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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
Administrator's Preamble to the Regulatory Plan
Over the nearly 25 years since its formation, the Environmental 
Protection Agency has overseen a remarkably successful effort to rid 
our Nation of the most unsightly and obvious effects of pollution. Many 
of America's rivers and streams are now restored to healthful 
recreational uses, and on any given day the air most Americans breathe 
is pure enough for all but the most vulnerable populations. We have 
made a good start in cleaning up the most threatening incidences of 
abandoned hazardous waste, and we have in place a ``cradle-to-grave'' 
network to control the indiscriminate disposal of new waste.
Undeniably, we have made a great deal of progress in a very short time. 
Not only have we committed ourselves to the cleanup of pollution, we 
have formed the national will to prevent its recurrence by thoughtful 
management and prevention.
The Job Ahead
As good as this record is, it does not tell the whole story. In some 
areas population growth and its accompanying environmental stresses 
have outpaced our efforts. In others, even as we have dealt 
successfully with many of the largest and most palpable sources of 
pollutants, we have uncovered evidence of other, more subtle dangers 
that continue to threaten our health and well-being. For example:

<bullet> Thirty years after Rachel Carson warned us in her book, 
            ``Silent Spring,'' to reduce our dependence on pesticides, 
            we have doubled our use of pesticides.
<bullet> Twenty-five years after the garbage-filled Cuyahoga River 
            spontaneously caught fire, 40 percent of our rivers and 
            lakes are not suitable for fishing or swimming.
<bullet> In 1993, residents of major U.S. cities--Milwaukee, New York, 
            and Washington, DC--were ordered to boil their water. In 
            Milwaukee, thousands got sick from contaminated water; some 
            died.
<bullet> Twenty years after passage of the Clean Air Act, one in four 
            Americans lives in an area where air quality does not meet 
            Federal standards. Meanwhile, asthma--a condition 
            aggravated by this remaining pollution--is on the rise.
<bullet> Fourteen years after Love Canal, one in four Americans lives 
            within four miles of a toxic dumpsite.
So, despite our success to date, much remains to be done.
Following the President's Lead
As one of the principal regulatory agencies in the Federal Government, 
EPA is acutely aware of its responsibility to protect public health and 
the environment in a flexible manner that does not place undue burden 
on the economy. The President has pointed out that the long-term 
strength of our economy is inextricably linked to the health of the 
environment, and vice-versa. Nevertheless, the current costs of our 
environmental investments are substantial, and the decision to pay 
those costs is often a difficult one. Therefore, EPA subscribes to the 
principles the President laid out in Executive Order 12866 to ensure 
that regulatory agencies exercise their authority prudently.
EPA seeks nonregulatory solutions whenever they can assuredly achieve 
environmental goals. When regulation is required by either law or 
circumstance, the Agency seeks to produce rules that forthrightly 
implement the law, protect public health and our Nation's ecosystems, 
and--when legally allowable--specifically account for the costs imposed 
on society. In setting environmental priorities and levels of control, 
EPA routinely analyzes the risks of pollution when legal and 
appropriate. In addition, the Agency continues to increase its outreach 
to partners in State and local government, as well as to 
environmentalists, industry, and other affected parties, to make sure 
environmental decisions reflect the best information available about 
both the problem at hand and appropriate, affordable solutions.
EPA's Common Sense Initiative
One of the specific ways in which EPA is addressing the President's 
directives is through the Common Sense Initiative, in which the Agency 
and outside groups will undertake a cooperative investigation of 
cheaper ways to provide cleaner outcomes. One consequence of EPA's 
historical approach to regulation is that any given regulated entity 
may find itself bound by a number of environmental requirements that 
are not coordinated to achieve efficiency at the point of compliance. A 
firm may find itself responding to air, water, land, and toxic-
substance controls that appear duplicative or unnecessarily burdensome. 
As a result of the regulatory burden, however, these firms are 
discouraged from making investments that might very well protect the 
environment better at a lower overall cost. While there are good 
reasons to impose multiple requirements from the perspective of 
national program management, EPA is looking for solutions to problems 
that make sense not only nationally, but also locally, where real 
people make real investments to protect the environment.
EPA's Common Sense Initiative will do something about this. The Agency 
is reaching out to several sectors of industry to examine the real 
impacts of multiple requirements at the industry/local level. For this 
initial round of discussions EPA has selected the following industries: 
auto manufacture, electronics, iron and steel, metal finishing, 
petroleum refining, and printing. Agency staff and managers intend to 
listen to industry, environmentalists, State and local governments, and 
others to learn just how multiple environmental requirements are 
working at their points of intersection.
When this process turns up ways to improve the environmental 
performance of these industries by providing cheaper, more flexible 
ways to comply with our requirements, EPA will work to bring about this 
``cheaper'' solution. In return, the Agency will look to these 
industries to identify even more effective strategies to control 
pollution in their plants and communities, so that the public benefits 
from a ``cleaner'' solution as well. By pursuing this ``cheaper, 
cleaner'' strategy with these initial industries, EPA hopes to learn 
how to better effect national environmental controls that also make 
sense locally.
