SUPERFUND/EPA

 

SEE ALSO:    Environmental Protection Agency, Investigation of

                   Investigations

 

SCOPE NOTE

 

Congressional investigations and hearings into the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grew out of routine budgetary oversight of the hazardous waste laws being carried out by the Agency. Chief among these laws was the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, commonly known as the Superfund act. A key provision of this act was the establishment of the “Superfund” trust fund, by means of a special tax on the chemical and petroleum industries, for cleaning up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.

 

Investigations leading to the six-year continuing investigation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Administrator and the key agency appointees began in 1982. Allegations of mishandling the $1.6 billion Superfund monies began almost immediately after the establishment of the fund. In mid-September 1982, Congressman John Dingell of Michigan requested any and all information on the ongoing clean-up of three Superfund sites: Tar Creek, Oklahoma, Stringfellow Acid Pits, California and Berlin and Farro, Michigan His investigation was for the use of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation. The EPA signaled the first troubles in responding to this request stating in a letter that some documents were being withheld as they contained “enforcement-sensitive information.” As a result Dingell’s subcommittee issued a subpoena for withheld documents and this was followed by a subpoena for all documents on EPA priority sites under the Superfund Act by Congressman Elliot Levitas , Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee.

 

Eventually, six congressional panels were probing allegations of political manipulation, “sweetheart” deals, conflicts of interest, perjury, and destruction of documents by EPA employees. Their investigations focused on two particular officials – EPA head Anne M. Burford (aka Anne Gorsuch), and Rita Lavelle, the head of EPA’s waste management program.

 

As the White House Counsel staff, the Department of Justice and President Reagan started actually reviewing the material from the EPA, concerns about the agencies actual handling of the Superfund surfaced. At this point, President Reagan asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to start its own investigation of the situation at the EPA.

 

As a result of viewing all the documents, Rita Lavelle, Assistant Administrator for the Waste Management program appeared to have conflicts of interest with her management of the Superfund monies, especially of the Stringfellow California waste site. She was asked to resign and when she refused to do so was fired by the President on February 7, 1983. 

 

The material contained within the Reagan Library holdings consists of White House responses to requests for material, including photocopies of material provided to Congress and the Department of Justice; chronologies of the investigation; notes on meeting with EPA official and DOJ officials; press conferences; press clippings on the entire investigation; and final reports.

 

There was a further investigation and Independent Counsel regarding this matter in the second administration.  The investigation was focused on the Department of Justice’s role in the decision to withhold EPA material from Congress.  If the White House records in this investigation dealt with the Superfund, they are include with this topic guide.

 

WHORM SUBJECT FILE                            

 

FG006-01      case files 107784, 111039, 353564, 367562

 

FG122           case files 118007, 123926, 126788, 126791, 126832, 127012, 128116, 128374,

                   128380, 128681, 128597, 128890, 129955, 131161, 144774, 171234, 254807

 

FI001-01        case files 418333, 419406

 

FI004            case files 025872, 208589, 245450, 245475, 326083, 346815, 364240, 396028

 

FI006            case files 105725, 243624, 243625, 251554, 251848, 253475, 255563, 257679, 261669, 285212, 294008, 294793, 294850, 294851, 294852, 300327, 305994, 306534, 307984, 307985, 316861, 322788, 335448, 339081, 339186, 339242, 339790, 330334, 343550, 345113, 347357, 364093, 375964, 376136, 377856, 384829, 391010, 401438, 401955, 403234, 418577, 419044, 419280, 419401, 419741, 420027, 420335, 420708, 421896, 427983, 427992, 428704, 428763, 428906, 428942, 428974, 428979, 429004, 429005, 429027, 429074, 429080, 429082, 429083, 429086, 429109, 429125, 429133, 429144, 429146, 429154, 429156, 429162, 429164, 429174, 429182, 429185, 429213, 429299, 429300, 429330, 429337, 429364, 429371, 429375, 429396, 429397, 429407, 409413, 429416, 429490, 429528, 429538, 429572, 429582, 429594, 429661, 429662, 429679, 431001, 431966, 439848, 440065, 440423, 440840, 440841, 440842, 440847, 441001, 441196, 441223, 441228, 441247, 441250, 441260, 441261, 441287, 441311, 441312, 441313, 441336, 441339, 441342, 441397, 441399, 441425, 441431, 441433, 441439, 441448, 441842, 442130, 442349, 450818, 450013, 451170, 451286, 451370, 451371, 451395, 451476, 451736, 451908, 452196, 452204, 453392, 453474, 454127, 464289, 464294, 482684, 490620, 490621, 490622, 490623, 490624, 490625

