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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 791 - Ground Water

November 25, 1987


(Rep. Gejdenson (D) Connecticut and 109 others)

The administration recognizes the importance of ground water as a vital resource and the need to protect its quality and quantity. Consequently, the administration is actively implementing numerous ground water related programs (both research and non-research) under several Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Interior statutes. The administration also recognizes the concern that our current state of knowledge about ground water is inadequate and that continuing existing research and information collection activities is important. However, H.R. 791 is flawed in many respects, representing the consolidation of several different and often conflicting bills.

It also contains several expensive and low priority special interest projects and new programs. Given that difficult budget negotiations for FY 1988 and FY 1989 have just been completed, this is not the time to be creating new programs.

Therefore, the administration opposes H.R. 791 because it:

Provides inadequate administrative discretion and flexibility to implement new ground water programs in concert with the many existing programs;

Is unnecessary and duplicates existing authorities and programs. Such provisions include a ground water clearinghouse, research institutes, and technology research, development and demonstration projects;

Provides excessive authorization levels for current and new programs, such as $492 million for Interior and $57 million to EPA over fiscal years 1988-1990;

Confuses the historic roles of EPA and Interior in ground water resource issues by providing broad overlapping authorizations to these agencies;

Authorizes projects of low priority or local concern, such as for volatile ground water contaminants and metal leaching in New Jersey, ground water replenishment in California, the Buffalo River in New York, the Lake Okeechobee study and demonstration project in Florida, and radium grants to small communities; and

Prematurely authorizes a full-scale ground water assessment program. This program contains features that overlap Interior's national'./-.'ter quality assessment program currently in its pilot phase. Authorization of a full-scale assessment program should await analysis of Interior's pilot project.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 791 - Ground Water Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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