Russell Train, shown speaking at news conference in 1975, led the Environmental Protection Agency from 1973 to 1977. In 1991, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. (Charles Harrity, Associated Press / March 6, 1975)
Russell Train, an important American conservationist and former tax court judge who helped craft some of the nation’s early and enduring environmental laws, has died. He was 92.
Train, who led the Environmental Protection Agency in the 1970s, died Monday at his farm in Bozman, Md. The EPA confirmed his death on its website but did not reveal the cause.
When the EPA was just getting established under the Nixon administration, Train helped set the path for the agency’s ongoing work, said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
“His years with the agency saw landmark environmental achievements whose impacts are still felt,” Jackson said in a statement that cited such laws as the Toxic Substance Control Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, which helps protect the nation’s water.
During Nixon’s presidency, policies were set in motion to clean the air and waterways, preserve vast natural habitats, save hundreds of plant and animal species, and reduce or ban the use of deadly pesticides. Several interlocking federal agencies were also created to protect the environment.