 

FI010            case files 417283, 430058, 430377

 

FI010-01        case file 391239

 

FI010-02        case files 346852, 358660, 400851, 428687, 429777

 

FI008            case file 428955

 

HE007          case file 118484

 

HE007-01      case file 344246

 

HE007-03      case file 030180, 127827, 223590, 366456, 429639

 

LE                case file 031336

 

MC               case file 438099

 

PE001           case file 099581

 

PQ               case file 044623

 

TA               case file 126518

 

TA004-11      case file 394769

 

WHITE HOUSE STAFF AND OFFICE FILES

 

Archie, Timothy R.: Files

          OA 17787

          Superfund (1)-(4)

 

Bryan, Patricia Mack: Files

OA19241

EPA Superfund Chronology

 

Clarey, Donald A.: Files

OA14307

Superfund (1)(2)

 

Cohen, Benedict: Files

          CFOA 1340

          Counsel's Office Memos [re: Rita Lavelle]

          EPA Code of Ethics

          EPA Files 1) Lavelle Trial, 2) Counsel's Office Memos throughout Inquiries

          [EPA Investigation Documents]

          [EPA Investigation Material I] (1)-(6)

          [EPA Investigation Material II] (1)-(9)

          [EPA Investigation Material III] (1)-(10)

          [EPA Investigation Material IV] (1)-(3)

          [EPA Investigation Material]:  Brown, Michael (1)(2)

          [EPA Investigation Material]:  Department of Justice Memos (1)(2)

          [EPA Investigation Material - Dingell Letter]

          [EPA Investigation Material]: Fuller

          [EPA Investigation Material]:  Levitas Agreement

          [EPA Investigation Material - Stringfellow Site] (1)-(3)

          [EPA Investigation Material]:  Subpoena Requests

          [EPA Investigation - Stringfellow Site] (1)-(4)

          EPA Materials (RAH's Desk) (1)-(3)

          [EPA Summaries of Congressional Requests]

          Miscellaneous EPA - Olson Independent Counsel (IC)

          Olson, Theodore B. (Independent Counsel Inquiry) Responses to Document Production

                   Request of 04/10/1987

          Presidential Press Conference: Request to Interview

          [Senior Staff Meeting Action Items re: EPA / Gorsuch December 1982-September 1983]

          [Surrogate Briefing Transmittal Memo]

          U.S. v. House of Representatives (Gorsuch Contempt Case) (1)-(5)

          WH Documents re: EPA: Contact with Lavelle

          WH Documents re: EPA: Documents Noted

          WH Documents re: EPA: Senior Staff Memos

 

Cookesy, Sherrie: Files (Counsel)

OA 11736

          EPA Calendars, etc. Submitted to Hill, Courtesy Copies to WH

          EPA Calendars, etc. Submitted to Hill, Courtesy Copies to WH [Gorsuch 1982]

          EPA Calendars, etc. Submitted to Hill, Courtesy Copies to WH [Gorsuch 1983]

          EPA Calendars, etc. Submitted to Hill, Courtesy Copies to WH [John Daniels 1982]

          EPA Calendars, etc. Submitted to Hill, Courtesy Copies to WH [John Daniels 1983]

          EPA Calendars, etc. Submitted to Hill, Courtesy Copies to WH [Lavelle Telephone

                   Log]

          EPA Calendars, etc. Submitted to Hill, Courtesy Copies to WH [Lavelle 1981]

          EPA Calendars, etc. Submitted to Hill, Courtesy Copies to WH [Lavelle 1982]

          EPA Calendars, etc. Submitted to Hill, Courtesy Copies to WH [Lavelle 1983]

          EPA Calendars, etc. Submitted to Hill, Courtesy Copies to WH [Lavelle /Etta

                   Janiszewski 1982-1983]

          SMC/Environmental Protection Agency Investigative Report

 

          OA 11737

          EPA Letters

SMC/Executive Privilege - Environmental Protection Agency  (1)(2)

          For Dick Hauser [EPA Calendar Bob Perry 1981]

          For Dick Hauser [EPA Calendar Bob Perry 1982]

          For Dick Hauser [EPA Calendar Bob Perry 1983]

          For Dick Hauser [EPA Calendar Perry’s Secretary 1981]

          For Dick Hauser [EPA Calendar Perry’s Secretary 1982]

          For Dick Hauser [EPA Telephone Logs] (1)(2)

          For Dick Hauser [EPA Telephone Logs Perry] (1)(2)

Investigations: Medas/Lavelle

 

          OA 11738

          SMC/Rodino - Environmental Protection Agency Inquiry (1)-(4) 

