insight     POLICY  PAPER
                    supp -;re,v; t-c Ef'.A mS/ght contains up-u;-Jatę policy Information from the
                         A,^iTi,ii5"v-ato~/Deputy /Administrator to all EPA employees.
WHY EPA SHOULD BE A CABINET DEPARTMENT
March 1993
                               EPA-175-N-93-013 1
 Below is a statement from Administrator Carol Browner to
 the  U.S.  Senate  Committee on  Governmental Affairs
 (Senator John Glenn, D-OH, Chairman) - February 18,1993:

   I AM HONORED to testify before you today in support
 of creating a Cabinet Department on the environment, and
 to confirm this Administration's commitment to improving
 environmental quality.  I commend  the leadership this
 Committee has demonstrated in pursuing this matter.  The
 Administration supports elevation  of EPA to a Cabinet
 Department and will provide to the Committee suggested
 technical corrections to S.171 in the near future....
   ....WE ALL SHARE A STRONG COMMITMENT TO THE
 ENVIRONMENT.     However,  without  an  adequate
 institutional framework, even principled commitment can be
 rendered abstract.  The question is not whether to create a
 Department on the environment, but when.  The answer
 is now, at the beginning of this Nation's  third decade of
 Federal  environmental protection. A decade in which we
 will move from command  and control, media-specific
 regulation to  alternative  approaches oriented toward
 pollution prevention, ecosystem protection, and incentive-
 based policies.   It is time for a Department on  the
 environment to function as a permanent and equal partner
 in the President's  Cabinet,  integral to any equation of
 Federal decisionmaking.
   1993  IS A PIVOTAL POINT  IN  TIME. We  have  the
 opportunity   now  to  establish   an   environmental
 infrastructure ready to meet  the challenges of  the 21st
 century. We must move "upstream" and examine individual
 pollution sources as elements of larger systems.  Preventing
 pollution by elimination or reduction of waste at the source
 is key to this Administration's commitment to providing a
 healthy  economy  that meets  our  needs today,  while
 preserving the environment for  our children  and future
 generations to enjoy.
   A CABINET DEPARTMENT ON THE ENVIRONMENT
 will be well-positioned to accelerate efforts to integrate
 pollution prevention and multi-media decisionmaking into
 regulatory  and compliance programs Governmentwide, to
 promote the use of incentive-based policies, to  improve
 technical assistance to small  business, and to encourage
 corporate commitment to clean manufacturing processes and
 green products through innovative programs.  A Cabinet
 that includes an environment Department will ensure that
 the environment is fully engaged and  integrated into the
 President's examination of and decisions on national issues.
   LIKEWISE, EPA's INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMEN-
TAL PROGRAMS provide cooperation with and technical
 expertise to developing and newly democratic countries and
 our industrialized partners. Cabinet status will be important
 in making the head of EPA a peer with Cabinet colleagues
 in  foreign  environment  ministries  and  promoting
 international cooperation on the environment.  It will also
 make EPA a more effective collaborator with other Cabinet
 Departments  involved  in international  environmental
 activities, including UNCED followup, programs in Central
 and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and
 environmental cooperation with Mexico.
   IN THE PAST TWENTY YEARS, this country created
 most of our existing environmental infrastructure and body
 of law.  To be sure, the national debate among Federal,
 State, Local,  and Tribal governments, industry, and the
 public on environmental matters  has not always been
 successful.  Nevertheless,  significant progress has been
 achieved.  The air, water, and land are  demonstrably
 cleaner as a result of our joint efforts. Our "command and
 control" approach has worked well but has tended to focus
 on  a  relatively small number  of large  point  sources of
 pollution.  In addition, its limited  scope ignores creative
 opportunities  in  terms  of  pollution  prevention and
 ecosystem approaches....
   ....IN 1993, CONCERN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT affects
 individual, corporate, and governmental behavior.  The
 environmental ethic has evolved and is taken seriously
 across economic,  cultural, geographic, and governmental
 sectors. Just as civil rights issues gripped  our Nation in the
 60's, and nuclear/cold war concerns dominated the 70's and
 80's, integration of economic and environmental policy has
 seized the public's attention in the 90's....
  ....WE NOW UNDERSTAND THAT  WE LIVE in an
 enormously complex global  ecosystem:  "solving" one
 environmental problem can create a new one. Cleanup of
 surface water has contaminated ground water and solutions
 to ground water pollution have polluted the air.  Actions
 taken by one country can affect the health of the citizens of
 another, thousands of miles away, and for  generations to
 come.  We also know that assessment of environmental
 achievement is  a relative measure:   our "successes" are
 meaningful only in terms  of reducing overall risk. We
have learned that we must not limit ourselves to cleanup,
but must also seek to prevent pollution at the source....We
must force ourselves to  address long-term and not just
short-term consequences.
