UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
DATE: March 7, 1979
SUBJECT: Meeting of July 20, 1978
FROM: William Sanjour, Chief Waste Reduction Branch Resource Recovery Division
In June of 1978, Mr. Jorling, Assistant Administrator for Water and Hazardous Materials, instructed the Office of Solid Waste to reduce the scope of the hazardous waste management regulation, which they were developing. According to Mr. Lehman, Director of the Hazardous Waste Management Division, Mr. Jorling had said that this was necessary in order to accommodate the Presidents' cutting back on the Federal budget to fight inflation.
Mr. Lehman met with his Branch Chiefs (myself, Walt Kovalick, and Fred Lindsey) and with Mr. Dietrich (of Mr. Jorling's immediate Staff) several times during the months of June and July to develop options for reducing the scope of the draft hazardous waste regulation for Mr. Jorling's consideration. These options were summarized in a memorandum from Mr. Lehman dated July 12, 1978 titled "Hazardous Waste Options". On July 19, 1978 Mr. Jorling met with senior members of the Office of Solid Waste to discuss these options and decide which ones he wanted. The next day, Mr. Lehman met with his Branch Chiefs to discuss the decisions made at the previous days meeting and to simultaneously dictate the minutes of that meeting to his secretary.
During the course of this meeting, Mr. Lehman said that Mr. Jorling did not want the details of the July 19 meeting made available to the public. That we should instruct the staff that the minutes should not be discussed with the public in any but the most general terms. I pointed out that the minutes would be going into the Docket and that the Docket was available to the public. Mr. Lehman and his secretary, Pat Savage, said the minutes do not have to go in the Docket. Mrs. Savage said it was just an "internal working memo".
I pointed out that we were responsible for writing those regulations and that we were responsible for giving the public an accounting of why they were written the way they were. And if the reason for the regulations being weakened is that Mr. Jorling instructed us to do so, then that belongs in the Public Docket. And that if he did not put the minutes in the Docket then I would do so.
I subsequently saw to it that the minutes were placed in the Docket (memo from Lehman dated July 21, 1978, titled "Notes from Hazardous Waste Options. Meeting") and that the July 12, memo was also in the Docket.
I also re-examined our instructions for what materials belong in the Docket. The Docket was established by the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste in a directive dated March 22, 1977, titled "OSW Directive 77-4: Establishment of a Docket System for Rulemaking Activities under RCRA". On page 7 in the list of material which must be included are "... minutes from any group meetings dealing with the development of ... regulations ..." and " ... records of internal review dealing with the rule-making process ..."
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