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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 14, 1999
                      CLEAN WATERS ACROSS AMERICA

                            August 14, 1999

President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, today announced new steps to restore America's rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Under a proposed new rule, the Environmental Protection Agency will work with states to better assess the health of U.S. waterways and to develop detailed plans to make them safe for fishing and swimming. In addition, the President called on Republicans in Congress to fund his key environmental initiatives, drop anti-environmental "riders," and abandon a risky tax cut plan that could shut down national parks and stall toxic waste cleanups.

Healthy Rivers, Lakes, and Coastal Waters. Despite tremendous progress in the quarter-century since the Clean Water Act was passed, 40 percent of America's surveyed waterways remain too polluted for fishing and swimming. The Clean Water Action Plan launched last year by the President provides communities with new resources to reduce dirty runoff and other threats to water quality. Today's proposal would strengthen EPA's "total maximum daily load" requirements to help restore 20,000 waterways nationwide. Under the proposed rule, states, territories, and authorized tribes will:

Progress, Not Partisanship, on the Environment. The balanced budget President Clinton has proposed for the coming year would reduce the national debt, shore up Social Security and Medicare, and make new investments in education, health care, and the environment. But Congress has:

The President called on the Republican leadership to abandon its risky tax cut plan and fund his environmental initiatives. He also warned that he has vetoed bills before because they contained anti-environmental riders and, if necessary, is prepared to do so again.