Statement on Earth Day 1990

by William K. Reilly
[EPA press release - April 20, 1990]

This Earth Day affirms a fundamental need a hope, perhaps even a growing demand that the activities of people can produce real bounty for our society without harming public health, without jeopardizing the productivity of the natural systems on inspiration nature provides. Earth Day this year comes with a special promise to Americans because - thanks to President Bush and the U.S. Congress - we are on the threshold of a new, long-overdue Clean Air Act, complete with the first-ever program from international to domestic.

High among these new priorities is the need to reduce the excessive amount of pollution we generate in this country - to promote recycling, use less toxics in commerce, in our households, and in our places of work. Preventing regulations but actually producing far less pollution is the impetus for the next wave of environmental action. Pollution prevention is fast becoming the yardstick by which future progress on the environment will be measured.