| || |
Environmental Actions by President Clinton
and Vice President Gore
January 20, 1993: President Clinton
and Vice President Gore eliminated the Council on Competitiveness, which
was established by the Bush-Quayle Administration and had been frequently
used to circumvent environmental laws.
March 30, 1993: President Clinton
and Vice President Gore held the Forest Conference in Oregon, a critical
first step toward developing a comprehensive and balanced long-term policy
to preserve and protect old-growth forests while balancing the needs of
the workers, businesses, and communities dependent on timber sales.
April 21, 1993: President Clinton
issued executive orders directing federal agencies to reduce their use of
ozone-depleting materials, increase their use of alternative-fueled vehicles,
and purchase energy efficient computers (Executive Order 12843, Executive
Order 12844, Executive Order 12845).
June 29, 1993: President Clinton signed
an executive order establishing the President's Council on Sustainable Development
(Executive Order 12852).
July 1, 1993: President Clinton signed
the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Amendments Act (H.R.
August 3, 1993: President Clinton
issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to reduce pollution
as much as possible and to report to the community any toxic chemicals that
are released into the environment (Executive Order 12856).
August 4, 1993: President Clinton
signed legislation establishing the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation
Area in Idaho (H.R. 236).
August 13, 1993: President Clinton
signed the Colorado Wilderness Act of 1993, which designated a total of
612,000 acres as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System
August 24, 1993: The Clinton-Gore
Administration unveiled a wetlands protection initiative which included
more than 40 changes to current wetlands policy, including establishing
a more effective process so that landowners and farmers can seek review
of permit decisions without having to go to court.
October 20, 1993: President Clinton
signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to use recycled paper
and other recycled products (Executive Order 12873).
February 11, 1994: President Clinton
issued an executive order to address environmental justice and ensure that
low-income citizens and minorities do not suffer a disproportionate burden
of industrial pollution (Executive Order 12898).
March 8, 1994: President Clinton issued
an executive order directing federal agencies to improve energy efficiency
and water conservation at their facilities (Executive Order 12902).
March 11, 1994: The White House announced
the Greening of the White House initiative, a comprehensive energy and environmental
upgrade that includes actions for landscaping, waste reduction, recycling,
and water and energy efficiency.
April 11, 1994: President Clinton
signed the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Improvement Act of 1994
April 29, 1994: President Clinton
issued a memorandum directing agencies to use environmentally beneficial
landscaping practices, such as using regionally native plants for landscaping,
reducing use of pesticides and fertilizer, promoting construction practices
that minimize adverse effects on natural habitats, and implementing water-efficient
practices such as irrigation.
May 13, 1994: President Clinton issued
executive orders directing that the North American Agreement on Environmental
Cooperation and the Agreement Between the Government of the United States
of America and the Government of the United Mexican States Concerning the
Establishment of a Border Environment Cooperation Commission be implemented
in a manner consistent with U.S. environmental policy (Executive Order 12915,
Executive Order 12916).
August 11, 1994: President Clinton
signed the Winter Run Chinook Salmon Captive Broodstock Act (H.R. 2457).
August 26, 1994: President Clinton
signed the Farmington Wild and Scenic River Act (H.R. 2815), designating
a portion of the Farmington River in Connecticut as a part of the National
Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
August 26, 1994: President Clinton
signed the George Washington National Forest Mount Pleasant Scenic Area
Act (H.R. 2942).
October 19, 1994: President Clinton
signed the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Amendments of 1994 (H.R.
October 22, 1994: President Clinton
signed the Water Bank Extension Act (H.R. 5053), which expands eligibility
for the wetlands reserve program to lands covered by expiring agreements
under the Water Bank Act.
October 22, 1994: President Clinton
signed the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994 (H.R. 4924).
October 31, 1994: President Clinton
signed the California Desert Protection Act (S. 21), which designated approximately
7.7 million acres of Federal lands as wilderness. The Act added approximately
3 million acres to the National Park System, including magnificent lands
adjacent to the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Monuments. It also
established the Mojave National Preserve as a new unit of the National Park
April 18, 1995: Vice President Gore
unveiled a National Environmental Technology Strategy with three major goals:
create high-wage jobs and exports and stimulate overall economic growth;
reduce the cost of cleaning up past pollution; and help prevent future damage
to the environment.