Some of the areas the Common Sense Initiative will explore are: 
pollution prevention, alternative compliance mechanisms, reform of data 
management and recordkeeping (especially introduction of electronic 
reporting), review and reform of existing regulations, coordinating 
multiple new rulemakings across program lines, multimedia permitting, 
and the introduction of improved environmental technology.
Strategic Themes
In laying out its agenda under the Clinton Administration, EPA has been 
guided by several major concepts that will revolutionize not only the 
Agency, but also the way all participants think about the design and 
delivery of environmental protection. Even when a statute directs EPA 
to undertake rulemaking that will, by all outward signs, produce a 
traditional command-and-control regulation, Agency managers are using 
these concepts to guide our definition of the problem, our outreach to 
the public, and our regulatory determinations. To one extent or 
another, all of the regulations highlighted in this first Regulatory 
Plan reflect the central strategic themes described below.
A New Generation of Environmental Protection
The Vice President has challenged all of us to join him on a bold new 
path to revolutionize the Federal Government by making it more 
efficient and responsive to its customers, the American people. EPA has 
eagerly joined him in this undertaking in numerous ways. Perhaps most 
indicative of EPA's new direction is its willingness to attempt more 
flexible methods to achieve desirable results for the environment. All 
of EPA's policy actions will benefit from these new attitudes and 
approaches.
Ecosystem Protection
EPA's mission has always been to protect public health and the 
environment from the effects of environmental pollution. However, for a 
variety of reasons, EPA has concentrated a preponderance of its effort 
on health protection over the past 20 years. Today the Agency is moving 
to restore the balance between public health and ecological protection, 
because a natural environment that will not sustain abundant life in 
all its forms cannot long sustain life for the human species. In this 
plan there are regulatory actions resulting from EPA's work with 
States, localities, other Federal agencies, and such private interests 
as the agricultural community to protect and restore vital ecosystems 
to nurturing health. Actions emphasizing this theme are those affecting 
the San Francisco Bay Delta, Great Lakes Water Quality, and Endangered 
Species.
Environmental Justice
Social inequity is a fact of life in the United States, as it is 
throughout the world. When it takes the form of inordinate 
environmental risk imposed upon those who are poor or otherwise 
powerless, EPA must engage itself in reversing that injustice. 
America's young, especially poor and minority children, are frequently 
at the mercy of a world ordered primarily for the convenience of 
adults. They are particularly susceptible to long-term damage from 
exposure to lead--damage in the form of lung disorders, learning 
disabilities, and more. In this Regulatory Plan, EPA proposes to expand 
our regulation of lead contamination by identifying lead-based hazards 
in paint, soil, and dust. While such action will support improved 
protection for all population groups, a principal beneficiary will be 
the children of the poor, all too many of whom are unsuspectingly 
exposed to this insidious hazard.
Pollution Prevention
In recent years EPA has emphasized the prevention of pollution as the 
most efficient alternative to cleaning up after the damage has been 
done. The Clinton Administration is committed to maintaining this 
eminently sensible direction. If there were ever a prescription for 
cheaper, cleaner environmental protection, it surely involves pollution 
prevention at its core. In this Regulatory Plan there are a number of 
actions that promote pollution prevention as a major emphasis. For 
instance, EPA is preparing regulations to guide Risk Management 
Planning for the prevention of accidental chemical releases. This rule 
will not only assist industry in adopting appropriate safeguards for 
prevention of accidents, it will also provide further incentive for the 
minimization of hazardous chemicals in the community.
EPA's plan to expand the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), which will 
require reporting of more chemicals by more types of facilities, will 
strengthen one of the most significant tools for pollution prevention 
yet devised. Since the inception of TRI several years ago, firms using 
risky chemicals have voluntarily and very creatively reduced their 
inventories and use of these chemicals. Such firms are thereby 
improving the safety of their own processes, while affording greater 
protection to the citizens of their communities. Linked to this rule is 
a possible small-source exemption that will provide some measure of 
relief to the reporting community. This exemption will allow facilities 
releasing small amounts of listed chemicals to be exempt from full TRI 
reporting requirements. EPA's planned Chemical Use Inventory Rule under 
TSCA will fill a long-standing gap in our understanding of how 
chemicals are actually used by both consumers and industry. Such 
information will assist the Agency and the public to prevent pollution 
by substituting safer chemicals for more toxic substances now employed 
in high-risk uses.
EPA's Draft Strategy on Waste Minimization and Combustion includes a 
major initiative to encourage a reduction in the amount of hazardous 
waste generated in the country and to further ensure the safety and 
reliability of hazardous waste combustion in incinerators and 
industrial furnaces. The Draft Strategy is the focal point for a 
national dialogue both on needed actions to reduce the amount of 
hazardous wastes generated and on regulatory change to tighten controls 
on hazardous waste combustors. To ensure the success of the Strategy, 
the Agency is involving environmental groups, waste-producing 
industries, waste-management industries, States, municipalities, and 
all other interested parties in this dialogue.
Better Science and Data
 Prudent environmental management requires good information about not 
only what we know, but also what we must acknowledge as uncertain. 
