Teaching Case - William  D. Ruckelshaus and the Environmental Protection Agency

William D. Ruckelshaus and the Environmental Protection Agency


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  • Product Description

    When William D. Ruckelshaus took over as the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 he faced two major problems: how to keep the various agencies EPA had inherited running while the new organization was just getting off ground, and how to generate sufficient activity to convince the public and other interest groups that EPA was serious about cleaning up the environment. The case describes Ruckelshaus' early handling of the agency, including his establishment of goals and priorities as well as his dealings with the White House, Congress, environmental groups and the public. After six months, Ruckelshaus had created an activist image for himself and the EPA; but in spite of its initial actions against polluters, EPA's effectiveness was being challenged by the Justice Department and conservationists. With two critical deadlines facing him, Ruckelshaus needed to consider EPA's future course in enforcing pollution control. This case illustrates the development of organizational strategy in a complex political setting. It is especially useful in fostering a discussion of the merits of a broad statement of goals in an organization as well as a consideration of what makes a "good" goal. Students may be asked to examine the process used by Ruckelshaus to determine his goals as well as the resources available to him.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1974
    HKS Case Number: 27.0
    Case Author: Peggy Wiehl
    Faculty Lead: Joseph Bower
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 18
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 16-25
    _geography: US & Canada
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