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EPA Women's History Month Observance

                         Carol M. Browner

Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA Women's History Month Observance

                      Prepared for Delivery
                         March 27, 1996

It is a pleasure to join you in celebrating Women's History Month.

There is no question that the history of environmental protection, and the history of EPA, is bound up in the history of women in communities across America -- women who stood up to say, "We must stop the pollution. We must protect our air, our water, our land, our health, the health of our children, the health of our families."

Over the past generation, thousands and thousands of ordinary women spoke up, made demands, and organized in their communities. Other women worked in industry and in government to find the environmental solutions that work for real people in real communities.

And the result is the public health and environmental progress we have made over the past 25 years, the environmental laws and protections we enjoy today.

The Clinton Administration has acted to continue that proud tradition of environmental progress. It has been my privilege to work with you to expand the public's Right to Know about toxic chemicals in their communities -- providing women in communities with additional tools that they can use to protect themselves and their families.

Together, we have taken action to reduce air pollution from chemical plants, from landfills, from incinerators. We have taken action to improve the safety of our drinking water, to protect the public from cryptosporidium. We have made Superfund work faster, fairer, and more efficiently.

We have acted to turn around our environmental research and standard-setting -- to ensure that we protect all our citizens -- not just the 154-pound man who was the basis for health standards in the past, but all men, all women, all children. This Administration is devoting more resources to women's health research, children's health research -- to make sure that we protect all Americans in all communities.

President Clinton's budget will allow us to continue our progress. But as you know, the Republican Congressional leadership has launched the most sweeping attack on public health and environmental protection ever. They would limit the Community Right to Know, roll back environmental laws, and take away the resources we need to protect the public.

The American people have been absolutely clear that they continue to want strong public health and environmental protection. This Administration has been strongly committed to upholding those protections, and that commitment will continue.

I want to thank you for your own dedication and commitment during this very difficult time. The strongest resource we have in upholding public health and environmental protections is the work you do every day.

By doing our jobs, by serving the public to the best of our ability, day by day we continue the legacy of those women who came before us -- women who gave their passion, their caring, and their energy to pass on a safe, healthy world to future generations. Again, I want to thank you for all that you do.