Environmental Protection Agency

Carol M. Browner, Administrator

Mission Statement

The mission of the United States Environmental Protection Agency is to protect public health and to safeguard and improve the natural environment -- air, water, and land -- upon which human life depends. EPA's purpose is to ensure that:

Summary Budget Information

FY 1993 (Actual) FY 1996 (Budgeted)
Budget Staff Budget Staff
$6.928 billion 17,479$6.523 billion 17,416

Reinvention Highlights

Three and a half years ago, when President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and I came to Washington, we were determined to build on the environmental successes of the past 25 years. We committed to take a series of common-sense, high-priority actions to change our system of environmental regulation -- to move beyond mere regulation to true protection and to streamline the means by which we guarantee these protections.

As President Clinton has said, our philosophy of reinvention is simple: Protect people, not bureaucracy; promote results, not rules; get action, not rhetoric.

Today, the changes we have made are reaping benefits for business, strengthening environmental protection, and achieving real results for communities across the country.

Paperwork and Red Tape Reduction. Fifteen-million hours of paperwork burden required of business and communities at the beginning of 1995 are no longer required of them. This includes 12-million hours from requirements changed or deleted, and three-million hours from requirements completed or expired. By the end of 1996, we expect to eliminate another eight million hours of paperwork, including 4.5-million hours from requirements changed or deleted, and 3.5-million hours from requirements completed or expired -- time that will no longer be spent filling out needless forms.

Good Faith Efforts by Business. We lowered penalties for small business owners who come forward with a commitment to fix environmental problems. To meet the needs of small businesses for precise, easy-to-use information on how best to comply with environmental laws, we are establishing Small Business Compliance Assistance Centers.

But for those intransigent polluters -- those who carelessly disregard their responsibility to protect our air and water -- the public has every right to demand that their government take swift, aggressive enforcement action. And we have taken that action. We have collected the largest penalties ever from those who violate the law, those who pollute the air, the water, the land.

Innovation and Flexibility. Through our cutting-edge program called Project XL -- for excellence and leadership -- businesses work with their communities not just to meet environmental requirements, but to exceed the minimum and get better environmental results than ever. Our Common Sense Initiative and Environmental Leadership Program also challenge companies to take innovative approaches to controlling pollution.

Our Performance Partnerships give states and tribes the flexibility they need to target federal environmental funds to meet the particular environmental needs of their communities.

Community Participation in Public Health and Environmental Protection. We strengthened the public's right to know about toxic pollution in their communities, expanding both the number of companies that must report about pollution and the number of toxic chemicals on which they must report.

We launched the Brownfields Action Agenda to provide seed money and tax incentives to clean up the idle, abandoned industrial properties that dot the cities of this country and once again turn them into centers of economic activity. We removed 27,000 sites from the database of potential Superfund sites, clearing the way for redevelopment.

Strengthened Public Health Standards. This Administration, in accordance with the Clean Air Act, adopted new air toxic standards that should result in a reduction of 2.5 million tons of toxic air pollution per year. We set tough standards for dioxin emissions that will achieve a 99 percent reduction in dioxin emissions from municipal incinerators. We banned the use of dangerous pesticides.

The Clinton Administration set the first-ever toxic water quality standards for all of the Great Lakes -- lakes that provide drinking water for 23 million people. We negotiated a consensus plan to protect the San Francisco Bay Delta and announced a bold new plan to protect the Everglades. Through the voluntary Partnership for Safe Drinking Water, EPA worked with water suppliers to protect the public from drinking water contamination.

This Administration accelerated the pace of cleanup of toxic waste dump sites by 20 percent and significantly reduced the cost. In just three years, we completed cleanup of more toxic waste sites than in the previous 12 years of the Superfund cleanup program.

A Healthy Economy Begets a Healthier Environment. By changing the system, by strengthening the standards, by enforcing the law, we can enjoy the benefits of a healthy environment and a healthy economy. President Clinton has always believed that environmental protection and a growing economy can and must go hand in hand -- that we do not have to choose between our jobs and our health.

Today, unemployment is at its lowest in six years. Inflation is in check. Under the Clinton Administration, the economy has delivered over 10-million new jobs, two-million new businesses, and 4.4-million new homeowners. At the same time, toxic pollution from industry declined by more than 19 percent between 1992 and 1994 -- alone the latest years for which we have figures. A healthy economy begets a healthier environment; a healthy environment, in turn, a stronger economy.


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