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EPA History

Historical Document Collection at EPA Headquarters

The EPA Historical Document Collection holds more than forty separate collections in a variety of formats. These collections document EPA's organizational history and related environmental history. The list below describes the contents of the collections.  The EPA Historical Document Collection is housed within the EPA Headquarters Repository and Library. The collection is not available for browsing, but our librarians can search for specific documents for you.  To arrange a visit to the library for viewing specific documents in this collection, please email the EPA Headquarters Repository and Library reference staff.

EPA Administrators

Ruckelshaus, William D., Papers, 1970-1995 [Bulk, 1970-84]
Speeches of William D. Ruckelshaus, who served as first Agency Administrator of EPA, 1970-73, then again from May 1983 to Feb. 1985. Most speeches are from 1971, and were made to a variety of industry, media, civic, legislative, and academic audiences. Includes indexes by date and title. Also includes reports on accomplishments during Ruckelshaus's second term.

Train, Russell E., Speeches, Statements, and Writings, 1973-1982
Speeches, EPA statements, and writings of Russell E. Train, who served as EPA Agency Administrator from Sept. 1973 to Jan. 1977. Bulk of speeches are from 1975-76, and were made to environmental groups, industry, and international conferences. Collection documents environmental policy developments on issues such as pesticide regulation, ozone depletion, and wildlife protection.

Costle, Douglas M., Statements and Writings, 1977-1980
Statements and writings of Douglas M. Costle, who served as EPA Agency Administrator from March 1977 to January 1981. Statements focus primarily on pollution control regulatory developments, the relationship of environmental policy with energy policy and economic growth, and international environmental cooperation.

Gorsuch, Anne M. (Burford), Statements, 1981-1982
Statements of Anne M. Gorsuch, who served as EPA Agency Administrator from May 1981 through March 1983. Statements deal primarily with Agency management and program operation issues during a time of reduced budgets.

Thomas, Lee M., Statements and Writings, 1983-1988
Statements and writings of Lee M. Thomas, who served as EPA Agency Administrator from February 1985 through January 1989, and as EPA Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response from 1983-1985. Most statements deal with the Superfund Program's progress in cleaning up hazardous waste sites, and the issues surrounding the program's reauthorization in 1986.

Reilly, William K., Speeches, Statements, and Writings, 1989-1993
Speeches, statements, and writings of William K. Reilly, who served as EPA Agency Administration from Feb. 1989 to Jan. 1993. Most speeches are from 1990-91, and were made to a variety of industry, media, legislative, civic, and academic audiences. Many document EPA's growing involvement in international environmental cooperation, and market-driven environmental regulation. Collection also contains some remarks of President George Bush on environmental matters.

Browner, Carol M., Statements and Writings, 1993-1998
Statements of EPA Agency Administrator Browner (Feb. 1993 - Dec. 1998) on environmental issues, Clinton Administration and EPA accomplishments, EPA administrative actions and other matters. Collection also includes letters to federal/state legislators and executives, and memoranda to all EPA employees.

Whitman, Christine Todd, Speeches, Statements and Writings, 2001-2003
Administrator Whitman's statements, EPA press releases, various talking points and remarks for delivery on special events, and responses to local, regional and international audiences.

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EPA Officials

EPA Administrators, Miscellaneous Materials, 1973-2001
Miscellaneous materials relating to the terms of EPA Agency, Deputy, Associate, Assistant, and Regional Administrators. Collection includes tenure lists, biographical information, feature articles, interviews, news clippings, and related items. See also separate collections of EPA Agency Administrators' speeches and writings (by Administrator's name).

Grizzle, Charles L., Remarks, 1991
1991 Remarks of EPA Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resources Management. Finding aid provides chronological and title access. Collection includes index to 1988-91 remarks, by title, keyword and date.

Habicht, F. Henry (Hank), Speeches, Writings, and Press Briefings, 1991-1992
Speeches and press briefings reflecting former EPA Deputy Administrator Habicht's interest in EPA strides towards better risk assessment, pollution prevention, market-driven environmental regulation, dioxin, and Total Quality Management (TQM) at EPA.

Hansen, Fred, Statements, 1997-1998
Statements of EPA Deputy Administrator Fred Hansen (May 1997 - June 1998) on EPA Partnership Programs, global sustainability, and EPA policy on various administrative and environmental issues.

McCabe, W. Michael, Statements, 2000
Statements of EPA Deputy Administrator W. Michael McCabe (Acting Deputy/Deputy from December 1999 through January 2001) on EPA Partnership Programs with industry and States, EPA public access initiatives, EPA accomplishments at its 30th anniversary, and EPA/federal policy on various administrative and environmental issues.