June 7, 1995: President Clinton issued
an executive order to improve the quality, function, sustainable productivity,
and distribution of U.S. aquatic resources for increased recreational fishing
opportunities (Executive Order 12962).
July 31, 1995: President Clinton announced
that the Clinton-Gore Administration had reached agreement with oil companies
to protect sensitive coastal areas off Florida and Alaska from oil drilling.
August 8, 1995: President Clinton
issued an executive order requiring those who would do business with the
federal government to continue to report on over 650 toxic chemicals that
are emitted (Executive Order 12969).
November 10, 1995: President Clinton
signed the Fisheries Act of 1995 (H.R. 716), which implements international
agreements designed to protect important fish stocks in high seas areas
of the world's oceans and off of America's coasts.
March 25, 1996: President Clinton
signed an executive order requiring paper mills to use some recycled materials
in producing new paper (Executive Order 12995).
March 25, 1996: President Clinton
issued an executive order to protect and preserve the National Wildlife
Refuge System for future generations while ensuring continued public access
and recreational opportunities (Executive Order 12996).
April 6, 1996: President Clinton signed
the most environmentally beneficial Farm Bill in history. The bill provided
over $2 billion in increased spending for conservation programs, including
$200 million to purchase environmentally sensitive lands in the Everglades.
May 15, 1996: President Clinton signed
the Trinity River Basin Fish and Wildlife Management Reauthorization Act
May 24, 1996: President Clinton signed
legislation reauthorizing the Water Resources Research Act (H.R. 1743).
May 24, 1996: President signed legislation
authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to acquire property in the town
of East Hampton, New York, for inclusion in the Amagansett National Wildlife
Refuge (H.R. 1836).
August 2, 1996: President Clinton
transmitted to the Senate the Canada-United States Protocol for the Protection
of Migratory Birds.
August 3, 1996: President Clinton
signed the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, establishing strong new
standards for pesticide residues in food, and requiring for the first time
that the standards take into account special risks to children (H.R. 1627).
August 6, 1996: President Clinton
signed the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996, requiring stronger
standards for many pollutants and establishing a revolving loan fund to
help communities upgrade water treatment systems. (S. 1316).
August 7, 1996: President Clinton
ratified a landmark fisheries conservation agreement: the Agreement for
the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on
the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and
Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.
August 12, 1996: President Clinton
signed the Yellowstone Protection Agreement to protect the park from mining.
August 28, 1996: President Clinton
announced new initiatives to accelerate cleanup of brownfields and Superfund
sites, strengthen environmental enforcement, and expand community right-to-know.
September 18, 1996: President Clinton
issued a proclamation establishing the Grand Staircase-Escalante National
October 1, 1996: President Clinton
signed legislation authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to acquire
the Waihee Marsh for inclusion in the Oahu National Wildlife Refuge Complex,
Hawaii (H.R. 1772).
October 2, 1996: President Clinton
signed the Antarctic Science, Tourism, and Conservation Act of 1996 (H.R.
3060), which implemented the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the
October 9, 1996: President Clinton
signed legislation increasing funding for the Department of the Interior
for the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana (H.R. 2660).
October 11, 1996: President Clinton
signed the Sustainable Fisheries Act (S. 39), the Water Desalination Act
of 1996 (S. 811), and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (H.R. 543).
October 12, 1996: President Clinton
signed the Water Resources Development Act, which authorized development
of a long-term plan to restore the Florida Everglades (S. 640).
October 12, 1996: President Clinton
signed the Accountable Pipeline Safety and Partnership Act of 1996 (S. 1505),
which will reduce risk to public safety and the environment associated with
pipeline transportation of natural gas and hazardous liquids.
October 19, 1996: President Clinton
signed the Marine Mineral Resources Research Act (S. 1194).
October 26, 1996: President Clinton
signed the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (H.R. 4283), which will
help to control the unintentional introduction and spread of invasive species,
such as zebra mussel, throughout the waters of our Nation. Such species
can cause significant damage to the environment, the economy, and fisheries.
