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Browner suggests her EPA approach will stress pollution prevention, market incentives.

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.

Browner acknowledged that as a state environmental official her experience made her well aware of these problems. She proposed more flexibility for states that have taken the initiative in developing and implementing environmental programs suited to their unique needs.

While remaining unspecific in her answers, Browner was also questioned by the committee about her and the Clinton administration views on current problems with implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, reauthorization of Superfund, the nation's hazardous waste site clean-up law, resolution of the wetlands issues, and funding for Clean Water Act programs. While indicating that she believed Clinton is supportive of the State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) for implementation of federal requirements for secondary treatment of municipal waste water, she expressed discomfort with discussion of specific funding issues.

In response to questions submitted by Senate minority leader Robert Dole (R-Kans), Browner implied she would not support a moratorium on incineration of municipal solid waste. Explaining to the cemmittee that she had imposed a two year moratorium on incineration while presiding over Florida's Department of Environmental Regulation, it was to insure that underutilized capacity in existing burn units was utilized before new facilities came on line.

Committee action on the Browner nomination--which is expected to recommend confirmation-is scheduled for January 19.
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Title Annotation:Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Carol N. Browner
Author:Kocheisen, Carol
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jan 18, 1993
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