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Interview with Norma Cox, June 8, 2004


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Narrator affiliation: Administrator, Atomic Energy Commission and Public Health Service

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Cox, Norma. Interview, 2004 June 08. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Norma Cox June 8, 2004 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Shannon Applegate © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Norma Cox June 8, 2004 Conducted by Shannon Applegate Table of Contents Introduction: work for the AEC, recounts story of part- time work for Frank Rogers and typing first logistical support contract for REECo 1 Talks about work with Oliver Placak ( USPHS) and Joe Sanders ( AEC), their work in public relations and offsite radiological safety 2 Recalls creation of USPHS ( later EPA) air force for offsite radiation monitoring and other environmental studies 8 Talks about the EPA farm, and use of animals in testing at the NTS 10 Doing whole body counting on humans for possible radiation exposure 12 Recounts experiences in government service, including Agriculture Research Service and National Park Service 14 Talks about creation and usage of Basic Capability accounting system in DOE 15 Influence of presidential administrations on government budgetary process 16 Republican administrations and their effect on promotion opportunities for female government employees 17 EPA concerns in the Las Vegas and NTS area 18 Talks about accidents at the NTS and her work involvement in them 19 Formation of the AEC and growth of USPHS office in Las Vegas, NV; establishment of MOL 22 USPHS ( later EPA) and relationship with Downwinders; offsite radiation safety and monitoring 23 Talks about her work monitoring Mercury, NV and filling in on monitoring flights 25 Response to protests and concerns about testing, changing attitudes 27 Recalls her work doing clearances for test observers, and interviews of workers for a secret storage repository for weapons at the NTS 29 Talks about test observers, including military at Camp Desert Rock and those at News Nob 31 Impressions of atmospheric tests and their effects 32 Muses on need for, and loss of, communication skills among government workers, job relationships, and loyalty 34 Discusses family background, early life in Las Vegas, NV, college education, marriage, first job as secretary with AEC 35 Talks about early problems for women in government service 39 Work on environmental issues in southern Nevada 41 Problems for women in work, and their need to assert themselves; personal experiences 42 Conclusion: opinions on affirmative action for minorities and women 51 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Norma Cox June 8, 2004 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Shannon Applegate [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disk 1. Shannon Applegate: OK, so we’re recording. Norma Cox: OK. Actually I started to work for the AEC [ Atomic Energy Commission] in 1951. And one of the interesting things I did, but it was a little later on, was my husband and I, first thing we did was buy a house, which we had no business of doing. So we were kind of financially strapped. And I’d made noises to my boss that I needed to find another source of revenue. He suggested to a fellow named Frank Rogers— who is the father of the new chancellor over here, Jim Rogers— he suggested to him that I was looking for work and maybe I would do what he needed to have done. Well basically what it was, was to type the first contract— [ Break for phone call] So anyway he was looking for someone to type up the first REECo [ Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company] contract which he had just written. So he came over and I typed it in my kitchen in our new home. But anyway that was when they took over. Before that there was a firm by the name of McNeil something or other that had the first logistical support contract. And Frank Rogers at that time actually worked for Zia Corporation [ Company], which was a big contractor too for the AEC. But anyway that was kind of an interesting experience. And that’s how you got on board with the AEC and found out that they were starting an office? No, no, I found out at Nellis [ Air Force Base]. No, I had been working for the AEC for several years when this happened, because as I said we were actually located on Main Street, and before that when they started the office they started it on Fremont. Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 So the contract that you typed up, that was for REECo. Yes, the first contract that was issued by this office. Oh, OK, but you were already an employee of the AEC. Yes. Oh yes. And I just did it [ the contract] as part- time work, but I thought it was kind of interesting because the new chancellor is Frank Rogers’s son, and I remember Frank Rogers when he was that high [ indicating height]. And now he’s the chancellor. Yes. And it was very— I mean, megabucks; he’s a very wealthy man. But anyway, it’s that I kind of forgot some of what we really talked about. Well, it seemed like that we talked in very broad strokes over your whole career, which we are very interested in. We have a lot of environmental stuff that we’re doing in parks and services and so I have a professor that was really interested in your take on the Grand Canyon and, you know, all of that. I mean he found that extremely interesting so, you know, wherever this goes today, whether it goes away from the Nevada Test Site, it’s all very fascinating to us. Oh, OK. Well then, you know, one of the things— I know the people in the old AEC and now DOE [ Department of Energy] don’t recognize that when I worked for EPA [ Environmental Protection Agency] I was probably one of the principal contacts. The principal contact was always the director because he served on the control panel, you know, deciding whether tests would go or not. But I was the one that defended the budget. I was the one that was responsible for employment of people. I was the one responsible for the contracts that maybe the AEC would issue for us. Also some of the interesting things that happened, I don’t think we talked about, was in the early days. Not everybody was real keen on the testing program, particularly in the outlying areas. Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 And this was in the 1950s? Yes. And so my boss, Joe Sanders, and Ollie Placak, who later became my boss when I went to work for the Public Health Service, those two men would climb into a pickup truck with shovels so they could get themselves out of the sand, and they drove all around the test site— up into Ely and Cedar City and St. George, Utah. They’re the ones that really convinced people in the outlying areas that the testing program wasn’t going to hurt them. Oh, OK, so they did PR [ public relations]. They did PR. Now did they do that on their own or—? No, Joe Sanders was head of the AEC and Ollie Placak— the AEC had asked the Public Health Service to send out a contingent of people that knew something about radiation. In those days, there was very little known about radiation. Ollie Placak, I think he was classified as a sanitary engineer but he was basically a research chemist. And then as I said Joe Sanders was just the manager, and they went around and sat down at dinner tables with people and talked to them and was able to convince them that testing was OK. [ 00: 05: 00] And did they get them to sign something that the people—? No. Or it was just to calm protests. Just to calm the�� you know. There wasn’t a lot of protest but people— it was oh, it was a big unknown. And at that point in time they did not have the knowledge about weather; they did not have the knowledge about seismic that they have in more recent years. And so when they set off a test they really didn’t know which way it was going to go, the seismic motion, and they didn’t know much about the weather patterns and where that was going to go. Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 I left the AEC because as I mentioned to you, they wouldn’t give me a leave of absence. And so when my husband got better and was ready to go back to work, they had filled my position and so I went to work for Ollie Placak because I had done some work for him. He and Mel Carter, I think those were the only two people that were here from the Public Health Service, they were in the same office as the AEC. Oh, OK. And the Public Health Service came out as a result of the test site. Yes. OK. OK. That makes sense. Yes, they came out to do the off site radiological safety. They did not want to do the on site, so at first it was LASL [ Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory] and then later it became REECo that did that. That did the on site? Yes. Oh. Why didn’t Public Health want to do the on site? I think there was always a quarrel about the ethics of it. I think the thinking was, you couldn’t do both and really remain impartial, and so they opted to do the off site. Which for the AEC was the best thing going because when I went back to work they had filled my position but Ollie Placak said they had wanted him to hire a secretary, so he hired me. And I started with the Public Health Service and there was myself and Mel Carter and Joe Sanders and a fellow by the name of Dick Gilmore. There were four of us. Well, we eventually grew to about 450 people and most of it was for work for the AEC. So we had a large reimbursable contract with the AEC. OK, so the Public Health Service was being contracted out by the AEC. Right. Yes. Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 OK. So you were still kind of working for the AEC even though you were with Public Health Service. Yes. Right. So as I say, the people from the AEC just didn’t realize, I mean they were kind of shocked when I show up at the AEC dinners and the Public Health Service people are now EPA. They don’t have any concept that that’s where my beginnings were. But anyway, it was fortunate for the AEC because what they were able to do— when they had an operational period— they brought out some people from Washington. But most of the people came out of state health offices— they were heads of state health offices— or they brought them out of schools that had some specialty in radiation. And they would bring them out in groups of about thirty, and then they would go if the op— well, the operational period did last more. I think they were only there for six weeks and then the other group would come in. And they were sent around to all the outlying areas. What they did, they collected milk, water, food samples; put out what they call fallout trays so any fallout would come down on the trays and they could measure it. They carried Geiger counters in case the wind did blow— it did blow toward Cedar City and St. George on a couple of occasions— and they would be there to make sure the people got showered and got a new set of clothes and— Oh really. Yes, and you know, the thing that really upsets me today is everybody speaks as if it was done so cavalierly, and it wasn’t. I know it wasn’t because I was there operating the radio while these [ 00: 10: 00] guys were all around, and I ended up typing all the results. Oh really. Yes, I put together the booklets. Now I’m told by Mel that the booklets are now in the hands of LASL but from what all I hear, nobody has any records anymore, so I don’t know. Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 Now how far around did they go? Was there a certain radius around the actual test? Yes. I think it was about 300 miles. And in order that they could maintain contact, they established a state- of- the- art radio and it’s still used at the test site. It was a pretty remarkable system. Do you know who came up with that? Well, there was a fellow named Paul Buchholz, and I don’t know whether it’s him. I don’t remember the other names. Most of them came out of Albuquerque. But REECo was given the responsibility for the radio contacts, and I don’t know whether it was them or actually within the AEC that they did all that. But it was 300 miles around so all the little communities had a monitor up there. Right, and they took it very seriously and they were methodical and—? Yes, they were very methodical. The only problem was that in those days the state- of- the- art was limited as far as Geiger counters or any— you know, they didn’t have much sensitivity towards radiation in the instruments— and of course the standards that were set were set much higher then than they’re set now. Well, they