EPA 40th Anniversary

Voices of EPA

By Lina Younes and Joanne Oxley

Joanne: I have always been a storyteller, much to my parents chagrin, and for the past 17 years I have been telling EPA’s story. This year, when we began to talk about ways to commemorate the 40th anniversary of EPA, my first thought was that we needed to provide a broader opportunity for EPA’s employees to tell their stories, and thus was born, the “Voices of EPA” project.

Lina: During the course of these 75-plus interviews, Joanne and I spoke with numerous colleagues from diverse backgrounds and expertise: scientists, lawyers, policy-makers, economists, enforcement agents, public affairs specialists, you name it, we interviewed them.

Joanne: It has been a true pleasure to be a part of capturing the stories from both Headquarters and our Regional Offices. There were several instances when I found myself choking up when I listened to the reasons why employees came to EPA, and why they have stayed. All spoke with passion about their dedication to the Agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment.

Lina: During the interviews I was struck by some of the common themes, such as:

  • Whether they were here at the very beginning or they just joined the agency this year—they all love their job.
  • They believe they are making a difference.
  • They share an enthusiasm that they are working for a greater good.
  • In the early years, the average age of the agency’s leadership was the early 30’s.
  • Many EPA workers started as interns or straight out of graduate school.
  • Science is at the root of the Agency’s decision-making process. Scientists and regulators work hand in hand.
  • Teamwork is an integral part of working at EPA.
  • Innovation and creativity are valued at EPA.

Joanne: When I reflect back on my own experience here at EPA and my legacy, one of my proudest accomplishments will have been part of this project where we have been able to share just some of the names and faces of EPA employees who work with dedication and pride to serve the American public.

Lina and Joanne: We plan to link to the compilation videos soon. So as we move on to the next 40 years, we would like to thank our colleagues for a job well done. Happy birthday, EPA, and may you celebrate many more.

About the authors: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Joanne Oxley is the Communication Manager for EPA’s Office of Administration and Resources Management. She has been with the Agency for the past 16 years where she has provided a wide variety of communications support for both external and internal audiences, receiving numerous Gold and Silver medals for her work. She has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Maryland.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Celebrating EPA’s 40th Anniversary—Pick5 And Join The Festivities!

By Hanady Kader / Jeanethe Falvey

Tis the season for holidays and celebrations, and this year EPA has a particularly big reason to celebrate—we’re turning 40!

Maybe approaching the hill isn’t as thrilling for some, but we’re feeling festive. Every day we see the important work the agency has been doing for four decades: enforcing environmental laws, cleaning up hazardous waste, and assisting in the funding of environmental projects in communities, yet some serious work remains.

EPA is responsible for helping to protect a quality of life today, and for future generations. Yet, a single agency cannot take care of everything for everyone. We all drink water, breathe air and consume resources; we all use and depend on the environment. There’s no question that environmental protection needs action from the top down, but our efforts will go much further with equal action from the ground up. It’s all about you, your friends, your families and your neighbors and the ideas shared—here in the United States and across the globe—that can make an immediate positive impact.

EPA and the State Department’s Pick 5 for the Environment program is building a community where anyone can participate and pledge to do the simple and proven things that protect our air, water, and precious resources.

Leading up to EPA’s 40th anniversary on December 2, we are featuring a weekly video that shows how simple it is to do the right thing—so simple that kids are teaching their parents!

We hope you’ll check them out and submit your own It’s My Environment video, but if you do just one thing, join Pick 5 to see what others are doing across the world and share your ideas to make this truly a global community effort.

Is water conservation your calling? Feel passionate about recycling? You might just find your ideas and efforts put to action in another part of the country or world. Rest assured there are others like you making a difference. Happy Birthday EPA, and we wish you a Happier Holidays by enjoying and doing the simpler things in life that protect our livelihoods and loved ones.

About the authors: Hanady Kader and Jeanethe Falvey work together on the Pick 5 program from opposite ends of the U.S. Based in Seattle and Boston, both are committed to building environmental action from coast to coast and beyond.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.