Rita Lavelle

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Rita Lavelle was the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency under Anne Gorsuch during the first part of the Reagan Administration. She was forced to resign over deceiving Congress.

Documents & Timeline

1983 A report commissioned for the Lorillard Tobacco company on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA - Thorne Auchter) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA - Anne Gorsuch and Rita Lavelle) outlines how these organisations are structured and how they report (to the President) WORTH READING

Rita Lavelle, assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency response (Superfund) was fired, followed by two other officials from different offices.

Then Anne Gorsuch Burford, the EPA Administrator, resigned under fire for "mismanagement." Her acting replacement, John Hernandez, formerly her Deputy Administrator, resigned after allegations that he let Dow Chemical Co edit a 1981 draft report on dioxin contamination near Dow's Midland, Michigan plant.

Since then five additional officials have resigned or have been fired or at least they're not there any more for whatever their reasons. The start of this chain of events was the Administrator's apparent lack of speed in cleaning up some hazardous waste sites. Rita Lavelle, whose office administers the "Superfund," and Anne Gorsuch Burford, the ex-administrator, to whom she reported, could have little political incentive to assist Governor Jerry Brown clean up a California dump site. [2]

1988 Oct 28 A Jack Anderson column: '"Bush aide linked to environment probe" begins:

George Bush didn't have to go to Boston Harbor to find an environmental scandal. His own right-hand man appears to have been wading in the Rita-Lavelle-Superfund quagmire.

Craig Fuller, now Bush's chief or staff, was a "worker bee" running messages between the White House and Lavelle at the EPA during the Superfund scandal of 1982 and 1983, according to Lavelle. In an interview Lavelle said that Fuller was well aware of the scheme to funnel Superfund cleanup money to the states where it would help Republican candidates. But she said Fuller, then secretary of Cabinet Affairs, did not engineer the scheme. The Superfund was authorized by Congress to clean up hazardous waste.

[[[Craig Fuller was then employed by Philip Morris and became one of the top dissemblers and science corrupters for the tobacco industry.]

Lavelle says she frequently informed Fuller about matters in the Superfund program, including a briefing about apparent political manipulation of the program. To this day, Lavelle maintains her innocense in the scheme, and claims she protested the alleged manipulation. Lavelle served a prison term for lying to Congress about the issue.

[She was support in this claim by exEPA Administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford in her book. Gorsuch-Burford was fired as a result of the scandal, [and] writes that she suspected the White House of guiding Lavelle".

Even former Attorney General Edwin Meese linked Fuller and Lavelle. Meese was asked about Lavelle in his confirmation hearing. "I do not recall every talking with her about any particular toxic waste site. I suspect she may be confusing me with Craig Fuller in that testimony."

Lavelle says she told Fuller about the apprarent politicizing of Superfund money and asked him to convey her protest over it to the White House. It was after she alerted Fuller that Lavelle says the White House launched a scheme to frame her. "Me going to jail was a result of that," she said. "It is not fair to blame Craig Fuller - He was a foot soldier," said Lavelle. She blames Meese, former White House aide Michael Deaver, and counsel Fred Fielding.


[Lavelle, Gorsuch and most of their associates were part of the Sagebrush Rebellion, funded by Joseph Coors via the Mountain States Legal Foundation and the Heritage Foundation. Lawyer Edwin Meese was Coor's bag-man and direct channel to these organisations.