EPA History - Alvin L. Aim: Oral History Interview
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Alvin L. Aim:  Oral History Interview

This publication is the third in a series of oral
history interviews with the Environmental
Protection Agency's administrators and
deputy administrators. The EPA History
Program has undertaken this project in
order to preserve, distill, and disseminate
the main experiences and insights of the
men and women who have led the agency.
EPA decision-makers and staff,  related
government entities, the environmental
community, scholars, and the general
public, can all profit from these recollections
Separately, each of the interviews will
describe the perspectives of particular
leaders. Collectively, these reminiscences
win illustrate the dynamic nature of EPA's
historic mission; the personalities and
institutions that have shaped its  outlook; the
context of the times in which it has operated,
and some of the agency's principal
achievements and  shortcomings.
                       The techniques used to prepare the EPA oral history series conform to the
                       practices commonly observed by  professional historians. The questions, submitted
                       in advance, are broad and open-ended, and the answers are preserved on audio
                       tape. Once transcripts of the recordings are completed, the History Program staff
                       edits the manuscripts for clarity, factual accuracy, and logical progression. The
                       finished manuscripts are then  returned to the interviewees, who may alter the text
                       to eliminate errors made during transcription of the tapes, or during the editorial
                       phase of preparation.

                       A eoiie-borative work suioh as this incurs; a  number of debts, Ka;hy Petrucce!!!. Director of EPA's;
                       Management and Organization Division, sought support for transcription and printing costs. John C.
                       Chainberlin, Director of the Office of Administration, provided the necessary funds. Connie Martin
                       performed invaiuebie proofreading and logistical services. Finally, Alvir; Aim himself must be
                       acknowledged for his candid and insignttiii reflections on this formative period in EPA history.
                       Son of a Swedish immigrant tailor, Al Aim
                       grew up in 1950s Denver. Classically,
                       Aim represents a first generation
                       American rising through the ranks of
                       government and  business. Graduating

EPA History - Alvin L. Aim: Oral History Interview
                            Page 2 of 20
                      from the University of Denver in 1960,
                      Aim decided, on the advice of a faculty
                      member, to attend the Maxwell Graduate
                      School of Public Administration in
                      Syracuse,  New York.  Upon graduating,
                      he accepted a position with the Bureau of
                      the Budget as a management intern,
                      where he became involved in the
                      budgeting  process for pollution programs
                      scattered throughout the bureaucracy.

                      In 1970, Aim drew the attention of
                      Russell Train, who asked him to become
                      his staff director at the newly created
                      Council on Environmental Quality. Aim
                      accepted the position, and within three
                      years was asked by William
                      Ruckelshaus, the first EPA Administrator,
                      to become the Assistant Administrator for
                      Planning and Management. Soon after
                      Aim arrived at EPA, Ruckelshaus was
                      asked to become FBI director, and
                      Russell Train became EPA Administrator
                      - renewing the relationship Aim developed with Train at CEQ.
EPA Deputy Administrator Alvin L. Aim
                      At EPA, Aim oversaw the development of the effluent guideline process, the
                      NPDES permit program, and the creation of financial safeguards for the
                      construction grant program. He devoted attention to building a solid economic-
                      analysis program at EPA, which enabled the agency to minimize the negative
                      economic impact of its regulations.

                      By the middle 1970s, Aim found himself heavily involved in energy issues. EPA's
                      environmental mandate received less public attention as a result of the rapid
                      increase in  energy prices resulting from the OPEC oil embargo of 1973/1974. He
                      was invited to Camp David to help develop the Ford administration's energy policy.
                      This experience, plus his management experience at CEQ and EPA, won him a
                      spot in the Carter administration, first working with James Schlesinger on the Carter
                      energy policy and then as an  undersecretary at the newly created Department of

                      In 1979, Aim accepted the responsibility of managing Harvard University's energy
                      security program. As an outsider,  "ensconced" at Harvard, he watched EPA
                      struggle through its rockiest times to date. When adverse media  reports and
                      congressional investigations forced Ronald Reagan's first EPA Administrator Ann
                      Gorsuch to resign, William Ruckelshaus returned to stabilize the agency's
                      credibility. Ruckelshaus tapped Al Aim to manage the daily affairs of the Agency as
                      Deputy Administrator. Ruckelshaus and Aim served through the remainder of
                      Reagan's first term and then both left the government for the  business community.
                      Aim became a senior vice president at Science Applications International
                      Corporation, Inc. in McLean, VA.

                      Aim played an active role in facilitating the government's campaign to control
                      environmental degradation. With his assistance the Federal government moved
                      from having no effective pollution control system to having a fully functional end-of-
                      pipe one. In so doing, Aim and his colleagues at EPA arrested the widespread
                      degradation of the American environment and laid a foundation for future
                      environmental progress. Aim's career in environmental matters, which he began in
                      the 1960s at BoB, did not end at EPA. Not one to rest on his laurels, Aim outlined
                      his vision for the future of environmental affairs:

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                            "...in recent years, I have seen the change to an entirely new set of
                            paradigms: sustainable development; pollution prevention; use of
                            nontraditional forms of environmental control,  like market incentives
                            and information; and integration of environmental concerns into
                            policies across government agencies. We are seeing the change
                            away from command and control, toward more flexible systems, and
                            ultimately toward a decentralized system. It is hard to foresee this
                            transition, but I think it is going to occur, and I  would like to continue
                            to be part of it...."

                      Early life and  influences

                      Q: Mr. Aim, please tell me about your upbringing, family life, and education.

                      MR. ALM: I grew up in Denver, Colorado. I went to the University of Denver and
                      graduated in 1960. I  then went to the Maxwell School, in Syracuse, N.Y. fora
                      master's degree in public administration. I have a daughter, who is a freshman at
                      Wesleyan University.

                      Q: What was it like growing up in Denver in the '50s and '60s?

                      MR. ALM: I remember Denver before air pollution. When I lived in Denver, it was
                      kind of an ideal place to be brought up. We were near the mountains. Good
                      weather. A lot of outdoor activities. So it was a very, very pleasant place to grow

                      Q: Did you hunt, fish and those sorts of things?

                      MR. ALM: Yes, my father was a avid fisherman. We tended to go fishing almost
                      every weekend. I learned how to fly fish, did virtually every kind of fishing all around
                      the mountain areas near Denver. Unfortunately, I never was patient enough to be a
                      good fisherman, but  I did enjoy being outdoors.

