Bill Ruckelshaus, EPA's first Administrator, and three of his closest aides reminisce about the startup and earliest days of the new agency. Their recollections--some serious and some humorous--shed light on the decisions that laid the foundation for today's EPA.
Audio Track - The Complete Interview - 55 minutes
Sitting around a dinner table one evening in February, 2013, Bill Ruckelshaus discussed with three of his Assistants from the early days of the Agency what the opening months at the new Agency were like back in 1971. This freewheeling discussion ranged across such topics as the public attitudes toward the environment in 1971, how a new organization of headquarters and the regions was quickly put in place, and how Bill Ruckelshaus' unique leadership and management style helped shape tthis new Agency in ways that can still be seen today. They talked as well about Bill's handling of the hot issues of the day, including:
• a fight with the automobile industry over tailpipe emissions and
• a similar tussle with municipalities and industry over waste water treatment.
Joining Ruckelshaus around the dinner table were:
• Gary Baise who came with Ruckelshaus from the Justice Department and who served as Bill's first Chief of Staff;
• Phil Angell who brought public relations and communication skills to the Administrator's office as an Assistant to the Administrator, and
• Chuck Elkins who moved to become an Assisant to Bill from the Office of Management and Budget where he helped write the Reorganization Plan that created EPA.
The individual "chapters" of the discussion are available for viewing individually as is the complete interview (55 minutes).
Chapter 1: Beginning a New Agency (13 minutes)
The panel discusses the sense of excitement with the opening of the Agency's doors and the expectations of the public. They talk about getting the Assistant Administrators on board and establishing the bona fides of the agency. Bill talks about his decision to see serveral cities about their failure to clean up their waste water and the cities' reactions.
Chapter 2: Setting up the New Agency's Structure (17 minutes)
Bill Ruckelshaus and three former assistants talk about finding the right appointees for the agency, meetings in the regions to get them up and running, Doug Costle's role in creating the agency and how the structure of the agency evolved over time.
Chapter 3: DDT & the Clean Air Act of 1970 (13 minutes)
Bill Ruckelshaus talks about his taking on two difficult problems--tailpipe emissions of automobiles and DDT.
Chapter 4: Leadership at the New Agency (12 minutes)
Bill Ruckelshaus's assistants talk about the leadership challenges of those opening months and how Bill Ruckelshaus's leadership style made a big difference in how the Agency operated then and to some extent how it has operated ever since.
|The Complete Interview||74m|
|C1:||An Unusual Arrival at EPA||18m|
|C2:||Chernobyl's Radiation Emergency||8m|
|C3:||OSWER & Superfund Reauthorization||8m|
|C4:||Stratospheric Ozone & Climate Change||19m|
|C5:||Management & Core Values||23m|
|The Complete Interview||39m|
|C1:||Joining the Administration: Relationship with the President||8m|
|C2:||My Agenda at EPA||6m|
|C4:||Priorities at EPA||5m|
|C5:||EPA Leadership and Staff||3m|
|The Complete Interview||60m|
|C1:||Setting the Stage Historically||6m|
|C2:||EPA's Relationship with the Private Sector||8m|
|C3:||Program Management & Public/Private Partnerships||18m|
|C4:||Leadership Management within EPA||18m|
|C5:||Lessons Learned at EPA||10m|
|The Complete Interview||55m|
|C1:||Beginning a New Agency||13m|
|C2:||Setting up the New Agency's Structure||17m|
|C3:||DDT & the Clean Air Act of 1970||13m|
|C4:||Leadership at the New Agency||12m|
|The Complete Interview||88m|
|C1:||Major Elements of the Legislation and their Historical Context||33m|
|C2:||The Scientific, Technical and Political Challenges||21m|
|C3:||Implementation (Standards, Regions, and States)||18m|
|C4:||Factors that Led to Successes and some Lessons Learned||17m|
|The Complete Interview||53m|
|C1:||A Public and Private Sector Career in Environmental Protection||9m|
|C2:||Early Days of Environmental Enforcement||8m|
|C5:||The Future of Environmental Protection||14m|
|The Complete Interview||48m|
|C1:||The Public and Social Context for the Creation of EPA||16m|
|C2:||How EPA was Created using Reorganization Plan #3||10m|
|C3:||Congressional Approval and the Start Up of the New Agency||22m|
|The Complete Interview||48m|
|C1:||A New Approach to a Large Mission but a Small Budget||14m|
|C2:||Applying "Total Quality Management" to a Federal Program.||16m|
|C3:||Running an Independent Program within a Larger Agency.||18m|