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Anacostia River Cleanup

                         Carol M. Browner

Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

                     Anacostia River Cleanup
                        Washington, D.C.

                      Prepared for Delivery
                         April 23, 1996

I want to thank Bob Stanton for his introduction. It is a pleasure to be here with Secretary Babbitt and Councilman Chavous to work with the people of Anacostia clean up the river. Clean, fresh water helps keep our communities healthy and thriving. I want to thank all of you who are here today for all you have done to act as responsible stewards of your community.

Twenty-six years ago, on the very first Earth Day, Americans joined together to say, "We must stop the pollution. We must protect our health, our air, our water, our land. We must protect our children's future."

Community by community, we joined together -- just as all of you have joined together -- and we made progress.

The Clinton Administration is working with communities across this country to continue the progress. We're cleaning up toxic waste dumps, cleaning up the old industrial properties in the heart of our neighborhoods that have lain contaminated and abandoned for too long and returning them to productive community use. We put in place tough new controls on incinerators. We expanded the public's Right to Know about toxic chemicals in the community -- giving people the information they need to stop industrial pollution in their own backyard. And we imposed the biggest fines in history on irresponsible polluters.

All of this progress has been achieved despite the fact that over the past two years we have experienced the most severe assault on public health and environmental protection in decades.

Environmental protection is under greater attack today than at any time since the first Earth Day 26 years ago. Vital protections are at risk -- protections of our health, our air, our water, our communities, our children's future.

The American people do not want a rollback of public health and environmental protection. The American people are not saying that the air is clean enough, the water is clean enough. The job is not done. Our commitment cannot waver.

President Clinton has stood firm for our health, our communities, our children's future. And the President will continue to stand firm.

Let us remember that protecting our environment means protecting where we live and how we live. Earth Day means more than planting a tree. It means planning our children's future.

Let us join together to continue the commitment to public health and environmental protection. Together, we can be proud to pass along a safe, clean, secure world to our children and our children's children.