                      Q: Were you involved in environmental groups, such as the Izaak Walton League
                      or others?

                      MR. ALM: Not at that time, no.

                      Q: What was your father like?

                      MR. ALM: Well, my father was Swedish American. He was an immigrant tailor.

                      Q: What are your recollections of him? You said he fished.

                      MR. ALM: Well, I remember both spending a lot of time with him fishing and visiting
                      the tailor shop he had in downtown Denver. I rather enjoyed just watching how that
                      thing operated. I was probably a real pest at the time.

                      Q: Did that give you  some idea about managing an organization?

                      MR. ALM: I am not sure it did.
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                      Q: How did your family and friends feel about the environment?

                      MR. ALM: Well, I think in those days you took it for granted. Again, the first sense
                      that we had in Denver that something was amiss, was when the air pollution got to
                      the point that one no longer had clear views of the mountains. It sort of sneaks up
                      on you and suddenly one day you realize the  extent to which, well, we have fouled
                      our own nest with the explosive growth in Denver.

                      Q: Was there a reaction among the people in  Denver against that? Did they
                      recognize what the problem was and try to do something about it?

                      MR. ALM: Well, I left in 1960. And I think as of that time, at least to my recollection,
                      people accepted it as a natural corollary to progress. As you  recall, it was really
                      1970 when the environmental movement burst forth. I was not in Denver during
                      those 10 years. When I came back in the 70s, there was a great deal of concern.
                      Obviously the Clean Air Act set a very ambitious schedule, reducing three
                      pollutants by  90 percent. So that gave some hope that Denver's air pollution would
                      be corrected. Obviously, even today, considering the meteorological conditions, the
                      high altitude,  and the population growth Denver has, there are serious air-pollution

                      Generational differences with  regard to environmental

                      Q: You mentioned in your previous interview about your daughter at Wesleyan.
                      How do the attitudes of people her age differ from those of people  graduating from
                      college in 1960?

                      MR. ALM: Well, the information they have is incredible.  It may  not all be accurate,
                      but they certainly have perceptions. I remember when she was a young teenager
                      and I drove her and a bunch of her friends around and I  offered to take them to
                      lunch. They had a long debate about which of the fast food franchises was most
                      environmentally desirable. This is something that would  have never occurred to us
                      in the '60s. So there is a lot of interest by young adults her age. And I think it is
                      going to have a profound impact on politics, corporate behavior, and on individual
                      consumer decisions over time.

                      Some people feel that environment is going to go away as an issue as we have to
                      deal with the  stark economic realities of a global economy. Historically, there has
                      been a certain amount of waxing and waning  of environmental  enthusiasm
                      depending on the economic conditions. I believe, however, that the general trend
                      has been positive and that we are nurturing a new generation that  has much more
                      knowledge and a different ethic about the relationship of man to the environment. I
                      think it is going to make a  political difference,  a difference in consumer choices, and
                      a difference within firms. In many firms today, you see some  of the younger people
                      being proponents for the environment within their companies.

                      Q: You mentioned a different ethic that young people have. How would you define
                      that ethic?

                      MR. ALM: It is an ethic that concerns itself not only with obvious forms of pollution,
                      but concerns itself with use of materials and the way we dispose of residuals in our
                      society. There is a great deal of interest in recycling and purchasing "green" goods
                      that don't have adverse environmental effects. The ethic results in  a much more
                      personal involvement with doing something about the environment rather then
                      merely supporting governmental actions or contributing to environmental causes.
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                      Q: Where do you think the roots of that have...?

                      MR. ALM: That is a good question. Certainly in 1970, environmental quality
                      became a big political issue. With Earth Day acting as a national catharsis,
                      releasing pent up enthusiasm and concern over the issue. Environmental groups
                      grew rapidly and became very active. Overtime, environmental concerns seeped
                      into the educational system and received constant press attention. By the late
                      1980s, there was a recognition that environmental problems were global in nature.
                      In 1992, we saw the largest concentration of nations in the history of the world at
                      Rio [1992 UNCED meeting]. That was big news. All these things tend to be

                      These changes are having a large impact on industry, fundamentally different than
                      in the early days. In the early 1970s, industry, manufacturing industry to a great
                      extent, opposed many of the environmental laws. By the late 1970s and 1980s,
                      industry learned to live with regulations, although not always with great enthusiasm.

                      Today, you see many companies now trying to be very proactive by establishing
                      their own pollution prevention programs. For example, some of the big forest
                      products, chemical and petroleum companies are taking credit for their
                      contributions to the environment. Many believe environmental progress can
                      represent a competitive advantage.

                      A couple of years ago, Dow Chemical had a cover on its annual report that said
                      that no issue was more important to the future of the company than the
                      environment. Such a statement would never have been made a decade ago.

                      Government career

                      Q: Why did you go into government service?

                      MR. ALM: Well, I was always interested in government and politics. Like a lot of
                      young people I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with my life, so I planned to
                      go to law school. One of my professors told me about a scholarship that was
                      available at the Maxwell Graduate School of Public Administration in Syracuse. He
                      suggested that I apply for it; and, I thought, why not? I was awarded the scholarship
                      and decided that I would go the Maxwell School for a year and then get a law
                      degree. During the year at the  Maxwell School, I took the management intern exam
                      for the Federal Government, which I passed. Based on a series of interviews, I  had
                      a number of exciting job opportunities. That was a time in our nation's history where
                      government service was very highly regarded.  Most graduating students were
                      interested in public service of one kind or another. Very different than say the '80s,
                      where the opposite was true. So it was very  exciting. And one night I just sat down
                      and decided: am I going to law school or am I going take one of these jobs. I
                      decided to take a position as a management intern  with the Federal Government.
                      And ever since then, my life has been a series of new challenges and opportunities.

                      Q: How did you come to have  an interest in environmental matters?

                      MR. ALM: Well, in terms of the environment itself, obviously, growing up in
                      Colorado, made me conscious of the  beauty of nature. Professionally, I got
                      involved with environmental programs at the Bureau of the Budget, where I was the
                      principal budget examiner for the water pollution program. I really got very
                      interested in the pollution control programs. So in 1970, when CEQ was created, I
                      was asked by Russell Train to  come over and play a senior role. And clearly it was
                      what I wanted to do in terms of dealing with programs,  and what I considered of
                      great importance to the country.
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                      Q: Who would you say were the most important persons in your life? Who were
                      your mentors, people who influenced the direction of your life?