   THE 8CXS HAVE SHOWN US THAT ENVIRONMENTAL
ACTION OR INACTION has economic  consequences,  in
turn affecting our environmental and business choices in a
never-ending cycle  of cause  and effect. Environmental
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opportunities can be economic opportunities. Money spent
by  companies to comply with environmental laws and
regulations translates into revenues and jobs for other
American businesses....
   ....THIS ADMINISTRATION  IS  COMMITTED  to
identifying the dynamic relationship between economic and
environmental needs and  to ensuring that environmental
assets are reflected in our accounting of national well-being.
Environmental protection and economic growth are not
incompatible....
   ....EPA IS EVOLVING AS AN INSTITUTION grappling
with  today's  challenges, but  the  EPA  created   by
Reorganization Plan Number 3 in 1970 is positioned now to
function  as   more  than  a  regulatory   agency.... An
environment Department must work closely with both its
Cabinet counterparts and with its State, Local, Tribal, and
other government partners, and remain responsive to the
individual citizen.   We  must  rely  carefully on sound
science and research to better understand environmental
issues   such   as  biodiversity,  global  climate  change,
environmental equity, risk, and persistent toxic chemicals,
and to better develop policy and solutions. An environment
Department must be a model environmental steward, both
domestically and internationally. The Department must also
serve as  a model  for  responsible fiscal practices and
responsive accountable management. Financial integrity and
sound  contract management  are critical to fulfilling our
environmental mission and to safeguarding the taxpayer's
dollar.
   ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IS NOT A MERE
FOOTNOTE, but encompasses all of the Earth's resources
and human activity....It shapes our daily thinking, strategies,
and budgets  in every conceivable issue area.   We  are
moving beyond thinking of environmental protection as a
luxury or as a hindrance to economic growth. The growth
of our economy depends on the availability of a clean, safe
environment  and the  long-term  availability of natural
resources. We can best join the need for balancing growth
and the environment by unleashing American ingenuity
and creativity to revive our  economy and  create a new
generation of environmental technology....
   ....BOTH OUR NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL ETHIC
AND THE NATURE OF THE  ECOSYSTEM ITSELF tell us
that the  President's Cabinet currently is incomplete.   In
today's  world a successful strategy for any public policy
issue requires a holistic perspective that crosses traditional
Department boundaries. There is virtually no such thing as
a policy or problem that does not have environmental
aspects or that is simply  "environmental."   A  sound
approach to the environment is essential to the success and
sustainability of our Nation's economic, social, and trade
policies....It is not enough that environmental considerations
be part of Cabinet  discussions: the environment must be
there in its own right as an equal priority and member.
   OUR EXPERIENCE OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS in
fashioning the President's economic plan is illustrative of the,^
role that environmental considerations should play in our
Federal decisionmaking process. As the numerous options
for energy taxes were explored, environmental concerns and
impacts were analyzed in  a matrix  alongside  energy,
economic, social, and trade considerations.
   ....CURRENTLY, EPA SITS IN THE CABINET ROOM AT
THE PRESIDENT'S INVITATION, but President Clinton
agrees that we should validate its presence as a statutory
matter, regardless  of who sits in the White House Oval
Office. It is  time for a  permanent  chair at  the  table,
institutionalizing the environment as a critical ingredient in
the mix of any Federal decisionmaking.
   ....IN ADDITION TO  OUR  CHILDREN, students  of
democracy  everywhere in  the world should comprehend
that an environment Department is key  to  America's
identity. The United States should join the majority of our
major partners who count  an environment minister as an
equal among the top government tier. Not to do so sends
the wrong message about our government's priorities here
at home; it also prevents  us from asserting the kind  of
leadership that the rest of the world is looking to us  to
provide on environmental problems affecting  the  entire
planet.
   IN CONCLUSION, I ASSURE YOU that I believe the
creation of an environment Cabinet Department means more
than a new chair. Joining the Cabinet ensures direct access
to the  President, and,  consequently, a voice on behalf of
citizens concerned about the environment their children
will inherit and industry seeking to mesh environmental and
business concerns....
   ....FINALLY,  CREATION  OF  AN  ENVIRONMENT
DEPARTMENT signals at  home and abroad the  highest
commitment  of the  United  States  to  environmental
stewardship....S.171 is consistent with President Clinton's
three-part environmental framework:   ELEVATION OF
EPA TO A CABINET DEPARTMENT; ELIMINATION OF
THE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND
REASSIGNMENT  OF   ITS   FUNCTIONS;    AND
CREATION OF AN  OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL
POLICY IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

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