President Clinton and Vice President Gore:
Protecting Our Environment and Public Health
Over the past seven years, President Clinton and Vice President Gore
have significantly strengthened protections for the environment and public
health, and won new resources to help states and communities protect their
water, land and coasts. Here are some of the ways the state of Maryland
Accelerating Toxic Cleanups. The Clinton-Gore Administration has
greatly accelerated the cleanup of contaminated sites, protecting
communities and revitalizing local economies by returning land to
Superfund -- Nationwide, the Administration has completed
525 Superfund cleanups since 1993, more than three times the number
completed in the previous twelve years. In Maryland, one Superfund
cleanup has been completed since 1993.
Brownfields -- Administration initiatives have steered
more than $110 million to more than 300 communities to assess, clean up
and redevelop brownfields - abandoned, contaminated sites, usually in
distressed urban neighborhoods. Maryland has received 6 grants totaling
Reducing Toxic Releases. The Administration has greatly expanded
communities' right to know about toxic releases to air, water and land -
increasing by 30 percent the number of facilities that must report their
releases, and nearly doubling the number of chemicals subject to
reporting. Increased disclosure has helped lead to dramatic reductions in
toxic releases. Nationwide, reported releases dropped nearly 20 percent
from 1992 to 1997. In Maryland, toxic releases declined from 11,049,282
pounds in 1992 to 9,893,516 pounds in 1997.
Strengthening Water Quality Protections. Through a variety of
programs, the Administration has provided significant new resources to
states and communities to safeguard public health by improving drinking
water and to protect rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. These include:
Clean Water State Revolving Fund -- This fund supports
low-interest loans to help communities build and upgrade sewage treatment
plants and other wastewater systems. Since 1993, the Environmental
Protection Agency has provided $10.7 billion to states for these loans.
Maryland has received $269.3 million.
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund -- This fund,
proposed by President Clinton and enacted in 1996, supports low-interest
loans to help communities build and upgrade their water treatment systems.
Since 1997, the Environmental Protection Agency has provided nearly $3.5
billion to states for these loans. Maryland has received $39.9 million.
Polluted Runoff Grants -- These grants help states and
communities develop programs to combat the largest remaining threat to
water quality - polluted runoff from sources such as farms and city
streets. Since 1993, EPA has provided grants totaling nearly $900
million. Maryland has received $13.7 million.
Rural Water Grants -- These grants and loans provide
special assistance to small rural communities to upgrade their drinking
water systems. Since 1993, the Department of Agriculture has provided
nearly $9 billion in loans and grants. Maryland has received $84.3
Protecting Local Lands. The Administration has won significant
new resources to help states, communities, and landowners protect farms
and other local green spaces that support wildlife, recreation, and water
Land and Water Conservation Fund -- Since 1993, the
Department of the Interior has provided states and communities with $81.5
million through the Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire and
protect threatened lands. Maryland has received $2.6 million.
Conservation Reserve Program -- This Department of
Agriculture program provides payments to farmers who remove
environmentally sensitive lands from production and improve them by
restoring wildlife habitat, planting windbreaks, or creating streamside
buffers. Since 1993, farmers in Maryland have received funds to protect
Protecting Our Coasts and Estuaries. Grants from the National
Coastal Zone Management Program help states develop and implement plans
for the protection and sustainable management of coastal resources. The
National Estuarine Research Reserve System provides grants to states to
help protect and restore estuaries, where ocean and fresh water mix.
Through these two programs, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration has provided $466 million to states since 1993. Maryland
has received $24.1 million.