THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION is taking its first major steps to cut government red tape. On Mar. 16, the President was set to announce changes including exemptions from regulatory fines for small businesses that spend money correcting violations instead. At the Environmental Protection Agency, companies will be given a 180-day grace period to correct violations before being fined, paperwork will be cut by 25%, and companies will be eligible for a program suspending rules if pollution goals are met.

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