On July 9, 1970, President Richard Nixon informed Congress of his plan to create a new federal agency tasked with protecting the nation’s people and resources from pollution and environmental harm. Although there were a range of environmental programs and offices throughout the federal government, Nixon argued that a reorganization of federal efforts, concentrating them in a single agency, was necessary to “effectively ensure the protection, development and enhancement of the total environment itself.”
The new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened its doors on December 2. The first EPA Administrator, William Ruckelshaus, immediately adopted an aggressive enforcement agenda, and the new agency quickly made its presence felt. For the next fifty years, the EPA would be one of the most powerful and controversial federal regulatory agencies.
Last fall, the Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law hosted a day-long conference on the EPA’s first 50 years. The papers from the conference have now been published in the Case Western Reserve Law Review, and are available online. The collected presenters and authors included the current EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, and EPA veterans from each of the last four administrations.
Here is a listing of the papers:
- Jonathan H. Adler, The Environmental Protection Agency Turns Fifty
- Andrew Wheeler, The EPA at Fifty Symposium: Keynote Address
- E. Donald Elliott, A Critical Assessment of the EPA’s Air Program at Fifty and a Suggestion for How It Might Do Even Better
- Joseph Goffman and Laura Bloomer, Disempowering the EPA: How Statutory Interpretation of the Clean Air Act Serves the Trump Administration’s Deregulatory Agenda
- Joseph E. Aldy, Evaluating Regulatory Performance: Learning from and Institutionalizing Retrospective Analysis of EPA Regulations
- Cary Coglianese and Daniel E. Walters, Litigating EPA Rules: A Fifty-Year Retrospective of Environmental Rulemaking in the Courts
- Emily Hammond, Toward a Role for Protest in Environmental Law
- Michael A. Livermore, Polluting the EPA’s Long Tradition of Economic Analysis
- Brian F. Mannix, The EPA at Fifty: Time to Give Bootleggers the Boot!
- Wendy Wagner, It isn’t Easy Being a Bureaucratic Expert: Celebrating the EPA’s Innovations
- Michael P. Vandenbergh, Jonathan M. Gilligan, and Haley Feuerman, The New Revolving Door
- Robert V. Percival, The EPA as a Catalyst for the Development of Global Environmental Law