While EPA will continue to respond to public concern about the 
environment, success in finding cleaner, cheaper environmental 
interventions depends on the expansion of clear, well-characterized 
information about the problems and their potential solutions. While all 
the regulatory actions in this Plan depend on such knowledge for their 
success, two are particularly illustrative of this theme. In one 
instance EPA proposes to update its methods for testing automobiles for 
fuel efficiency and emissions under actual road conditions. The closer 
we can simulate the real-world conditions under which automobiles 
actually operate, the more likely we are to meet our environmental 
goals without imposing unnecessary costs on either industry or the 
individual motorist. In another case EPA will reassess pesticide 
tolerance levels, which will refine controls on the concentration and 
toxicity of pesticides to be applied in the future. Of particular 
importance is EPA's intention to consider measurement of tolerances not 
only in the field, where they are now set, but also in the marketplace, 
where they would better reflect actual human exposure.
Environmental Partnerships
While EPA is the Federal Government's chief regulatory arm for 
environmental protection, we are by no means alone in commitment to 
this national goal. There are several Federal agencies besides EPA with 
major environmental responsibilities. States are critical components of 
our national system for environmental protection, as they issue, 
inspect, and enforce the vast majority of the permits that lie at the 
root of our system's effectiveness. Municipalities are playing an 
increasingly important role, and are bearing a great deal of the cost, 
serving the public's need for a safe, clean environment. And, to a 
marked extent, individual citizens are studying the facts and playing 
out key roles in defining what measures of protection are appropriate 
and necessary in community and home situations. EPA views all these 
authorities as partners in an increasingly effective national system of 
environmental protection.
In many of its regulatory actions, EPA is joining forces with such 
partners to determine the best environmental course to follow. The 
action to set Radiation Site Cleanup Standards will involve several 
national agencies in the design of rules to restore polluted Federal 
facilities to meet public health goals. EPA's response to a petition by 
the Northeast Ozone Transport Commission will engage the Agency in 
dialogue with several States on the possibility of imposing additional 
performance standards on motor vehicles operating in those States. Our 
redesign of the New Source Review program under the Clean Air Act will 
make the program simpler and more logical for States to administer. And 
our revision of RCRA permit procedures will open that program up to far 
more comprehensive public participation. Finally, the plan cited above 
to expand the number and type of businesses reporting toxic chemicals, 
and the number and type of chemicals to be reported, will empower 
individual citizens to participate in environmental management in their 
own communities.
Enforcement Accountability
EPA has traditionally emphasized the need for firm, assured enforcement 
of environmental requirements. In this Regulatory Plan EPA describes a 
rule to carry out the mandate of the Clean Air Act for Enhanced 
Monitoring of air sources. This action will promote fairness and 
improve air quality by requiring that stationary sources monitor and 
certify continuous compliance with applicable emissions standards. 
There is substantial flexibility built into the rule regarding the 
method of monitoring to support certification. In recognition that most 
Americans, both corporate and private, fully recognize their duty to 
obey environmental laws, EPA is complementing its zeal for enforcement 
with a commitment to support positive efforts to uphold environmental 
standards throughout society. In a recent reorganization EPA has 
complemented its vigorous effort to seek out and punish violators by 
creating a unit to provide compliance assistance to those actively 
seeking responsible, creative ways to carry out their environmental 
duties under the law.
Seeking Regulatory Alternatives
Wherever possible in its regulatory activities, EPA is pursuing the 
President's and the Administrator's emphasis on environmental quality 
at an affordable cost. Even though several of our statutes do not admit 
of cost as a factor in decisions protecting public health, where legal 
and appropriate, the Agency is exploring market-based means to achieve 
important environmental ends. Here are some examples:
Acid Rain: EPA's acid rain program uses a market-based approach to 
reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from electric utilities. Utilities are 
allowed to choose the least-cost method of control, whether installing 
pollution control devices, switching to cleaner fuels, or buying 
allowances from other utilities. This reduces overall costs while 
ensuring the desired reductions of pollutants that cause acid rain.
Stratospheric Ozone: In order to phase out ozone-depleting 
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in an orderly, cost-efficient manner, EPA's 
regulation is based on a system of allowances that encourages 
marketable permits. This system allows producers, importers, and 
exporters to trade in situations where cost can be substantially 
reduced.
MACT Standards: Under the Clean Air Act, EPA must issue Maximum 
Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards that require sources of 
air pollution to achieve a relatively stringent minimum level of 
emissions control. This requirement prohibits the use of certain 
market-based regulatory strategies. However, provisions to allow 
``emissions averaging'' have been and will continue to be incorporated 
into various MACT rules as appropriate (for example, in the cases of 
hazardous organics, petroleum refining, and wood furniture). Emissions 
averaging allows facilities some flexibility to choose which emissions 
points to control (presumably those for which control measures are 
cheaper) in order to achieve the overall reductions required for the 
facility.
Consumer Products: EPA is exploring the use of economic incentives in 
regulations to reduce volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) from consumer 
and commercial products. The Agency will include its findings from 
these explorations in a forthcoming report to Congress. The first of 

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