About EPA

Douglas M. Costle Biography

Douglas M. Costle, former Agency Administrator

[EPA press release - March 4, 1977]

The Senate today unanimously confirmed Douglas M. Costle as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Barbara Blum as Deputy Administrator.
 
Costle, a 37-year-old lawyer with broad experience in both Federal and State environmental matters, was nominated for the top EPA job by President Carter on February 16, 1977. Blum, 37, also nominated by the President on that day, brings to her new post a wide-ranging background in small business, social work and environmental activism.
 
Costle was born July 27, 1939 in Long Beach, California. He received an A.B. from Harvard University in 1961, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, 1964.
 
From 1964-65 he was a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, and from 1965-67 served as attorney for the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
 
In 1967 he was associate attorney for the law firm of Kelso, Cotton, Seligman and Ray in San Francisco, and from 1968-69 was a senior associate at the urban policy planning law firm of Marshall Kaplan, Gans and Kahn, in the same city.
 
From December 1969 to December 1970 he was Senior Staff Associate, Environmental and Natural Resources, for the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization, where he headed the study which recommended the creation of EPA.
 
In 1971 Costle was a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. From January 1972 to July 1975 hew was Deputy Commissioner, then Commissioner, of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. From March to July 1975 he was also a consultant to EPA on land use policies.
 
From July 1975 to 1977, he was Assistant Director for Natural Resources and Commerce at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, and prior to his EPA nomination was on President Carter's transition team for government organization.
 
Costle served in the U.S. Army Reserve working in military intelligence and is a member of the bar in Washington, D.C. and California. He, his wife Elizabeth, and their daughter and son, reside in Virginia.