ISTC Looks Back, and to the Future During Anniversary
VIDEO 7: Kevin Greene’s career in the environmental arena spans almost 30 years, including nearly 20 years at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. During the early days of the pollution prevention movement, he viewed the reaction against environmental contamination from several perspectives — as an environmental issues consultant, lobbyist, and regulator.
He noted that during the 1970s there was a wave of federal environmental laws which represented a change in the environmental community from public activists for change working from outside institutions to working inside them. Early regulations were also aimed at dealing with managing pollution after it was created.
A second wave of community activism developed in the 1980s over concern about how effectively industrial by-products were being handled, and their potential health impacts, he said. “Specialists or technocrats” continued to be “at the table” in seeking waste management solutions, but public activists were growing less trusting, he recalled.
Activists’ focus shifted away from calls for regulations that manage pollutants to local level activism to halt proposed storage/disposal facilities. Increasingly the questions became “why is waste being generated in the first place” and the response shifted to getting critical information about pending waste projects to affected communities.
NEXT UP: Jerri-Anne Garl, U.S. EPA, “Working with ISTC on Pollution Prevention: Past Accomplishments and Future Opportunities from a Federal Perspective.”