                      MR. ALM: I have had many really outstanding bosses. Kermit Gordon and Charley
                      Schultze were my bosses at the Bureau of the Budget. Russell Train, whom I
                      worked for at CEQ and EPA, significantly influenced my career. Jim Schlesinger
                      was my boss at the Department of Energy and a good friend. I worked with Bill
                      Ruckelshaus twice while he was at EPA, although only once directly. In my public
                      life, all these people had a major influence on me, and I learned a lot from them.

                      Q: What did you learn from them?

                      MR. ALM: I learned how to make decisions in a political environment. Generally,
                      these people were good decision-makers. They are all very honest people. They all
                      had good senses of humor, and they were all very bright. I believe honesty,
                      intelligence and a sense of humor are the three  most important characteristics for a
                      public official to possess.

                      Russell Train

                      Q: How would you characterize your relationship with Russell Train?

                      MR. ALM: I have known Russ since 1969. 1 initially met him early on in the Nixon
                      Administration when he was nominated to be the Under Secretary [of the Interior].
                      We worked on the oil-pollution legislation. We hit it off well from the very beginning.
                      Afterwards, I dealt with him from time to time when he was Undersecretary of the
                      Interior and I was at the Bureau of the Budget. He asked me to join his staff at
                      Interior but by the time I was ready to move he was  nominated to become
                      Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). He asked me to come
                      over and join him at CEQ in a senior position. So I worked for Russ for about three
                      and a half years at CEQ as staff director. I then had the opportunity to go over to
                      EPA to work for him as Assistant Administrator for Planning and Management. I
                      have never worked for anybody as long as Russ. It was really very enjoyable, and
                      professionally rewarding. He is a true gentleman in every respect, a person for
                      which I have the highest respect.

                      Comparison of Train and  Ruckelshaus

                      Q: How did his style and interests differ from those of Ruckelshaus?

                      MR. ALM: They have an awful lot of common characteristics. Both of them are very
                      shrewd judges of people. They are both extremely bright. Both  are lawyers. Both
                      have great senses of humor. They tend to do very well under pressure. For both of
                      them the more pressure they get under, the more they can laugh at themselves in
                      the situation. They are both very astute politically. I mean this in the good sense of
                      understanding what is possible and getting it done. Finally, they have a great ability
                      to delegate.  Both Bill and Russ Train gave me a lot of responsibility. And yet they
                      stayed on top of the important issues. So they are good managers in that sense.

                      Q: Did they have different interests?

                      MR. ALM: Well, Russ is most interested in wildlife kinds of issues. They interested
                      him much more viscerally than many of the pollution issues. Not that pollution
                      issues didn't interest him.
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                      But, Ruckelshaus, at least in the second term, which was when I worked for him,
                      was always grappling with the process of decision-making and how the public could
                      be informed about choices. He saw his role as that of the chief environmental

                      Train had the good fortune of being at EPA during the years when most was
                      accomplished. During the first three and a half years, EPA was mainly getting its
                      act together and getting the programs started to implement the Clean Air Act and
                      the Clean Water Act of 1972. During the 74 through  77 period, very  measurable
                      improvements in air and water pollution occurred from EPA implementation of this

                      Arrival at EPA

                      Q: How did you arrive at EPA?

                      MR. ALM: After the election in 1972, the job as Assistant Administrator for Planning
                      and Management at EPA came open. At the time, I was the staff director for the
                      Council on  Environmental Quality. Bill Ruckelshaus and I talked about it, and he
                      indicated that I would be his choice for the job. Ultimately, I was nominated to be
                      the Assistant Administrator for Planning and Management. This was  in 1973, just
                      about twenty years ago.

                      Q: Do you think Russell Train had anything to do with your EPA appointment? Did
                      he recognize  you as a talent, and recommend you to Bill Ruckelshaus, or...?

                      MR. ALM: No. At that point in time, he actually wanted me to stay at  CEQ. It is kind
                      of ironic that I went over, and then, through a series of events, Bill wound up  as the
                      head of the FBI, and then deputy attorney general. Russell Train then became EPA
                      Administrator. I like to think that I brought some good people over to  EPA.

                      Expectations of EPA in mid-1970s

                      Q: When you first became Assistant Administrator for Planning and Management,
                      what were your personal expectations there, and what ideas did you  bring to the

                      MR. ALM: I had been involved with economic analysis issues. So, I was interested
                      in strengthening EPA's ability to conduct economic analysis. I thought this was
                      going to be a big issue within the administration  and  felt that if EPA had a good
                      capability, it would fare much, much better in its  relationships with OMB and the
                      White House. Initially, that was something that I  was  very interested in.

                      I think when you actually take on a job like this, you begin to get a better sense of
                      the issues.  Early in my tenure as Assistant Administrator, EPA was implementing
                      the Clean Water Act. I spent a lot of time on Water Act issues: the development of
                      the effluent guideline process, the NPDES permit program, and financial
                      safeguards for the construction grant program, which at one time  was the biggest
                      public works program in the country.

                      I also got involved with Clean Air Act issues - with what became the rules for
                      prevention of significant deterioration. I also helped develop the administration's
                      position on what became the 1977 amendments to the Clean Air Act.

                      Toward the end of my tenure as Assistant Administrator, I was involved with
                      reorganizing the agency so that it could implement the Safe Drinking Water Act
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EPA History - Alvin L. Aim: Oral History Interview                                      Page 8 of 20
                      program, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and the Resource
                      Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

                      EPA style in mid-1970s

                      Q: What did EPA employees face in the 1970s in terms of taking a new piece of
                      legislation and implementing it? What difficulties did they face that might have
                      slowed down  processes?

                      MR. ALM: There were not that many difficulties other than just the typical
                      difficulties of bringing on new people, training them, etc. But, then, there was a
                      newness, a freshness. The Agency was not as mired down in bureaucracy. And
                      because of this, we were, for example, able to issue all the water pollution control
                      permits in a few years. There was a realization at that time that progress was really
                      critical and perfection could be the enemy of progress. The theory we had on the
                      issuance of the water permits was, "let's get them issued fast, let's get the
                      abatement underway, and then we will come back later and fix the permits that
                      weren't so good." Well, it turned  out that the rather rough and ready approach that
                      was used, "good engineering practice," tamed out to be pretty good and most of
                      those permits didn't have to be dramatically altered.

                      In the Superfund program today, for a lot of legalistic, political and bureaucratic
                      reasons, the attempt at perfection drives up the cost and subjects people to
                      unnecessary hassles. It is just a different world.

