THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Tuesday, March 9, 1999
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
CLEANER WATER -- A HEALTHIER FUTURE
These new steps will further strengthen our partnerships with communities and farmers across the country to restore our waterways and protect the public health.
Vice President Al Gore
March 9, 1999
Today, Vice President Al Gore announces a comprehensive strategy to help clean up rivers, lakes and coastal waters by reducing polluted runoff from large livestock operations. The Vice President will also release $100 million in additional funding for states to control polluted runoff and announce $157 million in proposed fiscal year 2000 funding to help states and communities undertake projects to reduce urban and agricultural runoff. In addition, the Vice President will renew his call for Congress to strengthen and reauthorize the Clean Water Act.
Building On Clean Water Success. Today's announcements are further steps in implementing the Clean Water Action Plan announced a year ago by President Clinton and Vice President Gore. Over the past year steps to implement the Action Plan include: the first national assessment of watershed conditions and priorities, developing an emergency plan to coordinate federal responses to harmful algal blooms, and creation of the first national Internet listing of beach water quality conditions.
A Comprehensive Strategy To Reduce Polluted Runoff From Livestock Operations. Today, the Vice President will unveil the Unified Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations, a program developed through the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency that will employ a range of flexible, common-sense tools to reduce potentially harmful runoff from 450,000 animal feeding operations nationwide -- cattle, dairy, poultry, and hog farms -- where animals are raised in confined quarters. Under the Unified National Strategy:
- Voluntary programs will be the principal approach for smaller operations that make up 95 percent of the nation's animal feeding industry;
- A goal of developing and implementing Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans for all animal feeding operations will be targeted for 2009;
- Large livestock producers and those posing a significant risk to water quality or public health will be required to obtain Clean Water Act discharge permits;
- Large livestock companies that contract with smaller operations to raise their animals will share responsibility for meeting regulatory requirements.
Calling On Congress To Support Stronger Pollution Control Measures. The Vice President is calling on Congress to approve $100 million in the President's fiscal year 2000 budget for the Department of Agriculture's Environmental Quality Incentives Programs. The funds, which Congress denied last year, can be used by livestock operators to implement pollution control measures encouraged by the Unified National Strategy.
Working With States To Carry Out Runoff Reduction Strategies. The Vice President will announce the release of $100 million for states to carry out strategies to reduce urban and agricultural runoff, which is responsible for an estimated 60 percent of the nation's water pollution. These grants will be used by states to work with communities to develop Watershed Restoration Action Strategies for high-priority watersheds. In past years, the funds have been used to control soil erosion, create planted buffer strips along rivers and streams, restore wetlands, and help farmers find alternatives to chemical pesticides. In addition, the Vice President will announce that the Clinton-Gore Administration's fiscal year 2000 budget will include $157 million in funding to allow states to control polluted runoff.