Assessment, Communication, and Management of Environmental Risks

  • William D. Ruckelshaus
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 45)


I am delighted to be able to address this conference, drawing upon my experiences at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some have called it the “finest environmental protection agency in the world.” A theme I have heard repeatedly from environmental leaders in other countries is that what the EPA does in this country largely dictates what happens in many other parts of the world. It strikes me as ironic that an agency with so much prestige abroad has trouble here at home convincing our own people of the wisdom of its actions. Of course, its image has changed over time. I remember speaking to the Economic Club in Detroit in 1970 to some 1,100 businessmen; I was introduced by the Executive Vice President of General Motors as “the greatest friend of American industry since Karl Marx.” I know that many of you here in your hearts probably lust after the job of Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. If it’s ever offered to you, I have one piece of advice: don’t take it unless it’s offered by a Republican president! As I have now discovered for the second time, if you’re the EPA Administrator in a Republican ad-ministration and you leave before you’re indicted, everybody tells you what a good job you did, proving you can succeed in any job if only you set your goals low enough!


Environmental Protection Agency Foreign Policy Hazardous Waste Public Participation Superfund Site 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • William D. Ruckelshaus
    • 1
  1. 1.William D. Ruckelshaus AssociatesSeattleUSA

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