                      EPA and  OMB

                      Q: Based on your experience at the Office of Management and Budget, what do
                      you think the historic nature of the EPA/OMB relationship is, and how do you think
                      that  relationship could be improved?

                      MR. ALM: In general, that relationship has been a pretty uneasy one. And one of
                      the problems  has been the OMB regulatory review process. Within it, junior people
                      have a lot of power, particularly to delay decision-making. It creates a lot of tension
                      between OMB and EPA. Perhaps an expedited process for reaching decisions
                      between EPA and OMB and the White House would help. During the time I was
                      there, the problem was that you  never really knew where things were. It just
                      seemed like the issues would wind up in OMB, and unless there was some sort of
                      real  pressure, like a court deadline, it was very hard to break them loose.

                      Management and budget organization

                      Q: During your tenure, the planning and budgeting functions were consolidated into
                      one AA'ship. What do you think the strengths and weaknesses of this arrangement
                      were, and what is your perspective on the evolution of these functions into two

                      MR. ALM: The strength of a consolidated planning and budgeting AA'ship was that
                      it almost created a number three person in the agency. With the right kind of
                      person, you could get a lot of things done - in the areas of administration,  resource
                      management, planning and evaluation. However, the scope of duties under such
                      an organization is simply too big for one Assistant Administrator.  It really makes
                      sense to break it into two AA'ships. One persistent issue has been where the
                      budgetary function should be. Should it be in administration, as it is now, or should
                      it be in the policy shop? That debate, I assume, will go on for a long time.
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                      Functional  organization

                      Q: One of EPA's early goals was to mount a cross-media attack on pollution by
                      organizing the agency functionally. Why did the agency not continue to pursue that
                      goal? In hindsight, was that the right decision?

                      MR. ALM: EPA's major legislative enactments are all based on media - the Clean
                      Water Act, the Clean Air Act, et cetera. Therefore, EPA's programs and
                      organization tend to be based very heavily on media. Some of EPA's offices are
                      functional, e.g. Research and Development, Enforcement and Compliance
                      Monitoring and the General Counsel's office. But EPA has always retained media-
                      based programs to mirror legislative authorities.

                      There has been talk about organizing differently, but I don't expect any fundamental
                      reorganization, unless Congress provides EPA greater latitude in operating its
                      programs. As we stand now, different program deadlines are provided specifically
                      in each major statute. There is no broad legislation that requires you to have an
                      environmental permit by such-and-such a date. Instead, the Clean Air Act sets
                      requirements and deadlines for air emissions and the Clean Water Act sets
                      different requirements and deadlines for water effluents. From a management point
                      of view, organizing functionally in that kind of legislative environment becomes
                      very, very difficult.

                      Economic analysis capability

                      Q: In his oral history interview, Russell Train stated that the most important thing
                      you did, during his administration, was build a strong economic-analysis capability,
                      which he claimed was the best in government. What is your reaction to his claim?

                      MR. ALM: I think we certainly had the best economic analysis shop in government.
                      I don't think there is any doubt about that.

                      Q: What was your role in building that program?

                      MR. ALM: There was a very good staff in place when I got there. I brought on a
                      new office director, Paul Brands, and some key people. And we were continually
                      recruiting. But we had really outstanding  people there, at the time - Roy Gamse,
                      Jim Janis, and others. We brought together some of the best people and  put them
                      into positions of responsibility.

                      Q: These were people both inside and outside the agency?

                      MR. ALM: Yes. But a good deal of the people in that shop,  in the planning and
                      evaluation part of the organization, were there  when I got there.

                      Q: Mr. Train went on to say that he believed that the effectiveness of the  economic-
                      analysis program had declined over the years. What is your feeling about that?

                      MR. ALM: I have heard that, but I am not sure it is true. The office of OPPE is
                      many, many times larger now than when I was there, and they have got some very
                      talented people.  So, my sense is that the staff is very capable now. I would have a
                      hard time really comparing the relative quality between the staff when I was there
                      and the present staff.

                      Looking back nostalgically, some of the people really made outstanding
                      contributions, like Walt Barber, Roy Gamse, Jim Janis, and many others. But, I
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                      suspect some of the young people coming up now will also make major

                      Q: What examples can you think of that really illustrate the quality of EPA's
                      economic capability in the mid-1970s? What anecdotes can you remember that
                      might illustrate that?

                      MR. ALM: We were required by the Clean Water Act to issue effluent guidelines for
                      water pollution. Besides understanding what was technically feasible, it was very
                      important to understand economic impacts. During those early years of the
                      environmental program, we did not wish to cause unnecessary economic
                      dislocation. We also wanted to have good data on job losses resulting from
                      environmental regulation. The economic analysis performed resulted in reducing
                      adverse impacts and hence not undermining the water-pollution program. We did
                      various studies on the impact of environmental controls on entire industries at that
                      time. We also reviewed the impacts of major regulations focusing heavily on cost
                      effectiveness, for example, looking at what is the cost per ton of pollutant removed.

                      Q: How did that differ from what CEQ was doing in terms  of looking at cost benefits
                      of regulations?

                      MR. ALM: Well, CEQ did not evaluate individual regulations. When I was there,
                      CEQ did the initial evaluation of the economic impact of pollution control in industry.
                      But over time that function really flowed over to EPA.

                      EPA  and energy crisis

                      Q: During your tenure at EPA, as  an Assistant Administrator, the energy crisis had
                      a great impact on the American people and the Federal Government. How did that
                      crisis affect the agency and your work there?

                      MR. ALM: Well, I don't think it affected us profoundly. In 1973/1974, Arab oil
                      embargo required us to pay attention to coal use. EPA took some leadership in the
                      coal conversion program attempting to help the Federal Energy Administration shift
                      private  utility power plants from oil to coal.  Other than that, it did not greatly change
                      our life  at EPA.

                      Q: Do you think EPA changed the life of the nation during that period of time?

                      MR. ALM: No. I do not think so.

                      It depends on what you mean, "that period of time." In 1973/1974, the U.S.
                      experienced gasoline lines and severe economic shock. The Iranian shortfall in
                      1978/79 caused similar problems. Energy was most prominently a  public policy
                      problem from 1973-1981. It could  become  a major problem in the future as U.S.
                      imports continue to rise and domestic oil production falls.

