, President Clinton launched a program called Project XL -- which
stands for excellence and leadership. Under Project XL, the Clinton Administration selects 50 businesses and communities
and challenges them to use their creativity -- not just to comply with the minimum environmental standards, but to exceed
those standards. Because the system must do more than just seek the minimum -- we must demand the best.
Today it gives me great pleasure to announce that EPA has selected your eco-industrial park, here in Baltimore, to
participate in Project XL. Through Project XL, EPA will give you the flexibility you need to find innovative ways to recycle,
to cut down on air and water pollution, to reduce waste, to conserve energy, to find cleaner, cheaper, smarter ways to do
business -- new strategies that are good for the economy, good for the environment, and good for the community.
I want to congratulate the Baltimore Development Corporation and the people of Baltimore on this very exciting endeavor.
We look forward to working with you.
The community where your new eco-industrial park is located has also been designated as a federal Empowerment Zone --
one of 105 areas across the country that have been selected to receive tax incentives and other resources, to help bring in
new businesses, a new tax base, new jobs, new hope.
The Clinton Administration's Brownfields Action Agenda is also bringing resources to Baltimore. Baltimore has been selected
as one of 40 cities that will receive up to $200,000 from EPA to help you clean up and redevelop the abandoned and
contaminated properties that have long lain idle in the heart of urban neighborhoods.
Citizens, developers, lenders, and builders are coming together to bring these places back to life -- to transform them from
idle and dilapidated eyesores into busy, bustling centers of business and community life.
Finally, Mayor Schmoke has asked that I make a special mention of the Environmental Justice Project that EPA has launched
in partnership with the communities that surround your eco-industrial park.
Every community has a right to clean air, clean water, and land that is safe to live on. There is no doubt in my mind that an
informed, involved community will always do a better job of solving environmental problems than some distant bureaucracy.
Working together, we can ensure that members of the community are full, active participants in protecting their health, their
air, their water, their land.
Over the past two years, we have experienced the most severe Congressional assault on public health and environmental
protection in decades.
In the face of that assault, President Clinton stood firm for public health and environmental protection. As a result, vital
protections are in place and will remain in place. Today, thanks to tough enforcement of the Clean Air Act, 50 million
Americans in 55 cities are breathing cleaner air. Under President Clinton's leadership, we have achieved the biggest drop in
toxic air pollution in history.
This Administration has cleaned up more toxic waste sites than in the previous 12 years of the program.
We expanded the public's right to know about toxic chemicals released in their neighborhoods, giving communities new tools
for stopping pollution.
At the same time, we cut red tape for honest business owners by eliminating 10 million hours of paperwork.
President Clinton has always believed that environmental protection and economic progress can and must go hand in hand.
We do not have to choose between our health and our jobs. In fact, the two are inextricably linked.
Today, the combined rate of unemployment and inflation is at its lowest level since 1968. Under the Clinton Administration,
we have 8.4 million new jobs, 2 million new businesses, 3.6 million new homeowners. Here in Maryland, 70,000 new jobs.
During the same period, toxic pollution from industry has steadily declined. For 1993, the last year for which we have figures,
toxic pollution was down more than 12 percent, in just one year.
A healthy economy begets a healthier environment; a healthy environment -- a stronger economy.
Now, President Clinton has called on all Americans to come together, to restore the bipartisan commitment to the
environment that served this nation so well for the past generation. And that is what all of you are doing today.
The business leaders, the community leaders, the Mayor and the government of Baltimore are showing the nation that
protecting our environment means protecting where we live and how we live. It means protecting our health, the health of our
economy, the health of our communities, our children's future.
Let us continue to work together -- so that all of us and our children and our grandchildren can enjoy a healthy and a
prosperous life. Together, we can meet any challenge, achieve any goal.