 

Council of Economic Advisors: Staff Economists Records

          Series I: B – (Steve De Canio)

          OA 4002

Superfund

 

Counsel to the President, Office of the: Investigations: Records

          Box 11

          EPA Chronologies – October 1982-August 1984

EPA / Notes from Meeting of EPA Attorneys with EPA Office of Solid Waste &

Emergency Response – 09/07/1982

          Justice Department - Notes from Meeting 10/01/1982

         

          Box 12

          EPA / Press Conference Q & A's Statements February 1983 (1)(2)

          Perry, Robert M. / Statement for Environmental News

          Stringfellow Site, January 1983-March 1983

          Lavelle, Rita (1)-(5)              

         

          Box 13

          Internal Chronology / Summary of EPA Issues February 1983 (1)-(3)

          Pending Congressional Requests for Information [As of February 1983] (Binder)

                   (1)-(3)

          [Documents of Agreement re: Production of Documents - EPA Investigation

                   02/18/1983]

          EPA / Staff Contacts February 1983-March 1983

          [EPA/Staff Contacts – Craig Fuller, May 1983]

          Testimony (Lavelle) 02/23/1983

         

          Box 14

          [Report of Sub-Committee on Superfund Administration, etc.] 09/29/1983 (1)-(4)

          EPA / Miscellaneous October 1982-June 1983 (1)-(3)

          [Working Papers re: Document Submittal - EPA Investigation - I] (1)(2)

         

          Box 15

          [Working Papers re: Document Submittal - EPA Investigation - I] (3)-(5)

          [Working Papers re: Document Submittal - EPA Investigation - II] (1)-(6)

          [Working Papers re: Document Submittal - EPA Investigation - III] (1)-(4)

          [Working Papers re: Document Submittal - EPA Investigation - IV] (1)-(6)

         

          Box 16

          EPA Inquiry (Hold) 1982-1987

          EPA - Press

          EPA / Press Briefings - News Articles (1)-(4)

          EPA / Clippings (1)-(3)

          [EPA Press Clippings]  I. Enforcement of Super Fund (1)-(8)

                   

          Box 17

          [EPA Press Clippings]  VII  DOJ/Lavelle

          [EPA Press Clippings]  VIII  White House/Lavelle Firing (1)-(4)

                   

          Box 18

EPA/Rodino [Correspondence re: DOJ Investigation] March 1983-October 1984

          List and Notes re Document Sources – Olson/EPA Investigation]

          June Document Production to Alexia Morrison – Reviewed by Chris Cox, Ben

                   Cohen, Pat Bryan – Summary of Documents 1982-1983 Documents

          [5] Unidentified [Unsorted Documents for Olson/EPA Investigation] (1)(2)

 

          Box 19

          [5] Unidentified [Unsorted Documents for Olson/EPA Investigation] (3)-(8)

          [27] Chronology of Events

          [49] 20 CFOA 437 [Chronologies, October 1982-August 1984]

          [CFOA 437 – Not on Folder Inventory – re: EPA Investigation and White House

                   Contacts with EPA]

         

          Box 20

          [69] Tab R [Memo Jim Medas to Larry Speakes re Contacts with Rita Lavelle]

          [94] Memo Craig Fuller to Fred Fielding re: Lavelle Termination, and Robert

                   Perry, 02/09/1983

          [95] Chronology of Events Lavelle Termination

         

          Box 21

          [110] 20 EPA Inquiry – Hold [Miscellaneous Material Mostly re Rita Lavelle

                   Including Some of Her Work Product]

          House Judiciary Committee Report on EPA Superfund – DOJ Incident (1)-(4)

 

          Box 22

          House Judiciary Committee Report on EPA Superfund – DOJ Incident (5)

Document Production Request of 04/10/1987: 7. Rita M. Lavelle (1)

 

Box 23

Document Production Request of 04/10/1987: 7. Rita M. Lavelle (2)-(5)

         

          Box 25

          #3 BSCohen/WHO (Sherrie Cooksey File) Ben Cohen (Originals) Miscellaneous

                   EPA-DOJ-White House Superfund Documents (1)-(6)

 

          Box 26

          #3 BSCohen/WHO (Sherrie Cooksey File) Ben Cohen (Originals) Miscellaneous

                   EPA-DOJ-White House Superfund Documents (7)-(10)

 

Danner, Donald: Files

OA15703

Superfund

 

Davis, Randall E.: Files

OA 12581

Environment - Superfund: Background papers

Environment - Superfund: Draft Language (1)-(5)

Environment - Superfund: Federal Cause of Action

Environment - Superfund: Financing Options (1)(2)