                      At that time in EPA, we developed an energy policy capability. I brought over a
                      fellow named Walt Barber from OMB to run this program.  We worked to develop
                      various government positions on energy conservation. We were in  favor of
                      legislation  creating the Corporate  Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. We
                      supported  the Ford Energy Plan, particularly natural gas price deregulation and
                      conservation measures. I was personally invited to the Camp David planning
                      meeting that led to the development of the Ford Energy Plan.

                      In 1977, with the beginning of the  Carter administration, people felt that the nation
                      was facing a major energy problem. I went to work with Jim Schlesinger in the
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                     White House to oversee the development of Carter's energy program. The
                     perspectives I had gained at EPA played a role in the kind of energy plan we put

                     Q: What perspectives did you gain at EPA that affected the energy policies that you
                     helped draft for the Ford and Carter Administrations?

                     MR. ALM: Well, what I gained in being at CEQ and in EPA, first of all, was the
                     ability to know how to put something like this together and to relate one piece of a
                     system to another. Obviously, you bring to anything certainly an amount of
                     sensitivity. When  I was at EPA, I had concluded that the country would be better off
                     both environmentally and economically if oil and gas prices were decontrolled. And
                     we were actually supportive of decontrolling energy prices. As a historical aside, I
                     am the only person who has participated in the development of the Ford Energy
                     Policy at Camp David and later played a major role with the Carter energy plan.

                     Jimmy Carter came in as a pro-environmental president, so there was no doubt that
                     from the very beginning he wanted an energy policy that was protective of the
                     environment. And considering my experience at EPA and my other experiences I
                     think I had a general idea how one could work in environmental considerations into
                     an energy plan.

                     Significant issues at  EPA in 1970s

                     Q: In your mind, what were the most significant issues the agency faced during
                     your time as an AA?

                     MR. ALM: First of all, EPA implemented the Clean Water Act. I think the agency
                     did a great job getting out most of the NPDES permits in a relatively short period of
                     time. It made a real contribution to the water-pollution-abatement  problem.

                     A second significant issue the agency faced was developing and implementing a
                     waste-treatment-grant program, over $20 billion worth of expenditures, without
                     scandal. Our success at that was really  remarkable. We worked very hard to
                     assure the fiscal integrity of that program.

                     Finally, I think the Clean Air Act, what became the Clean Air Act amendments, was
                     a significant contribution the agency made during my tenure there.

                     Achievements at EPA

                     Q: What are the lasting achievements of your first four years at EPA?

                     MR. ALM: I think I brought in and nurtured some very, very good  people, who have
                     subsequently taken all kinds of leadership positions, both in the government and in
                     the private sector.

                     Carter administration's EPA

                     Q: The Burford administration's management, those who came in after President
                     Carter's EPA Administrator Douglas Costle left, said that EPA had been
                     unnecessarily slow in promulgating regulations, not issuing permits in  a timely
                     manner, and that sort of thing. Was that something that was endemic to the  big
                     crunch of implementing legislation or was there something at EPA from the time
                     Train left to the time...?
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                      MR. ALM: The Carter Years are very interesting. For some reason, during that time
                      regulatory activity was much lower. There were a couple of big regulations issued
                      then. One was the New Source Performance Standards for electric utility boilers.
                      That was a very big issue. There was also the original RCRA regulations that were
                      issued in draft during the Carter administration. But, the regulatory action was
                      down, because of circumstances. But, the Carter people did have to begin the
                      implementation of RCRA and TSCA. These laws had really just enacted at the end
                      of the Train era.

                      DOE and Harvard energy security program

                      Q: Between  1977 and 1983, you were the Assistant Secretary for Policy and
                      Evaluation, in the Department of Energy; and later, became the director of the
                      Harvard energy security program. How did those experiences change your
                      perspective on environmental  affairs?

                      MR. ALM: Well, they really indicated to me how inexplicably intertwined the
                      environment and energy really are. Many of, in fact, most of the air pollution
                      problems result from fuel and energy production. Hence, it is  clear to me that in the
                      U.S., energy and environmental policy have to be congruent. Only then will we be
                      successful in reconciling them with each other. That is even more true when  you go
                      to places like Central Europe,  where energy policy really is the predominant force in
                      determining environmental conditions.

                      Q: How did your experience at DOE and Harvard change the way you implemented
                      EPA's mission when you returned in '83?

                      MR. ALM: Well, when I ran a research program at Harvard and I  found it so
                      frustrating to get anything organized or even to hold a meeting in which you would
                      have all the people there at any  particular time. These frustrations led me to  be
                      very, very conscious of efficiently using people's time. And I made a rule, which I
                      almost always kept at EPA, that meetings would begin and end on time. That is
                      really important because otherwise you are just wasting a lot  of people's time. At
                      the beginning people had been used to a different kind of pattern and I held up a
                      couple of meetings until the latecomers arrived, reminding them that they were
                      wasting the time of all their colleagues.

                      Return to EPA

                      Q: What events led to your return to EPA as Deputy Administrator in 1983?

                      MR. ALM: While I was ensconced at Harvard University, running the energy
                      security program, I remember reading  in the newspaper about the problems  at
                      EPA. They made their way all  the way to "Doonesbury." I had heard a rumor that
                      Ruckelshaus was going to be the next administrator, and I confidently told the
                      source of that rumor that it would never happen - people do not come back to the
                      same position. But, Bill did come back and he asked me if I would come on board
                      as his deputy. I said I would.

                      I was surprised at this turn of events. At that point in time, I did not think that  I
                      would be coming back to government. But I felt the agency was really in need of
                      some help, and if Bill believed I was the right person, I was willing to do it.

                      EPA mood

                      Q: When you returned to Washington, what was the mood at EPA? Did it surprise
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                      MR. ALM: After Bill had come back, the mood was pretty upbeat. I came back as
                      kind of a known commodity, as did Jim Barnes, Howard Messner, Jack Raven and
                      Phil Angel.

                      What always concerned me was that the mood was too upbeat - that expectations
                      were going to be very high. When expectations get high like that, there is a great
                      chance that they become unfulfilled, and people become very cynical. So I told Bill
                      that I thought we ought to move pretty quickly, and we did. We made virtually all of
                      our main appointments within a  couple of months. We had ten task forces going
                      almost immediately - in the first  full week I was there.

                      So we moved quickly and got a  lot of people working. I  thought it was very
                      important to initiate a lot of action and involve a lot of people. And that is what we
                      did. In those ten task forces, with God only knows how  many people on each task
                      force, we were dealing with many hundreds of people who were now participating
                      in revitalizing the agency.

                      Q: Would you consider those  the measures you took to restore faith in the agency,
                      among both staff and outsiders, or was there something more that you did?

