Browner Suggests Her EPA Approach Will Stress Pollution Prevention, Market Incentives

Article excerpt

Carol N. Browner, EPA Administrator-designate remained non-committal at her confirmation hearings last week before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. In her brief formal remarks to the committee, she stressed the need to improve communications between business and environmentalists.

As head of the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation and a former Senate staff member, Browner brings both state and federal experience to the EPA job and seemingly some appreciation for the difficulties beth state and local governments are facing in financing and implementing unfunded federal environmental mandates.

She told the committee she preferred dealing with environmental problems from a pollution prevention and a market incentive approach rather than the command and control approach that has been typical.

Questioning from the Senators on the panel reflected an increasing concern about the lack of national environmental priorities, the difficulties being experienced by governments especially at the local level--in trying to finance federal requirements and the current gaps in reconciling international free trade agreements with the nation's environmental mandates.

Most articulate on behalf of municipal governments was Senator Dirk Kempthorne (RIdaho) who recently moved from his position as Mayor of Boise to the United States Senate.

Kempthorne expressed concern not only about the lack of both federal resources and a federal partnership with other levels of government and businesses affected by environmental regulation but also with the "cookie cutter"' approach requiring everyone to meet uniform standards regardless of their applicability or necessity in a given area. …