US EPA launches four new ‘Compliance Assistance Centres’
The US EPA has launched four new 'Compliance Assistance Centres' intended "to assist small businesses, local governments and communities in understanding and complying with environmental regulations".
The new centres will focus on the paints and coatings industry, the transportation industry, small and medium-sized chemical manufacturers, and local government agencies. Each centre will offer web sites, telephone assistance lines, document fax-back systems, and e-mail discussion groups.
“We are fundamentally changing the way this country protects public health and the environment by making environmental regulations work better and cost less,” Vice President Al Gore said. “These new compliance centres provide small businesses, local governments and others with unprecedented access to basic information, ensuring easier and cheaper compliance with our nation’s environmental laws.”
The Compliance Assistance Centres are part of the Clinton Administration’s efforts “to reinvent government to make it work better and cost less”. In March 1995, President Clinton, Vice President Gore and EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner put forth their agenda to reinvent environmental protection as part of that larger effort. Under EPA’s reinvention efforts, the agency says it has cut more than 22 million hours of unnecessary paperwork burden while at the same time strengthening protection of public health and the environment.
The Compliance Assistance Centres are designed to make regulatory and pollution prevention information available to small businesses so they can achieve compliance with environmental laws as easily and cost-effectively as possible. Other assistance centres, covering the metal finishing, automotive service and repair, printing, printed wiring boards and agriculture industries, received more than 75,000 visits over the Internet during the first six months of 1998.