Environment - Superfund: General (1)-(7)

Environment - Superfund: Options

Environment - Superfund: Press Statement and Transmittal

Environment - Superfund: Victim's Compensation

 

Executive Clerk, White House Office of the: Bill Reports

          Box 75

10/17/1986 H.R. 2005 [Superfund Amendments of 1986] (1)-(6)

 

Box 76

10/17/1986 H.R. 2005 [Superfund Amendments of 1986] (7)

 

Gibson, Thomas F., III: Files

OA13092

Superfund

 

Harlow, Bryce Larry: Files

OA18191

Superfund

 

Hauser, Richard A.: Files

OA 11136

          Superfund

         

OA 12996

EPA - List of White House Files  

          EPA Probe - Exchange of Letters of the Attorney General & Rodino

          Executive Privilege – Dingell – EPA (1)-(5)

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: House Judiciary Committee Hearing

                   and Notes 12/05/1986 (1)-(3)

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: House Judiciary Committee's Reply to

                   RAH Letter to Rodino      

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: Lungren Motion, Rodino New Release

                   & Rodino Letter to Meese

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: Press Coverage - House Judiciary

                   Committee / EPA Investigation (1)(2)

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: Correspondence re: Legal

                             Representation (Lacovara, DOJ, RAH)

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: Appointment Records for 12/13/1982 &

                   12/14/1982 for RAH

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: Lacovara Letter to DOJ / Keeney March

1986 – Draft

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: Lacovara Letter to John Keeney / DOJ

                   04/14/1986

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: Attorney - Client Privilege Act of 1986

                   H.R. 4245

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: Peter Tavoulareas v. Philip Piro, Peter

                   Tavoulareas v. Washington Post

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: Memorandum for Robert Perry from

                   RAH   01/13/1983

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: RAH Notes of 01/12/1983 and

                   01/13/1983 re: Perry / Dingell

          House Judiciary Committee / EPA Investigation: Perry Letter to Dingell 12/13/1982

 

Hewitt, Hugh: Files

OA12260

EPA Investigation: House Judiciary Committee

 

OA12262

Superfund Complaint

 

Kennedy, Nancy: Files

OA18527

Superfund

 

Mares, Jan W.: Files

OA19369

Superfund & State & Local Government Fiscal Responsibility

Possible Congressional or Administration Action & Effect on Superfund

Hazardous Wastes, Superfund & Toxic Substances 10/23/1986 – 10/25/1986

 

Maseng, Mari: Files – Office of Public Liaison

OA14574

Superfund (1)-(3)

 

Oglesby, M.B., Jr.: Files

OA13000

Superfund

 

Owen, Deborah K.: Files

          OA13351

Superfund

 

President, Office of the: Presidential Briefing Papers: Records

CFOA 860

01/17/1984 (case file 273350)

 

CFOA 866

02/12/1985 (case file 318712)

 

Public Affairs, White House Office of: Records

OA9019

[Superfund – Proposed Priorities List] (1)-(3)

 

Risque, Nancy J.: Files: Office of Legislative Affairs

OA 12596

Superfund (1)-(3)

 

Roberts, John G. Jr.: Files

Box 22

Environmental Protection Agency – [Anne Burford Testimony, 09/28/1983]

Environmental Protection Agency – [Chronology]

Environmental Protection Agency – [General]

Environmental Protection Agency – [H.R. 2912, DOJ 1984 Authorization Bill]

 

Box 23

Environmental Protection Agency – [Lawsuit] (1)-(7)

Environmental Protection Agency – [Notes]

 

Box 51

JGR – Superfund

 

Spencer, Susan K.: Files

OA 15708

Superfund

 

 

Svahn, John A. “Jack”: Files

OA 13531

          Superfund (1)-(4)

 

          OA 14608

          [Superfund]

 

Waller, David: Files

          OA 12686

          Richard A. Hauser – EPA Hearings Before House Committee on the Judiciary

 

Webber, Mildred: Files

OA17991

Superfund

 

 

Last Updated: 4/2/2015                                                                                       Most Recent Opening: 4/12/2012

 

Case#                      Researcher                            Topic                                                       Pages      Restricted              

F00-129                   Yalof                                        Superfund and EPA                               3000        0

F02-004/1               Rudalevige                             Superfund Reauthorization                 3262        43

F08-024                   Svahn, John                           John Svahn files                                    2856        18

S10-316                   Systematic                              Policy Development                              1261        3

F99-102/4               Yalof                                        Theodore Olson Investigation             5553        117 whole, 11 partial

F00-129/4               Yalof                                        Superfund / EPA Investigation            5822        2