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Statement by EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner on Senate Environment & Public Works Committee to Markup MTBE Legislation

Release Date: 09/07/2000
Contact Information:

UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460



Senate Environment & Public Works Committee to Markup MTBE Legislation

Statement by EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner
Sept. 7, 2000

EPA applauds the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for taking action to phase out the use of the fuel additive MTBE, or methyl tertiary-butyl ether, from cleaner-burning gasoline. In June 1999, EPA’s Blue Ribbon Panel concluded that MTBE posed risks to drinking water. At that time we first called on Congress to take immediate action to phase out MTBE, while preserving important renewable fuel additives, such as ethanol. Since then, EPA has also begun regulatory action to eliminate MTBE from gasoline. But action by Congress clearly is the best and fastest way to address this threat.

The bill is consistent with the Legislative Principles set forth earlier this year by the Clinton-Gore Administration. Over the past seven and a half years, the Clinton-Gore Administration has taken several major steps to protect the nation’s drinking water and the public's health, including winning passage of a tough, new Safe Drinking Water Act. To continue this progress and ensure that all Americans have healthy, clean water to drink, Congress now must take the next vital step by expeditiously sending to the President comprehensive legislation to phase out MTBE. EPA believes that Americans deserve both clean air and clean water, and never one at the expense of the other.


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