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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 12, 1995
                      STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT 

I am pleased to announce significant reforms to the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act wetlands programs to benefit homeowners. Under these reforms, the vast majority of all American homeowners will never have to worry about endangered species or wetlands requirements.

Specifically, for Endangered Species Act programs, the Department of the Interior will essentially eliminate restrictions on single family homeowners with five or fewer acres of land. Similarly, for wetlands programs, the Army Corps of Engineers will issue a new nationwide permit to allow homeowners to construct or expand their residences without an individual permit. This will apply even if these activities involve filling as much as a half-acre of non-tidal wetland.

Finally, I have instructed the heads of each of the relevant departments and agencies to examine all of their programs to determine if there are other actions that they can take to benefit homeowners.

Home ownership and the opportunity for homeowners to use their property without unnecessary restrictions are an essential part of the American dream. We can provide homeowners greater freedom and still protect the environment. This is common sense, reasonable reform -- not a reckless, destructive rollback of health and environmental safeguards, as others are proposing.