WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
                                                                        THE ADMINISTRATOR
Dear Reader:

       The first Earth. Day - April 22,1970 - marked a dramatic turning point in our nation's
environmental.History.  At mass gatherings in major cities, at teach-ins in grade schools and high
schools, and fn neighborhood cleanups across the country, the American people made clear that
environmental quality was a core national value. In the decades that followed, ''comprehensive
national environmental legislation laid out an agenda of actions required for protecting public
health and the environment. Those actions have resulted in better air quality in many American
cities, cleaner lakes and rivers, bans on the use of especially toxic chemicals, and responsible
management of hazardous wastes.
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       The  Clinton-Gore Administration is committed to continued national environmental
progress. We also are committed to making government more responsive to the American
people and more efficient in its operations. To improve the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) and its programs, we tested innovative ideas that promised less paperwork, lower costs,
and better environmental results. We involved our partners in efforts to streamline our activities
and improve performance. We have given the American people more and better information and
a role in environmental decisions. The results of these efforts are detailed in this report.

       We are  proud of the new and innovative approaches that EPA has adopted to meet
national environmental goals. We now have stronger ties to local communities, and we work in
broader, more collegia! partnerships with state, local, and Native American governments. Our
relationships with regulated industries are far more constructive. We have supplemented our
traditional regulations with new tools, such as market incentives, voluntary programs, and
regulatory flexibility, and we are beginning to see better environmental results.

       Innovation at EPA has laid the groundwork for a healthier, more economically productive
 future. We are proving that a healthy economy and a healthy environment can and do go hand in
 hand. The world is changing at an accelerating pace, and new environmental challenges are   ,
 emerging. But with strong leadership, fresh ideas, and an ongoing commitment to a healthy
 environment, I am confident that future Earth Days will also be cause for celebration and that we
 will meet the challenges that lie ahead.
                                                Carol M. Browner.
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