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PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES NEW ACTIONS TO CLEAN UP POLLUTED WATERS
Release Date: 08/16/99
- United States Communications, Education,
Environmental Protection And Media Relations
FOR RELEASE: MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 1999
EMBARGOED UNTIL 10:06 A.M. EDT, SATURDAY, AUG. 14, 1999
PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES NEW ACTIONS
TO CLEAN UP POLLUTED WATERS
TO CLEAN UP POLLUTED WATERS
In this week’s radio address, President Clinton announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is unveiling a new proposal to achieve clean waters across America. Based on a detailed inventory of the nation’s waters, more than 20,000 rivers, lakes and estuaries across the country are still polluted. Through this proposal, EPA is taking the necessary steps to meet tough, clean water standards by requiring comprehensive cleanup plans that will share pollution reduction responsibilities among
all sources to the nation’s waterways, resulting in rivers, lakes and streams that are fishable and swimmable.
"We’re taking new action to ensure that every river, lake and bay in America is clean and safe. The EPA will work in partnership with states to assess the state of all our waterways - to identify the most polluted waters, and to develop strong, enforceable plans to restore them to health," said President Clinton. "These steps will chart a course to clean up 20,000 waterways and ensure that they remain safe for generations to come."
"To address the remaining water pollution challenges we must now focus our efforts river by river; lake by lake; beach by beach; community by community," said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. "Recognizing that no two pollution challenges are identical, EPA is proposing to require site-specific cleanup plans for all remaining polluted waterbodies."
Despite tremendous progress in the quarter-century since the Clean Water Act was passed, 40 percent of America’s surveyed waterways remain too polluted for fishing and swimming. The Clean Water Action Plan, launched by the President last year, provides communities with new resources to reduce dirty runoff and other threats to water quality. Today's proposal would strengthen EPA’s "total maximum daily load" requirements to help restore 20,000 waterways nationwide. Under the proposed rule, states will:
In developing and implementing these new watershed-based cleanup plans, all pollution sources will participate in the restoration effort -- from factories to farms, sewer systems to city streets. Pollution reductions will be shared among point and non-point sources of pollution, and will be achieved using detailed implementation plans required under the proposed regulations. In order to provide reasonable assurance that water quality standards will be met, the proposal clarifies the authority of the states and EPA to regulate certain sources of polluted runoff where necessary to restore clean water.
For more information about the 20,000 threatened or impaired waterbodies, visit EPA’s web page at https://www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl on the Internet, which will be accessible as of 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14, 1999. Two proposed regulations will be published soon in the Federal Register that revise regulations for the Total Maximum Daily Load program and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and Water Quality Standards programs. Public comments will be accepted for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. Copies of the proposals will be available on the web page cited above. As of Wednesday, Aug. 18, 1999, further information on the proposal will be available by calling 202-401-4078.