October 31, 1996: President Clinton
signed an executive order dissolving the Midway Islands Naval Defensive
Sea Area and the Midway Islands Naval Airspace Reservation and transferring
jurisdiction to the Secretary of the Interior, who will oversee the Midway
Islands as the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (Executive Order 13022).
November 11, 1996: President Clinton
signed the Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996, establishing
five new national parks, authorizing 10 national heritage areas, and expanding
and protecting dozens of national parks, trails, and wild and scenic rivers
January 25, 1997: President Clinton
issued a memorandum directing the Agriculture Secretary, Health and Human
Services Secretary, and EPA Administrator to work with consumers, producers,
industry, States, universities, and the public to identify ways to improve
April 18, 1997: The United States
ratified the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty
of 1991which sets forth a comprehensive, legally binding system of environmental
protection that applies to all activities in Antarctica. It reaffirms the
status of Antarctica as an area reserved for peaceful purposes, including
April 21, 1997: Vice President Gore
announced that President Clinton had signed an executive order setting new
standards to reduce environmental health risks and safety risks to children
(Executive Order 13045).
May 2, 1997: President Clinton announced
a Balanced Budget Agreement that included $700 million for priority Federal
land acquisitions, including $250 million to protect the ancient redwoods
of the Headwaters Forest in California and $65 million to acquire the New
World Mine outside of Yellowstone.
May 13, 1997: Vice President announced
the creation of the Brownfields National Partnership, a two-year effort
including more than 100 commitments from more than 25 organizations to further
spur cleanup and redevelopment at some 5,000 brownfields sites around the
July 16, 1997: The President approved
stronger, more protective air quality standards to further control pollution
from ozone and particulate matter (smog and soot) and issued a memo to the
EPA regarding implementation of those standards.
July 26, 1997: President Clinton issued
an executive order to protect natural, recreational, and ecological resources
in the Lake Tahoe Region (Executive Order 13057).
August 15, 1997: President Clinton
signed the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act, commonly known
as the Dolphin Safe Tuna bill (H.R. 408).
September 11, 1997: President Clinton
signed an executive order launching the American Heritage River initiative
(Executive Order 13061).
October 9, 1997: President Clinton
signed the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (H.R.
October 18, 1997: Vice President Gore
directed federal departments and agencies to develop an action plan to clean
up America's waterways.
October 20, 1997: The Vice President
announced that the Clinton-Gore Administration and the state of Maryland
have joined together in a new initiative to help protect the Chesapeake
Bay and its tributaries.
October 29, 1997: The Vice President
announced a U.S.-China initiative that will move the countries toward greater
cooperation in energy and environmental science, building on the Administration's
efforts to engage China in joint initiatives that promote sustainable development
and help lay the groundwork for reaching common ground in addressing climate
November 19, 1997: President Clinton
signed the Asian Elephant Conservation Act (H.R. 1787).
December 12, 1997: The United States
signed the Kyoto Protocol. The Protocol must be ratified before it can take
December 12, 1997: President Clinton
signed the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act Amendments of 1997 (H.R.
January 8, 1998: Vice President Gore
announced new "Energy Star" partnerships with leading manufacturers to promote
energy-saving TVs and VCRs with the potential to save Americans hundreds
of millions of dollars in electricity bills and significantly curb greenhouse
February 2, 1998: President Clinton
announced plans to expand or protect 100 natural and historical sites, including
the final links in the Appalachian Trail, critical winter range for Yellowstone's
elk and bison herds, and initial funding for the removal of two dams blocking
salmon migration on the Elwha River near Olympic National Park.
February 12, 1998: Vice President
Gore announced that with leadership from the Clinton-Gore Administration,
major auto manufacturers voluntarily agreed to produce a cleaner car that
emits 70 percent less pollution than today's models.
