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Letter Accepting the Resignation of William D. Ruckelshaus as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

November 28, 1984

Dear Bill:

It is with great regret that I accept your resignation as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

There are very few men or women in public life more widely respected than you. Your reputation for leadership, thoughtfulness and personal integrity is based on a record of outstanding performance in every job you have held. So it wasn't hard for me to decide last year to ask you to serve once more as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Although my decision was an easy one, I know that your decision to accept was very difficult, since it involved an extraordinary personal sacrifice in putting aside your career in the private sector and moving, with your family, across the continent from Washington State to Washington, D.C. In making your decision to accept, I know you did what you have consistently done: You looked first and foremost toward the public interest.

Since reassuming control of EPA, you have performed your duties in an exemplary manner and have justified fully the faith which I and so many Americans have in you. You have made absolutely clear our commitment to wise stewardship of the environment. In doing so, you have established the firm foundations on which your successor can continue to build—and in which Americans can have complete confidence.

I can understand your desire to return to private life at this time, but I want to express my personal and very warm thanks-as well as the appreciation of a grateful Nation—for the outstanding job you have done. Nancy and I send you and Jill our very best wishes for every future success and happiness.



[The Honorable William D. Ruckelshaus, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. 20024]

Dear Mr. President,

It is with both regret and a sense of accomplishment that I submit my resignation as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, effective January 5, 1985.

I regret that I will be leaving your administration. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve under your leadership and with your support.

My sense of accomplishment derives from the current state of E.P.A. Employee morale and competence is high; first-rate Presidential appointees are in place; a management system has been installed that is functioning well; and all of the programs have generated momentum.

In short, the ship called E.P.A. is righted and is now steering a steady course. I am convinced, Mr. President, that properly led, the dedicated people of E.P.A. will continue to serve well your administration and this country.

I have found again my association with our national government an enormously enriching experience. My thanks to you for having made that possible.

Like all Americans, I wish you the greatest success in your second term. In spite of my return to private life, you can call on me to help anytime, should the need arise. My warmest personal regards.


BILL William D. Ruckelshaus

[President Ronald W. Reagan, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500]

Note: The letters were made available by the Office of the Press Secretary.

Ronald Reagan, Letter Accepting the Resignation of William D. Ruckelshaus as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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