United States
Environmental Protection
Washington DC 20460
Official Business
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2E2Environmental News
Wyche (202) 755-0133
Acly (202) 755-0344
Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator
Barbara Blum today announced new initiatives to aid Minority
Business Enterprise (MBE) participation in EPA grant-assisted
Blum believes that the new initiatives', will greatly in-
crease the role of minority businesses in such"projects.
Grant funds awarded to MBEs should increase ten times over
present yearly levels to about $3 20 million annually.
"Our new MBE effort is good news for minority communities-* "
said Blum. "Development of an effective MBE program should
greatly reduce serious problems encountered by minority businesses
in their efforts to participate in work under EPA grant-assisted
projects, such as the multi-billion dollar sewage construction
grants program. The Agency and its grantees will work together
to develop realistic goals for MBE utilization. The need for
this approach was recently emphasized by President Carter when
he announced his urban policy on March 27," said Blum. "In
that message the President asked all Federal agencies to develop
goals for MBE participation in Federal grant-assisted projects.
Our months of work on the MBE problem gives us an excellent
opportunity to quickly carry out this element of the President's
urban policy."
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EPA FORM 15t0-1 (REV. 8-72}

The new Agency initiatives are contained in the final
recommendations of the EPA Task Force on Minority Business
Enterprise. The Task Force has been reviewing the Agency's
MBE policy since November. After examining numerous options
to increase MBE utilization, the Task Force recommended a
"goal" system where the EPA Regional Offices and grantees
jointly determine goals for MBE participation in grant-related
contracts. The goals are not quotas, but must be seriously
regarded by grantees, contractors and subcontractors.
A high priority of the Agency is to insure full minority
protection in contracts and grants. Contractors and grantees
will be required by EPA to subcontract sufficient dollars to
minority firms.
The Task Force also recommended refining the present
definition of MBE to prevent abuse of the MBE program by
"front" organizations that are not in fact MBEs.
The Task Force was established in October 1977 at EPA's
initiative to review and analyze the Agency's proposed MBE
initiatives and make recommendations on any needed improvements.
Their recommendations have been approved by EPA's Administrator
and Deputy Administrator.
In 1977 the Agency awarded grants totalling $6.6 billion,
of which $32 million was awarded to minority businesses. With
the new initiatives, the amount awarded to MBEs in FY '79
should exceed $320 million.
The Agency will shortly take necessary steps to publish
for comment in the Federal Register the proposed modifications
to existing MBE policies. EPA Regions will immediately begin
working with minority consultants, contractors and their trade-
as sociationsand grantees regarding these new initiatives.
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