                      MR. ALM: In terms of instilling faith in the agency, I think being honest and open
                      was important. I think Ruckelshaus certainly created that image of honesty. But
                      another part of building faith was creating confidence that we were getting work
                      done. The one area that was being most questioned was the enforcement record.

                      Bill and I thought that we would  just come back, and it would turn around. But
                      actually, over a period of time, people had gotten used  to  a pattern in which
                      enforcement was not used as a  compliance tool that often. I certainly spent a lot of
                      time pushing to reach a point  I would call the enforcement threshold - a point at
                      which there is a pervasive sense that it pays to comply. I think that is very, very
                      important, because I am convinced that most industries want to comply, and want
                      to be in a position where, from a competitive point of view, compliance is not a
                      negative factor.

                      In order to ensure that everybody could comply, without suffering major competitive
                      disadvantages, we  needed a strong enforcement program - strong enough to
                      convince industry that there was a very high likelihood that noncompliance would
                      be the subject of enforcement action.

                      Reinvigorating enforcement activity

                      Q: What steps did you take to try to reach that enforcement threshold?

                      MR. ALM: I set up a management system to track the activities and outputs of the
                      agency. One of the things that I  tracked was compliance with the laws.  It worked
                      like this: we identified all the noncompliers, at the beginning of any year, and then
                      set goals for what we expected to get the noncompliance  rate down to by the end
                      of the period. I would go around to all the regions quarterly and we would go over
                      this measure, and others, in order to get a sense of how well we were doing in our
                      effort to bring people into compliance.

                      Q: So the people in the field were doing a good job monitoring noncompliance even
                      though the agency had gotten lax in its enforcement effort? You knew who was in
                      compliance and who was not?
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                     MR. ALM: Yes, we either knew or were able to find out. Once we set clear goals,
                     the enforcement rate did pick up. Ultimately, we reached levels as high as any time
                     in the history of the agency.

                     Business and environmental compliance

                     Q: You said a moment ago that you thought that businesses and industries really
                     wanted to comply with environmental regulation. That flies in the face of the big
                     business, anti-environment stereotype. Why do you have the impression that most
                     industry wants to comply?

                     MR. ALM: Several things are happening to encourage this. One is that large firms
                     have a big stake in their corporate image. Secondly, environmental liabilities have
                     some, and it is probably modest right now, impact on the stock price. But they may
                     have a larger one in the future. They can certainly have an adverse impact on the
                     bottom line. Another thing - some of the younger managers are environmentally
                     inclined - in the companies. We have seen a tremendous turnaround in the
                     attitudes of chemical and  petroleum companies. Just look at their institutional

                     Being in business myself, my sense is that businesses would like to  comply, but,
                     obviously, they do not want to be at a competitive disadvantage. That is why it is
                     very important, domestically, to have an enforcement threshold. That same
                     problem is hitting us with the North American Free Trade Agreement. We have to
                     develop the ability to make sure that environmental standards are similar
                     throughout North America so that there are no competitive disadvantages.

                     Relationship with Ruckelshaus

                     Q: How would you characterize your working, as well as your personal, relationship
                     with Bill Ruckelshaus?

                     MR. ALM: I think it was really excellent. When I  came on board, I told him that I
                     would like to meet with him most mornings of the week. I think we decided on three
                     days, three mornings, a week, and to have lunch together one day a week. We held
                     to that pattern and it was really invaluable. We stayed in communication with one
                     another. There is a real tendency among agency heads and deputies to not get
                     along. There are more occasions when they do not get along than when they do
                     get along. I think Bill and I had a particularly good relationship. We had a very
                     similar sense of humor. We had very similar views of people and events. It was a
                     very friendly kind of relationship, a very nice personal relationship, and a very good
                     professional relationship.

                     Reasons for not completely reorganizing agency  in

                     Q: Why did you and Ruckelshaus  not reorganize the agency's structure and
                     reverse some of the Burford administration's decisions, such as the decentralization
                     of the enforcement structure, on your return in 1984?

                     MR. ALM: People are still arguing about the organization of the agency's functions
                     today. Some people want to centralize the enforcement function. Others want to
                     centralize the media activities. For us, with about an eighteen-month horizon, it
                     would have been madness, with everything else we were trying to do, to try to
                     conduct a major reorganization. If that were to happen, it should have happened at
                     the beginning of the Thomas era, or the Reilly era. Incidentally, GAO concluded
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EPA History - Alvin L. Aim: Oral History Interview                                    Page 15 of 20
                     that there was no inherent advantage in either a combined or media-related
                     enforcement structure.

                     In terms of other decisions, we changed the direction of many of the programs -
                     including the Superfund program, which was under a lot of criticism. As I explained
                     previously, we also beefed up the enforcement effort. I would say that, generally,
                     we did not make changes for change's sake, but there were a lot of changes.
                     Reorganizing the enforcement function has not been addressed by any subsequent
                     administrator, either. We'll see whether Carol Browner addresses it. [Subsequent to
                     this interview, Carol Browner decided to combine the enforcement activities in one

                     Thoughts on agency's organization structure

                     Q: If you were asked to tackle the agency's organizational structure, in 1993, what
                     changes would you make?

                     MR. ALM: You know, I am not sure, I am honestly not sure. When I was in the
                     agency, I started what became the policy of the agency to rotate people around -
                     people would move from office to office, and from headquarters to the region, and
                     from the region to the states. I think it is very important that, even though the laws
                     are written the way they are, we begin to implement environmental programs as a
                     totality. Because, in an ecosystem, or in any particular local area, you don't have
                     just air pollution  or just water pollution. You normally have a range of environmental

                     I  mention this, because I think you can begin to get this concept through to people,
                     regardless of organization. I don't know of any nifty way to organize, that would
                     both be operationally sound and begin to really integrate environmentally in a
                     broader way. I have not thought about it for some time, and maybe if I really had
                     the responsibility, I would come up with something. But I do think it is really
                     important, very important, that people in the environmental field move around. You
                     should not have people that are just water experts,  or just air experts. They really
                     need to have a broader concept of the environment.

                     Role as Deputy Administrator

                     Q: Environmental Forum suggested that you were the  most influential Deputy
                     Administrator the agency had ever had. What did you do different from your
                     predecessors or successors?