April 8, 1998: President Clinton issued
an executive order creating the American Heritage Initiative Advisory Committee,
to review nominations for selection of American Heritage Rivers (Executive
May 4, 1998: President Clinton launched
the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, a partnership with
America's building industry to dramatically improve the energy efficiency
of our homes cutting consumers' energy bills by 30-50 percent, while
reducing the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
June 11, 1998: To strengthen protection
of natural coral reefs, President Clinton signed an executive order directing
federal agencies to expand research, preservation and restoration activities
(Executive Order 13089).
June 12, 1998: To protect our oceans
and coasts from the environmental risks of offshore oil and gas drilling,
the President issued a directive extending the moratorium on offshore leasing
for an additional ten years, and permanently barring new leasing in national
July 25, 1998: President Clinton issued
a directive with four new steps to decrease energy use in Federal buildings
and facilities, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving taxpayer
July 30, 1998: President Clinton and
Vice President Gore designated 14 American Heritage Rivers. Communities
along these rivers will receive help over the next five years tapping federal
resources to carry out their plans for revitalizing their rivers and riverfronts.
August 5, 1998: President Clinton
signed the African Elephant Conservation Reauthorization Act (H.R. 39).
August 11, 1998: President Clinton
expanded the public's right to know with the announcement of a new rule
requiring water utilities to provide regular reports to their customers
on whether their drinking water meets federal health standards and
if not, why not.
August 25, 1998: President Clinton
issued an executive order creating the President's Council on Food Safety,
which is charged with developing a comprehensive and coordinated strategic
plan for Federal food safety activities (Executive Order 13100).
September 14, 1998: President Clinton
issued an executive order expanding recycling by Federal agencies (Executive
October 5, 1998: President Clinton
signed the National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and Community Partnership
Enhancement Act of 1998 (H.R. 1856).
October 20, 1998: President Clinton
signed the Gallatin Land Consolidation Act of 1998 (H.R. 3381). The legislation,
part of the Clinton-Gore Administration's goal of restoring and protecting
the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, directed the transfer of certain lands
and other assets in Montana to the Big Sky Lumber Company in exchange for
a significantly larger amount of land to be included in the Gallatin and
Deer Lodge National Forests.
October 27, 1998: President Clinton
signed the Border Smog Reduction Act, which prohibited entry into the U.S.
of certain foreign vehicles which do not comply with state laws governing
emissions (H.R. 8).
October 30, 1998: President Clinton
signed the Fish and Wildlife Revenue Enhancement Act (S. 2094).
October 30, 1998: President Clinton
signed H.R. 2807, an omnibus measure enhancing fish and wildlife protection,
including reauthorization of the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act.
October 31, 1998: President Clinton
signed the Utah Schools and Land Exchange Act of 1998 an exchange
of land, mineral rights, commercial properties, and natural treasures between
the United States and the State of Utah. This was the largest such land
exchange in the history of the lower 48 States (H.R. 3830).
November 13, 1998: President Clinton
signed the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998, which improved
the management of various park programs and increased funds to parks through
concession contracts and the National Park Passport Program (S. 1693).
February 3, 1999: President Clinton
issued an executive order to prevent the introduction of invasive species
into our environment, and to limit the economic, ecological, and human health
impacts those species might have (Executive Order 13112).
March 2, 1999: President Clinton announced
completion of negotiations to protect the Headwaters Forest in California
the world's largest unprotected stand of old-growth redwoods.
March 9, 1999: Vice President Gore
announced a comprehensive federal strategy to help clean up rivers, lakes
and coastal waters by reducing polluted runoff from large livestock operations.
April 9, 1999: President Clinton signed
the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic River Act, which designated
portions of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers in Massachusetts as
part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System (H.R. 193).
April 22, 1999: Vice President Gore
announced a "regional haze" rule to improve air quality in national parks
and wilderness areas so that visitors can enjoy unspoiled views of America's
greatest natural treasures.
May 29, 1999: President Clinton issued
an executive memorandum to improve the water quality of beaches and rivers,
including the Cape Cod, Cape Hatteras, and Pt. Reyes National Seashores.
June 3, 1999: President Clinton issued
an executive order directing all federal departments and agencies to improve
the energy efficiency of government buildings.
