e must ask more of ourselves, we must expect more of each other, and we must face our challenges together ... Our challenge is to leave our environment safe and clean for the next generation ... People do have a right to know that their air and their water are safe.
President Bill Clinton
Because of the progress we made during the last generation, we now have cleaner, safer air and water. We must continue to move forward. A third of us still breathe air that endangers our health. In too many communities the water is not safe to drink. Under this Adminstration, Americans are learning about environmental safety so they can take action to keep communities healthy and clean. This Administration is committed to making common-sense reforms to environmental programs and is determined to block attempts to roll back safeguards for our families food, water, and air by:
Provided international leadership to reach an agreement on a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, to provide for the complete ban of nuclear weapons testing. Issuing a Pollution Disclosure Executive Order requiring industries to disclose information about toxic releases to their neighbors and nearly doubling the number of chemicals that industries must report. Issuing new standards to cut toxic pollution from chemical plants by 90% and dangerous incinerator emissions by 98%. Signing legislation to strengthen safeguards for pesticides in food, with special protections for children. Signing legislation to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act.. Vowing to veto the lobbyist-written bill to roll back the Clean Water Act, which keeps billions of pounds of toxic pollutants and sewage out of our rivers, lakes, and streams. Launching his Brownfields initiative to return land to productive use by providing a $2 billion tax incentive to clean up old industrial-waste sites. Issuing new policy to protect consumers from E. Coli contamination in meat. Commiting $1.5 Billion over seven years to help restore the unique Florida everglades. Changing EPA rules and procedures to reduce paperwork requirements for businesses by 15 million hours and allowing businesses to write their own rules if they can do it cleaner and cheaper. Completing nearly as many toxic-waste site clean-ups in each of the past two years as were completed in the previous 12 years. The Clinton Administration fought Republican congressional attempts to gut the Superfund. Toughening the Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) enforcement programs and fighting to protect them from drastic budget cuts. Protecting America's natural treasures by:
--Establishing the 1.7 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to protect red rock canyon country of souther Utah.
--Reaching an agreement to protect Yellowstone National park from environmental hazards associated with mining.
--Reaching agreements to protect over 120,000 acres of forest lands in Prince William Sound, Alaska, through the use of funds from the Exxon Valdez oil spill settlements.
--Adding 25 units to the National Wildlife Refuge System in the last three years.
Fighting attempts to close national parks and developing a Parks for Tomorrow program to restore our national parks. Breaking through decades of conflict and negotiating a consensus plan to protect and allocate California Bay-Delta water. Vetoing a Republican congressional bill that would have opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. Issuing an Executive Order to promote recycling and cut down on solid waste. Leading the way to an international agreement to phase out the use of 12 dangerous, persistent organic pollutants worldwide, such as PCBs and DDT. Reforming Wetlands and Endangered Species programs to protect the environment better while lessening regulatory hurdles for homeowners.
Building on Our Progress
Protecting the environment will strengthen and expand our economy and create more jobs. We will all prosper in a healthier environment. The Clinton Administration is implementing technology programs to help our businesses compete in the growing global market while creating jobs for our workers. We will continue to support policies that protect our health and natural resources while making common-sense reforms to ease the burden on businesses by:
Expanding community right-to-know laws and challenging communities to use the information to work with business to cut pollution.
Announcing a bold commitment to accelerate Superfund toxic waste cleanup, nearly doubling the pace of cleanup so that approximately two-thirds of priority sites will be cleaned by 2000.
Calling for measures to expand the Brownfields initiative to cleanup and redevelop approximately 5,000 contaminated and abandoned urban properties by 2000, strengthen penalties for the worst criminal polluters, expand right-to-know laws about toxics in our communities, and make our nationís drinking water safer and cleaner.
Continuing to work with state and community leaders and businesses to find better ways to protect our natural resources and provide economic opportunities.
Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Committee, Inc.