                     MR. ALM: Well, I do not know if that is true, but I think that I  came in with a pretty
                     clear idea  of what needed to be done in the agency. I had some ideas about how to
                     develop the management structure to do it. Bill Ruckelshaus was really enjoyable
                     to work for and gave me the flexibility to operate. We took great pains to prevent
                     our staff shopping between us for decisions. I had excellent relationships with the
                     career staff, and played a role in the appointment of many of the political
                     appointees, and knew the others. It was a good team effort. Just having a
                     supportive boss, a knowledge of the programs of the agency, and  personal
                     contacts with the people - all those things helped.

                     Mission v.  management culture

                     Q: In recent years, the agency has come under severe criticism, from Congress
                     and inside the agency, about its mission versus management culture. What is your
                     assessment of this criticism?
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                      MR. ALM: In my opinion, the management challenge for an institution - whether a
                      business or public sector agency - is to achieve its mission. To consider mission
                      separate from management is doublespeak.

                      I remember once hearing a very, very funny British spoof, and it went along the
                      lines of these guys who had this model hospital, but it did not have any patients.
                      Somebody asked them why their model hospital didn't have any patients. They
                      said, "we can't have perfect systems if we have patients. The patients will screw up
                      the flow." So you can have perfect systems, and still not accomplish a mission.

                      I think that management is important. I think that, in government, there is never
                      enough time and attention paid to management. There is generally a belief that
                      deputy administrators, who are really chief operating officers of very large entities -
                      EPA is a $6 billion, 17,000-person entity - can be handled by people with no
                      previous management experience. To me, this is like bringing in a brain surgeon to
                      fix your plumbing.

                      That is a source of the problems. A lot of an agency's management requirements
                      really are at the political, executive level. Many equate management to
                      administration of sub-systems, such as facilities or contracts. To me,  management
                      means the focusing of the organization's resources toward achieving a set of goals.
                      These goals are all designed to achieve the organization's mission. The
                      management really comes together, at the Deputy Administrator level, and I think
                      that position should really be filled by somebody who has management ability.

                      Science  at EPA

                      Q: Administrator Ruckelshaus and others called for increasing the role of science in
                      the decision-making process. How would you characterize the role science and
                      scientists played in policy making, and how had that really changed, between the
                      mid-Seventies, and the early Eighties?

                      MR. ALM: Bill initially called for greater use of risk assessment and for separating
                      risk assessment from risk management. I believe he was generally successful in
                      inculcating these values in the agency.

                      I think the agency does a pretty good job of working science into the decision-
                      making process.  The agency has a science advisory board and most of the
                      regulations have a substantial amount of technical content behind them.

                      One of the problems, though, is that many of the statutes that EPA administers
                      leave no room for scientific judgments. As a result, some things are done that may
                      or may not make scientific sense. Some of the statutes presently require that
                      certain regulatory actions take place, without regard to any knowledge about the
                      risks involved. That sort of thing does not make a lot of scientific sense. So I think
                      that, if there is any mismatch between science and what the agency does,  it results
                      from statutory enactments, many of which do  not leave a lot of room for scientific

                      Congress, White House, Courts,  Environmentalists and

                      Q: How would you characterize the agency's relationship with Congress? Do you
                      remember any anecdotes that illustrate the agency's, or your own,  relationship with
                      Congress or congressional staff?
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                      MR. ALM: I think it was generally okay. EPA goes before a lot of different
                      committees. It has a few supporters and many detractors. It is tough sometimes,
                      because there are obviously a lot of negative issues involving EPA. My sense,
                      though, is that the appropriations committees have been generally supportive, at
                      least when I was there. The authorizing committees, certainly the Senate
                      Environment and Public Works Committees, were also supportive. Actually, the
                      Congressional relationships were generally pretty good. I am not sure that is still
                      the case.

                      I remember once [as AA for Policy and Planning] I had temporarily experimented
                      with the use of an auto pen. And one day I got a call from Train, who said that our
                      appropriations bill was held up because of some letter I sent. I traced it and found a
                      letter had been written and autopenned back to a member of the Appropriations
                      Committee under my signature. The letter was a peremptory brush off. That was
                      the end of my use of the auto pen as an experiment. Needless to say, I solved that
                      problem quickly.

                      Q: I guess so! You said that congressional committees such as the Senate
                      Environmental Public Works Committee were pretty supportive of EPA, why do you
                      say that? What do you remember about how they were supportive as opposed to
                      perhaps other committees or as opposed to what they could have been?

                      MR. ALM: Well, they were supportive in the sense that they were always trying to
                      help with resources and the like. They would play whatever role they could with the
                      appropriations committees. And I suspect they were supportive of EPA vis-a-vis the
                      OMB on those kinds of issues. You know, from a day-to-day point of view it used  to
                      be a pain in the neck, being dragged up by staff members and the like. But, I think
                      overall it was a relationship that was helpful to the agency.

                      Q: What do you recall about EPA's relationships with its other constituents - the
                      White House, the courts and environmental groups and industries? What
                      anecdotes can you recall that might illustrate those?

                      MR. ALM: The White  House relationships were somewhat difficult; I include OMB
                      in the White House equation. Certainly, I think Bill Ruckelshaus had a hard time
                      dealing with OMB; and, certain parts of the White House were not that supportive,
                      other parts were. Jim Baker and some others were supportive, some were neutral.
                      It was a difficult set of relationships in  my opinion. Russ Train had a fairly good
                      relationship with John Ehrlichman and very friendly relationships with the Ford
                      White House.

                      The Courts. My feeling about the courts is not so much the feeling of what
                      happened at EPA at the time, but what I see in more recent periods. The courts do
                      an awful lot of second guessing of administrative agencies' decisions. I was
                      recently involved with  a Carnegie Commission Panel,  which had a number of
                      distinguished jurists. We talked about the relationship  of courts and what kind of
                      technical information they need or how they can make these decisions. All I can
                      say is it is a real quandary when the courts begin to try and understand the
                      technical data outside their areas of expertise. I remind lawyers  how they would
                      feel about people practicing law without legal standing. They run into the same
                      problems when they begin to interpret science.

                      Environmental groups. I have had many very good personal relationships with
                      people in environmental groups, many of whom sue the agency or criticize our
                      actions. I never took these things personally or seriously. I remember being in
                      various debates with people from environmental groups and they would always say
                      "Al is a good guy, but  he can't get anything done in the administration." The
                      relationships with environmental groups were generally positive. And I still  consider
                      a lot of the people in the movement friends.
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                      Industry. I believe manufacturing firms have come a long way for a whole bunch of
                      reasons. Many firms are really making strong efforts to not only comply but to be
                      proactive -to go beyond mere compliance. Industry is entering into voluntary
                      programs to reduce pollution for a whole bunch of reasons: liability and concern in
                      some circles about even criminal liability. They are also doing it because of concern
                      about how they look to their customers and community. I dare say there are people
                      in the firms that really believe that there is an obligation. Finally, I think many CEOs
                      see an inevitable environmental transition and believe that being on top of the
                      environmental issue will be a key element in long term competitiveness. And I think
                      they are right.

