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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 23, 1995

Vice President Gore Travels to Texas to Emphasize Need to Protect

Nation's Natural Resources

Vice President Al Gore travels to Town Lake today (June 23) in Austin, Texas, to hear from local residents and public officials who, by working together, have improved the quality of water in the Lower Colorado River System.

The Vice President will also address the importance of preserving our nation's natural resources and protecting public health.

"The Republican Congress would freeze all health and environmental protection", said the Vice President. "On the other hand, the administration supports a new generation of environmental protection to reform environmental policy so that it works cleaner, cheaper and smarter."

Town Lake is an example of a water source that has been restored and revitalized over the past 25 years under the provisions of the Clean Water Act. Town Lake was once devestated by the dumping of pesticides and chemicals, like DDT, into its waters. Following the enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1972, Austin developed a storm water program to control the amount of hazardous pollutants in Town Lake. Recently, the quality of the water below Town Lake was designated exceptional by state of Texas -- reflecting the tremendous work by Austin on sewage treatment and runoff. And Austin's stormwater program is considered one of the best in the country.

The Clean Water Act, which led to the clean-up of Town Lake, has been one of our nations's most successful environmental laws -- and water is the first line of defense in protecting public health. It has revitalized communities across the country by cleaning up our nation's waters, invigorated local economies and raised the standard of public health.

The current House re-write of the Clean Water Act would undermine the law. The legislation would also obstruct efforts by the Administration to reinvent environmental protection and reduce unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy.

The Vice President will also recognize two of Austin's wastewater treatment facilities: the South Austin Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Hornsby Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant. Both have be selected to receive the Environmental Protection Agency's 1995 Regional Administrator's Environmental Excellence Awards later this year.