August 12, 1999: The President issued
an executive memorandum setting the goal of tripling the nation's use of
bioenergy and bioproducts by 2010. At the same time, the President signed
an executive order establishing the Interagency Council on Biobased Products
and Bioenergy to develop a biomass research program to be presented annually
as part of the federal budget (Executive Order 13134).
August 14, 1999: The President announced
new steps to restore America's rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Under a
proposed rule, the Environmental Protection Agency will work with states
to better assess the health of U.S. waterways and to develop detailed plans
to make them safe for fishing and swimming.
August 21, 1999: President Clinton
announced a landmark agreement to protect 9,300 acres adjoining Yellowstone
National Park a critical step to preserve the park's famed bison
September 2, 1999: President Clinton
signed a proclamation strengthening our ability to enforce environmental,
customs and immigration laws at sea by expanding a critical enforcement
zone to include waters within 24 nautical miles of the U.S. coast.
September 16, 1999: President Clinton
transmitted to the Senate an amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances
that Deplete the Ozone Layer to strengthen measures to promote compliance
with the protocol.
October 13, 1999: President Clinton
directed the National Forest Service to develop regulations to provide long-term
protection for 40 million acres of "roadless" areas within national forests.
The proposed regulations could ban road building in these areas and could
also prohibit logging or other activities that harm their unique ecological
October 21, 1999: President Clinton
signed into law Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Gunnison
Gorge National Conservation Area Act of 1999, establishing the Black Canyon
in Colorado as a national park (S. 323).
October 30, 1999: President Clinton
announced an agreement to preserve New Mexico's spectacular Baca Ranch.
October 30, 1999: President Clinton
announced the acquisition of 14,000 additional acres within the Joshua Tree
National Park land that otherwise might be developed.
October 30, 1999: President Clinton
announced a new EPA rule strengthening the public's right to know about
highly toxic chemicals released to the environment. The rule establishes
or strengthens reporting requirements for 27 "persistent bioaccumulative
toxics," including mercury, dioxin, and PCBs, which build up in the environment
rather than breaking down.
November 5, 1999: President Clinton
announced the addition of 57,000 acres of prime Columbia River Salmon habitat
to the National Wildlife Refuge System, including large sections of the
Hanford Reach, the last section of free-flowing salmon habitat on the Columbia.
November 16, 1999: Vice President
announced that President Clinton signed an executive order requiring careful
assessment and consideration of the environmental impacts of trade agreements
(Executive Order 13141).
November 24, 1999: President Clinton
signed the Arctic Tundra Habitat Emergency Conservation Act (H.R. 2454).
December 12, 1999: President Clinton
announced that the EPA was issuing the toughest standards ever for reducing
harmful air pollution from auto tailpipes. The new standards ensure that
sportutility vehicles, minivans, and lightduty trucks meet the same low
levels of tailpipe emissions as other passenger cars.
January 11, 2000: President Clinton
signed proclamations creating three new national monuments the Grand
Canyon-Parashant National Monument and the Agua Fria National Monument in
Arizona, and the California Coastal National Monument and expanding
another, the Pinnacles National Monument in California.
February 9, 2000: President Clinton
transmitted to the Senate the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed
Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International
Trade, with Annexes. This Convention assists developing countries in evaluating
risks and enforcing their regulatory decisions regarding trade in hazardous
chemicals and pesticides.
February 14, 2000: President Clinton
announced $18.6 million in Forest Legacy grants for 29 projects encompassing
nearly 250,000 acres in 19 states and territories. These competitive grants
are used to protect private forestland that provides critical wildlife habitat
and is threatened by development. Protected lands can continue to be used
for forestry and other compatible activities.
March 22, 2000: U.S. Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright and Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaswant
Singh signed a U.S.-India statement on cooperation on energy and environment
issues on behalf of the United States and India, outlining a common agenda
on clean energy development and environmental protection.
March 28, 2000: President Clinton
announced new measures to restore "natural quiet" to the Grand Canyon by
better managing sight-seeing flights over the National Park. The new rules
continue to allow visitors to view the Canyon by air, but limit noise by
significantly expanding "flight-free" zones over the Park and by restricting
future growth in commercial air tour operations.
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House
White House for Kids | White House History
White House Tours | Help | Text Only