Douglas M. Costle is the former director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). An educator and administrator, he was one of the original designers of the EPA.
Costle was born in Long Beach, California in 1939. He attended Harvard
University, where he earned a bachelor's degree, and then went on to receive a law degree from the University of Chicago. Costle became a civil rights trial attorney in the newly formed Justice Department in Washington, DC.
Costle then became senior staff associate of the President's Advisory Council Executive Organization. In this position, he helped form the EPA. However, because of his strong Democratic reputation, President Nixon did not give him an administrative position
in the organization. The position came later from President Carter, after Costle spent time as a Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection in Connecticut. This assignment strengthened his reputation as an able administrator, and Costle was appointed by Carter to head the EPA in 1977. This was a strategic appointment, for the direction of the agency was then up for debate. Many thought Costle too compromising to take the firm stands needed, but he was given the
Under Costle's direction, the EPA followed the path toward a "quiet victory." Costle began by hiring 600 new employees. During his administration, the agency worked to support its regulations with scientific data. Costle also delayed imposing certain new auto standards, allowed the construction of a nuclear power plant, and compromised with U.S. Steel on pollution reduction.
strongly believes that environmental protection and economic progress are objectives that do not have to conflict. He sincerely believes that the two goals can reinforce one another and that the environment can be protected through this gradual process.