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EPA Publications

EPA Employee Newsletters, 1982-1993
EPA newsletters, EPA TIMES and EPA InSight, providing info on EPA budgets, key staff appointments, employee honors and awards, agency programs and activities, and EPA-Congressional issues.

EPA Employees Recreation Association Newsletter, 1976-1993
Membership newsletter includes features of interest for runners, bikers, other sports, fitness, and leisure enthusiasts. Highlights role of various EPA offices, such as the Recreation Assn. store, the Health Unit, Stress Lab, and employee or team involvement in interagency sports and fitness events.

EPA General Information Kit, 1989-1996
Set of EPA publications provided by EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) in response to requests for basic information on the EPA.

EPA Headquarters Telephone Directories, 1971-2002
Sponsored by OEI, provides telephone/fax numbers and location of individual EPA staff members and offices, and shows organizational structure and functional responsibilities of offices. Includes organizational charts; subject/service guides to offices; hotline directory; listings for regional offices. Great means to find out who worked where, and when.

EPA Journal, 1975-1995
Bimonthly magazine on environmental topics, usually theme-oriented, to inform employees and the public of current environmental problems and solutions. Recent and back issues are also available in the EPA Information Resources Center (IRC).

EPA Office of Water, Water Quality Reference and Briefing Materials, 1976-1992
Office of Water reference and briefing materials covering wetlands protection, water projects, wastewater discharge permits, and other water quality issues.

EPA Progress Reports, 1972-2001
Strategic plans and progress reports on EPA accomplishments and challenges in carrying out its environmental and public health protection mission.

EPA Student Information Kit, 1989-1997
Set of EPA publications provided by EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) in response to requests for basic environmental information for students.

Press Releases Collection, 1970-2000
Press releases collection consists of scanned images, catalog records, and photocopied reference set of EPA press releases issued by EPA's Office of Communications, Education and Public Affairs (OCEPA), and from some regional offices from 1970 through the present. Inmagic database offers full-text searching of abstracts fields, and list of authorized topics terms provides subject access. It can also be searched by date or title.

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Non-EPA Publications

Environmental Cartoons, 1966-1989
Political cartoons and comic strips focusing on environmental problems and related political issues.

Inside EPA, 1989-1997
Weekly report on EPA by Inside Washington Publishers; covers federal environmental programs.

Microfilm Publications
University Publications of America microfilm publications in the History Office include: Oil and the Energy Crisis: The Federal Investigations, 1866-1975, 1975 (and 1974-1985 supplements); Pollution: Major Sources for Research, 1800-1950, 1980; and State Water Resources, Reports on Microfilm through 1940, 15 Titles from 8 States, 1896-1940.

Newspaper Clipping Collection, 1970-1995
Photocopied reference set of over 80,000 clippings maintained by EPA Headquarters and regional offices, with records in an Inmagic database, and some image files on optical disks.

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EPA History

EPA Budgets FY 1970 to FY 2001, 1979-2001
Summaries of annual budgets proposed by the President; Budget Office contacts list; EPA Budget Authority document for FY 1970 to FY 2001; annual performance plans and reports; press releases.

EPA Congressional Correspondence Collection, 1988-1993
Congressional correspondence controlled by the EPA Administrator's Office, and EPA responses with related attachments. Inmagic database with some full-text images on floptical disks. Photocopied reference set. Full-text records open to authorized EPA personnel only.

EPA History Collection, 1970-1994
A collection within EPA's larger Historical Document Collection, containing a variety of information resources shedding light on EPA's formation, organization and management structure, statutory authority, and operations. Includes nomination hearings, speeches, news clippings, biographical materials, correspondence, reports, organizational charts, publications, political cartoons, etc.

EPA Management and Organization: Budget, Administrative, and Field Offices Materials, 1970-1993
Deals primarily with establishment and reorganization of field offices for EPA's Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM) and National Environmental Research Center (NERC) in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Info on EPA organizational history, administrative structure of chief departments, and reorganization of Office of Enforcement and Compliance Monitoring included.

EPA Office of Research and Development, Organization and Functions, 1971-1993
Correspondence, reports, publications, and related materials bearing on the organization, development, and reorganization of EPA environmental research offices and functions. Includes reports on plans for EPA labs, and on environmental research trends.

