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May 19, 2016

B&C Professionals Help Tell the Story of EPA’s “Half Century of Progress”

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

Many Americans today, including many legislators at the federal and state levels, were not yet born when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created by President Nixon in 1970, or they were too young to appreciate how air and water quality were deteriorating until governments, private companies, and individual citizens stepped up to take action. The EPA Alumni Association, recognizing the importance of current and future generations understanding the history and lessons learned of the past 50 years, has created an interactive report entitled Protecting the Environment: A Half Century Of Progress that, through pictures, infographics, links, and essays, tells “the story of our nation’s environmental program for those who don’t know or remember it.” EPA alumni James V. Aidala, Senior Government Affairs Consultant for Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), and Charles M. Auer of Charles Auer & Associates, LLC, an affiliate of B&C, contributed to the project.

The seven graphic- and photo-rich essays supporting the main report provide detailed “eye witness” accounts of enormous strides made in improving the environment since the ’70s in the areas of AirWaterDrinking WaterWaste Disposal“Superfund” land cleanupPesticides, and Toxic Substances programs managed by EPA and operated in conjunction with state, local, and tribal programs. We are pleased to share the essay entitled Toxic Substances: A Half Century of Progress co-authored by our colleagues James V. Aidala, former Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances (now the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention), and Charles M. Auer, former Director of the EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), with additional authors Frank D. Kover and Mark Greenwood. The essay presents an excellent overview of the events leading up to Congress’s enactment of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the law itself, and the status of pending TSCA reform legislation.

In commenting on their participation in the report, Aidala and Auer emphasized the importance of institutional memory as America enters the second half century of environmental protection. “In Washington policy circles, what happened ten years ago is ‘ancient history,'” stated Aidala. “But we can learn from those past attempts to legislate about and control environmental problems. How EPA should regulate persistent and global pollutants like PCBs and how to evaluate all new chemicals without stifling innovation in the chemical industry were part of the debate 50 years ago and are relevant to the 2016 debate about how to craft TSCA legislation,” he stated. Auer added, “As once-new EPA employees from the 1970s now reach retirement age, it was a great idea to write about events and decisions made in those early days while the memories of our time at EPA and the lessons learned were still vivid.”

The professionals of B&C and affiliated consulting firm The Acta Group (Acta®) are some of the leading TSCA experts in the world, as evidenced by the many publications that quote our professionals on TSCA developments and the many seminars that request our participation. TSCA resources available on our website include: