Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Environmental Protection Agency

March 2, 1983

This morning, the President was briefed by Jim Baker [Assistant to the President] on the current status of matters involving the Environmental Protection Agency. The President directed the following steps be taken:

One, Congress shall continue to have complete access to any and all documents they seek in conjunction with the oversight of EPA. At the President's direction, Congress is not to be denied access to any document. These instructions extend agreement with the Levitas committee [Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation] to all committees.

Number two, the Department of Justice has been directed by the President to meet promptly with Chairman Dingell to seek from him all information he may have in reference to allegations of misconduct at EPA.

The President also reaffirmed his direction to the Justice Department that they move forward as expeditiously as possible with the investigation of all allegations of misconduct at EPA. This reaffirms the directions he gave on February 15th in a letter from Fred Fielding [Counsel to the President] to the Attorney General.

The final item is that the President instructed his staff to keep him fully abreast of all information concerning the EPA.

Note: Deputy Press Secretary Larry M. Speakes read the statement at his briefing for reporters, which began at 10:43 a.m. in the Vista Mar Monte Room at the Santa Barbara Sheraton Hotel in Santa Barbara, Calif.