EPA Regulatory Agendas, 1976-2002
Miscellaneous Federal Register issues or reprints containing EPA Regulatory Agendas, organized by statute, listing EPA's current and projected regulations, reviews of existing regulations, and any actions that have been completed or withdrawn since the previous publication.

EPA 30th Anniversary, 2000
Program, statements, photos, and reports marking EPA's 30th anniversary as an independent agency. Provides a focus on three decades of environmental progress, EPA program, regional, and employee contributions, and future challenges for the agency.

EPA Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, 1995-1996
Programs, posters, statements, video, and special reports and publications marking EPA's 25th anniversary as an independent agency. Provides a focus on EPA program accomplishments and challenges.

Transition '89, 1989
Five-volume set of binders, information on EPA management, organization, functions, and new initiatives following the 1988 presidential election. Volumes on Agency Overview; Office Profiles; Regional Profiles; Major National Issues; and Significant National and Major Regional Issues. Shows organizational structure, management systems, budget process and workforce demographics for FY 1981 - FY 1989.

Transition '93, 1992-1993
One binder, same basic structure as Transition '89; covers FY 1984 - FY 1993. Includes Transition News, daily update on Transition-related articles for wire reports and newspapers, posted on EPA electronic mail by Headquarters Library.

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Environmental Topics

Air Pollution and Air Quality Management, 1963-1992
This collection focuses on early concerns with air pollution and control programs, especially those of the Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare and EPA's Air Pollution Control Office. Documents regional air pollution control programs, particularly California transportation controls, and discusses economic costs of clean air.

Chemical Emergency Preparedness, News Clippings, 1987-1991
News articles on chemical accidents, increased U.S. efforts towards chemical emergency preparedness, and community right-to-know initiatives.

Earth Day/EPA 20th Anniversary [1990], 1970-1991
Gives background on first Earth Day, but focuses heavily on Earth Day 1990, with theme "Think Globally, Act Locally: You Can Make a Difference," used to launch pollution prevention and recycling campaigns. Documents the involvement of business, labor, industry, government, civic and environmental groups to mark Earth Day's 20th anniversary. EPA's Dec. 1990 20th anniversary activities covered also. Correspondence, photos, banners, posters, audiovisual materials, outreach materials by diverse groups.

Earth Day 2000
Materials marking the celebration of Earth Day's 30th anniversary by EPA, other federal agencies, and environmental organizations.

Noise Control, 1969-1992
Subject files on noise abatement and control. Bulk of collection consists of EPA reports issued by or for Office of Noise Abatement and Control, and Congressional public hearings on various aspects of noise control. Articles, bibliographies, finding aids on noise pollution. Debate surrounding aircraft/airport noise in 1970s is well documented. Indexes to public hearings/government reports, and EPA reports in collection.

Pest Control Programs and Pesticide Safety, 1956-1988 [Bulk, 1967-69]
Federal Committee on Pest Control (FCPC) reviews, program summaries and recommendations for various agency pest control programs and projects, and FCPC minutes. Also contains pesticide safety materials from a variety of government and educational sources dealing with safe storage and use of pesticides in home, work, public and agricultural settings.

Solid Waste, 1966-1977
Materials from the Office of Solid Waste, dealing primarily with plans for implementation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA). Covers such issues as sanitary landfill guidelines and sludge management. Documents early role of Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) in solid waste management.

Toxics Integration, 1977-1993
Documents the efforts towards an integrated cross-media approach to toxics management within EPA, and interagency regulatory coordination of toxic chemicals. Background materials on Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act; contamination case studies; materials documenting new interagency strategies to protect health and environment from toxics.

Toxics Release Inventory Public Data Releases [for 1987-1998], 1989-2000
Public Data Release reports from EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database, and state fact sheets, providing info on chemical waste management, and annual releases of toxic chemicals into the environment.

U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, [3-14 June, 1992], 1990-1993
Features products of international preparatory committee for the conference, which began meeting in 1989 to prepare recommendations for the 1992 conferees. Work of EPA Agency Administrator William K. Reilly is reflected in his speeches, writings, and an interview conducted by a former EPA historian. Includes Agenda 21, a program of work prepared by UNCED to lay out a course of action on environment and development through the year 2000.

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EPA Photos and Multimedia

All photographs and multimedia records have been reproduced electronically on this web site and/or have been transferred to EPA's Office of Multimedia Operations (OMO). For more information about the records maintained by OMO, please contact Jini Ryan ( ; 202-564-6854).

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Small Collections, 1972-2000
Miscellaneous small collections, often one document only, filed alphabetically by title. Includes EPA office and program reports, and reports on various environmental policy issues.

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