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Speeches By EPA Administrator

 

Introduction of Innovative Environmental Strategies Act Washington, D.C.

10/30/1997
               Carol M. Browner, Administrator
             U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                               
                Remarks Prepared for Delivery
   Introduction of Innovative Environmental Strategies Act
                        Washington, DC
                       October 30, 1997



     Thank you Senator Lieberman for that introduction.  More importantly, thank you for
taking this step to increase public health and the environmental protection in ways that make sense
for America's businesses -- and for it citizens, as well.


     Since the day we took office more than four-and-a-half years ago, the Clinton
Administration has constantly strived, under Vice President Gore's leadership, to "reinvent" our
system of environmental regulation.


     Our foremost goal, of course, is to protect the public health.  That always comes first.
But we believe that by working in partnership with businesses and their surrounding communities,
we can achieve better environmental results while, at the same time, reducing red tape and
bringing more common sense to the system.


     Our efforts have focused primarily on moving beyond the one-size-fits-all approaches of
the past, and seeking to work with industries and challenge them to go beyond what the law
requires -- to encourage them to innovate and to try out new approaches -- and to give them the
flexibility they need to protect the environment it in an affordable way.


     In addition, we want people in our communities to have greater opportunities to become
more fully involved in the process.


     Better environmental results, the flexibility to achieve them, and more community
involvement -- these are the underpinnings of EPA's Project XL initiative.


     "XL" stands for excellence and leadership.  This cutting-edge program offers companies
with a proven track record of environmental performance the opportunity to find cleaner, cheaper,
smarter ways of protecting the environment.


     It is based on a simple notion -- if you have an idea that promises something superior to
what could be achieved under the current regulatory system, and if you involve stakeholders in the
community, then we will work with you to get you the flexibility needed to put your idea to the
test.


     This approach is at the very heart of the legislation Senator Lieberman is introducing
today.


     By building upon our administrative initiatives, this legislation will provide even more
certainty and encouragement to Project XL participants.


     By doing that, it will enable us to build more of these kinds of partnerships.  It will enable
us to pilot new approaches to environmental protection.  It will enable more companies to join
this initiative.  It will bring more communities into the process.  And, in the end, it will mean a
cleaner and healthier environment.


     This legislation is an example of how we can move forward and change our regulatory
system the right way, the most constructive way -- and, most importantly, the way that ensures
that public health and the environment are protected.


     Senator Lieberman, again, thank you for all your hard work on this bill.  We look forward
to working with you, the states and the stakeholders as you guide it through the legislative
process.


     I believe enactment of this legislation will pay huge dividends in the years to come --
industries that are more competitive, a system of environmental regulation that is more sensible
and more effective, and cleaner, healthier communities for future generations of Americans.


     Thank you.