                      Q: Some critics of EPA have suggested that there is a revolving door in the agency.
                      They claim that the ease with which top officials move between corporate and
                      government positions has detracted from the agency s credibility, and hampered its
                      effectiveness. They have made this point with regard to some of Mr. Ruckelshaus's
                      actions after he returned to the agency after having been with Weyerhaeuser. What
                      is your assessment of this idea?

                      MR. ALM: I have never heard that criticism. But, I guess there are not very many
                      people that have been out of the agency, who have come back. The only two I
                      know of are Bill and myself. And, certainly, at the time, people made entreaties to
                      our patriotism and vanity to come  back. I don't think anybody was looking for any
                      gain. I  am sure that Bill lost a small fortune, coming back,  and for me it was
                      certainly most disadvantageous financially for me to come back. Still, I think that
                      both of us felt that the agency was in a critical position. I can only speak for myself,
                      but when you are asked, under those conditions, to serve, you probably ought to be
                      willing to do so.

                      I think this revolving door syndrome is a uniquely American phenomenon. I think,
                      on the contrary, that it would be very desirable to have people moving from industry
                      to government, and to state governments, too. The more of that kind of movement,
                      the better. Obviously, you need to be very careful of the direct conflicts of interest,
                      but I don't think that a person's service in the private sector should be a barrier to
                      their government service. It should be, in many cases, something that could be
                      usefully tapped.


                      Q: What impact do you think President Clinton's new ethics rules will have on EPA
                      officials, and on senior industry officials, and what do you  think the overall effect will
                      be on environmental progress?

                      MR. ALM: I do not know. I assume, seeing the number of people that are coming
                      into government, that people feel that there is some way that they could earn a
                      living after leaving their government service. Nevertheless, I am aware of a number
                      of people who felt they could not assume a government position because of the
                      conflict of interest requirements of the Clinton Administration.

                      I think strong ethical rules are a good idea. I do not think anybody should ever use
                      government to promote their own  personal interests. I have always thought that the
                      biggest ethical challenge was how somebody leaves the government and winds up
                      in the private sector. That issue is a difficult ethical issue, that probably needs
                      someone to really look into it - to think through how people can exit the government
                      without being involved with people who might affect their situation after they leave

                      Achievements and lessons learned in the 1980s
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                      Q: During the period between 1983 and 1985, what were the agency's most
                      important achievements?

                      MR. ALM: Well, I think we turned the ship around, in terms of public credibility. We
                      certainly increased enforcement. We implemented a groundwater policy. We made
                      the decision to get lead almost completely out of gasoline. We got an awful lot
                      done. We established  an Office of Human Resources. We started the whole notion
                      of staff rotation within the agency. We also set up strong management systems that
                      were used many years afterward. And we changed many of our decision

                      Q: What are the most  important lessons current agency leaders could learn from
                      your period?

                      MR. ALM: I think the positive ones are that you  must choose people that have
                      some experience to get a head start on the problems. Clearly, creating trust and
                      providing leadership to the bureaucracy is critical. People that do not understand
                      this, who create a gap between the professional bureaucracy and the political
                      appointees, will pay very dearly.  I also think candor in public programs pays off. Bill
                      was very, very candid  about the limitations of what could be done, and what could
                      not be done. I think, overall,  people respected that.

                      Q: Any negative lessons?

                      MR. ALM: Frankly, I can't think of any at this time.

                      Challenges for the  1990s

                      Q: What are the most  significant challenges facing the agency in the 1990s,
                      substantively, politically, and managerially?

                      MR. ALM: Well, one of the biggest challenges is to speed up agency processes.
                      Promulgating a regulation now takes over four years, and sometimes up to eight

                      A second challenge is to transition into results-oriented management. In the early
                      years, we were very results-oriented - especially in the water program and the air
                      program. That orientation is  responsible for the big changes in those areas. In
                      those media, we are now dealing with the intractable kinds of problems - nonpoint
                      sources, various sources for air pollution, etc. These really  require a different kind
                      of approach.

                      We are now at the point where we have so many environmental problems  that we
                      need to begin to deal with them geographically.  That means that EPA is going to
                      have to decentralize in some creative ways. For instance, we have technology,
                      through geographical information systems, to plot all the environmental problems,
                      by state, or county, or  whatever.  So we need to  begin the process of thinking
                      through,  and transitioning to, an entirely different management structure for the
                      environment. I am convinced that it is going to happen someday. What we have,
                      right now, is going to be unrecognizable. It may  take a long time, but one needs to
                      plan for that transition  and to assist it.

                      Career Summary

                      Q: How would you sum up your career in the environmental field?
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                       MR. ALM: I do not think it is over, yet. (laughter) It has been an exciting period. I
                       started in the pre-Earth Day period - in 1966. In those days, there was hardly any
                       enforcement. Fines were really small, and the few programs in existence were at
                       the state level. I have seen  the major legislation, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air
                       Act, and the rest, which have made a substantial difference in the environment. I
                       have seen intractable problems become no less intractable. I have seen the
                       complexity of the environmental field increase dramatically. The newest Clean Air
                       Act is over 800 pages. The  environmental regulatory system is becoming more and
                       more ossified. It takes a longer period of time to enforce regulations. There  are
                       more regulations and there  is more bureaucracy.

                       Finally, in recent years, I have seen the change to an entirely new set of
                       paradigms: sustainable development; pollution prevention; use of nontraditional
                       forms of environmental control, like market incentives and information; and
                       integration of environmental concerns into policies across government agencies.
                       We are seeing the change away from command and control, toward more flexible
                       systems, and ultimately toward a decentralized system. It is hard to foresee this
                       transition, but  I think  it is going to occur, and I would like to continue to be part of it,
                       even if not in the government.

                       Q: Anything else to add?

                       MR. ALM: I cannot think of anything. No.

                       Q: Mr. Aim, I appreciate your time.
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                                             Last updated on Monday, June 10th, 2002
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http://www.epa.gov/history/publications/print/alm.htm                                        8/24/2004