EPA should be an independent agency

By RUSSELL TRAIN, former EPA Administrator and a member of REP’s Honorary Board

AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Letter to the editor of the New York Times, published June 21, 2003


“Report by EPA Leaves Out Data on Climate Change” (front page, June 19) says that an Environmental Protection Agency report due next week on the state of the environment is being edited by the White House to play down the risks of global climate change.

Having served as E.P.A. administrator under both Presidents Nixon and Ford, I can state categorically that there never was such White House intrusion into the business of the E.P.A. during my tenure. The E.P.A. was established as an independent agency in the executive branch, and so it should remain. There appears today to be a steady erosion in its independent status.

I can appreciate the president’s interest in not having discordant voices within his administration. But the interest of the American people lies in having full disclosure of the facts, particularly when the issue is one with such potentially enormous damage to the long-term health and economic well-being of all of us.