You can now search the Sanjour Hazardous Waste Papers in the UCSF Industry Documents Library. The Sanjour Hazardous waste Papers are the work files of famous EPA Whistleblower William Sanjour, who them to the Bioscience Resource Project for digitization. The digitized files were then shared with the UCSF Industry Documents Library.

About UCSF Industry Documents Library: Increasingly, connections are being made between tactics taken by the tobacco industry and other corporations that influence public health, particularly on the issues of food, climate change and pharmaceuticals. The Industry Documents Library is a portal to aid investigation about cross-industry corporate practices and this portal brings together the following archives: the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, Drug Industry Documents, Chemical Industry Documents, Food Industry Documents, and Fossil Fuel Industry Documents.

More about the papers:

In 1974 William Sanjour was appointed branch chief at the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly formed Hazardous Waste Management Division. In this position, Sanjour had two principal responsibilities: 1) to research and document the environmental and human health problems associated with unregulated dumping of industrial hazardous waste, and 2) to research better and safer methods of treating and disposing of these wastes.

Sanjour supervised the drafting of regulations required to implement the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) but became increasingly concerned about industry interference and pressure on the EPA. In 1978, Sanjour became a whistle-blower to call out senior EPA officials’ efforts to weaken environmental protection regulations.

For over 20 years, Sanjour investigated and reported collusion and corruption at the EPA. He wrote articles, appeared in television and film documentaries, and testified multiple times before Congress. His knowledge and experiences have been influential in the passage of State and Federal laws governing hazardous waste as well as protecting the rights of fellow civil servants to blow the whistle on corrupt activities.

This collection reflects the day-to-day evolution of important environmental regulations, viewed from inside the EPA, and shines a light on political and industry pressures on regulators, as well as the pressures brought to bear on whistle-blowers in an attempt to silence them.

The original documents were given to the Bioscience Resource Project which coordinated and funded digitization work. Digital copies were contributed to the UCSF Chemical Industry Documents Archive in 2018.

Materials in this collection include:

  • Sanjour’s memos to file
  • communications within the Hazardous Waste Division
  • memos from industrial sources and trade associations
  • communications from Congress
  • contact with citizen groups
  • Congressional hearings
  • news clippings

Special thanks to the UCSF Library Access Services staff, who provided valuable assistance in processing this collection.

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