In 1974 William Sanjour was appointed branch chief at the Environmental Protection Agency's newly formed Hazardous Waste Management Division. In this position, Sanjour had two principal responsibilities: 1) to research and document the environmental and human health problems associated with unregulated dumping of industrial hazardous waste, and 2) to research better and safer methods of treating and disposing of these wastes.
Sanjour supervised the drafting of regulations required to implement the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) but became increasingly concerned about industry interference and pressure on the EPA. In 1978, Sanjour became a whistle-blower to call out senior EPA officials' efforts to weaken environmental protection regulations.
For over 20 years, Sanjour investigated and reported collusion and corruption at the EPA. He wrote articles, appeared in television and film documentaries, and testified multiple times before Congress. His knowledge and experiences have been influential in the passage of State and Federal laws governing hazardous waste as well as protecting the rights of fellow civil servants to blow the whistle on corrupt activities.
This collection reflects the day-to-day evolution of important environmental regulations, viewed from inside the EPA, and shines a light on political and industry pressures on regulators, as well as the pressures brought to bear on whistle-blowers in an attempt to silence them.
The original documents were given to the Bioscience Resource Project which coordinated and funded digitization work. Digital copies were contributed to the UCSF Chemical Industry Documents Archive in 2018.
Materials in this collection include: