Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2nd EPA Administrator Russell E. Train Dies at 92

Russell E. Train
Conservationist Russell E. Train, the second head of EPA (1973 and 1977), Monday at 92.  He served as the first chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality from 1970 to 1973, a role that followed a 1969-70 job as under secretary at the Interior Department after President Nixon's election.  EPA was formally established in late 1970. Train passed away at his farm in Bozman, Maryland.

After leaving government Train served as president of the U.S. branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a post he held from 1978-1985, and after that served as chairman of the group from 1985-1994.

The New York Times notes that Train, a Republican, was widely considered the father of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, a benchmark law that requires federal agencies to gauge the environmental impact of major actions before allowing them.

Beginning in the late 1940s, Train, a Rhode Island native and attorney, had several roles on Capitol Hill and the federal government before becoming a top environmental official under former Presidents Nixon and Ford. They included service as chief counsel and then minority adviser to the House Ways and Means Committee, and head of legal advisory staff at the Treasury Department, in the 1950s. He then became a judge on the U.S. Tax Court from 1957 until 1965. He later became president of the Conservation Foundation from 1965 through 1969. Train was Chairman Emeritus of the World Wildlife Fund at the time of his passing.

He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991. (EPA, The Hill, 9/18/2012)

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