NRDC Leaders Recall Russell Train as a “Fearless Voice for the Environment”

WASHINGTON (September 18, 2012) —The Natural Resources Defense Council responded to the death of former EPA Administrator Russell Train, the first Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality:

“From the water we drink to the air we breathe, from the Alaskan tundra to the Florida Everglades, Americans are healthier, and our country is better, for the life and work of Russell Train,” said NRDC President Frances Beinecke.

“He stood up to corporate polluters, their political allies, and even powerful figures within his own party, because he saw safeguarding the environment as a national goal to pull us together, not a partisan struggle to tear us apart," said Beinecke. “That's the spirit he lived by, that's his legacy and that's the charge he leaves to the rest of us.”

NRDC Founding Director John Adams said, “The nation has lost a champion, and I have lost a dear friend.”

“Russ was a gifted policy maker and a fearless voice for the environment at a time when the movement to protect the country’s natural resources was in its infancy,” said Adams. “Russ was there from the beginning. He set the table and made us all sit there — polluters, environmentalists, politicians, everyone. We didn't always like it. We fought as much as we talked. But, because of Russ, we came together, we hammered things out, we got a heck of a lot done. And it wouldn't have happened without Russ,” said Adams.

“He helped to organize the government around the need to protect our environment and public health,” said Adams. “He helped lay the foundation for the entire edifice of environmental law. And he helped usher in a new age of American progress, one that recognized our waters, wildlife, air and lands as part of a larger national treasure, to be both valued and preserved.”