now have the instrumentation that they can measure it, but those days they didn’t have it. And the standard, how did they set the standard? It was set by I think probably Public Health Service. OK, so it was just through the knowledge that they had at the time that-- Yes. In fact one of the fellows [ Harold Andrews] that I admire probably as much as anybody was the fellow that worked for NIH [ National Institutes of Health], which was then under what was then the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Public Health Service was also under. But he was one of the fellows I spent some time with— my first trip to Washington— he took me Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 on a tour of NIH, but anyway he had written a first primer on radiation. Because I remember when the guys came out and they’d studied it in college and here was—. So why did you go to Washington? Oh, well, the Public Health Service initially had the people in Washington doing all the personnel and their finance and everything, so since I was going to do it locally I went in to meet them and, you know, just orientation. Oh, right. To get trained and all. To get trained, yes. But I had a marvelous time. How long were you there? A week. So you got to see all the sights and—. Yes. And then my tour guide was a young fellow that headed up the group that was fighting the repository in New Mexico— salt dome mine. Anyway he took me around and he was really a cosmopolitan, so I got to see art galleries, I got to see the zoo it was really a lot of fun. Vacation. Yes. Well, I had work to do. I spent the day working and then the— we got to do some things. Now was Ollie Placak, was he a scientist? Yes, he was a research chemist. OK, so when he would go and talk to people, he knew what he was talking about. He was up to date on all the latest information and—. Anyway, later of course they decided they needed more information about radiation [ 00: 15: 00] levels leaving the test site. Well, in between, Public Health Service was given. They converted the program from just doing it during operational periods to continuing it through the year. So Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 they needed somebody more full- time than bringing all these people in; I think we did about three operational periods. Now when you say “ operational periods” are you talking about just the test or—? No, I’m talking about a series of tests, like Hardtack [ II]. Oh, OK. And that would span just a few months. Yes. But anyway they decided they needed to expand the radiation testing and so the Public Health Service was given authority to organize an air force. How do you mean, “ organize the air force”? Well, you know, they do aerial monitoring, because they were finding some of the— when they had an unexpected event or an accident— the radiation would end up in Chicago. It would be past the 300 miles. Oh, it’d be that far. Yes, because they were testing bigger devices, and so we built their air force. It was interesting because what they did, we had this one commissioned officer, who still lives here. Anyway he would go over to Davis- Monthan [ Air Force Base] and pick up old military aircraft that had been put out to pasture, and we got that and they bought new motors and everything. Well anyway, the interesting thing about that was you have to have legislative authority to have airplanes in the federal government. I don’t know how it is now. You know, certainly agencies have them now. Then, only the military could have airplanes. And so it was one of my jobs to justify having the air force, which is always interesting because Congress could never understand why we had airplanes. Right. So did you have to write up a proposal? Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 I had to write up a defense for it, and spend many hours on the telephone justifying it to somebody that was going to have to go in and argue it in front of Congress. But anyway, that air force was eventually turned over to, I think, EG& G [ Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier] probably and is still with EG& G. How many planes did you acquire? We ended up with thirteen. Also in the meantime, when we became the EPA, then EPA did this lake eutrophication study all across the United States because the lakes, notably the Great Lakes, were dying. And so we had quite a few helicopters and what they would do is they’d land or hover just above the water and they’d drop this instrumentation and take samples so they could follow what was happening to the lakes. So you grew from five people to an air force. Well, I mean it was more than just the air force. The air force wasn’t that big, but the first part of the air force was for AEC; the second part was for EPA. Now did you house all the planes at Nellis, or were they—? No, they were at McCarran. And we had to hire pilots. I picked up my personnel officer from Nellis, and at Nellis they had a real big personnel department and so each person did one certain job. Well, she came to work for me and she had all this, you know. She was drawing up position descriptions for airplane mechanics, for airplane pilots. We even had a farm out at the test site, which we ran for the AEC; it was paid with AEC money. And we had animal workers, and we had a great variety—. Was the farm under the Public Health Service first and then—? Well, we’d become EPA. It would become EPA. And I don’t think the farm exists now. [ 00: 20: 00] I’ve heard about the EPA farm. Yes, there’s a lot of pictures with the cow and—. Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Oh yes. Sam. Yes. Oh, was that the cow’s name? Yes. There were many Sams. They were always dragging them off to some sort of state fair somewhere. Oh really? Yes. So they’d go as an attraction? But they had the rumin plug and they’d reach in and get the—. Oh, so Sam would go travel and work the circuit. Yes. So was that as part of just teaching the public about—? Radiation, yes. Yes. OK. Oh, that’s interesting. Yes. But have you heard of a program that was out at the 400 area? No. Well, that was a program to determine whether or not nuclear engines could be used in spacecraft. I think you told me about this in the last interview, and you got to see the track and—. Yes. But then our people also ran some biological experiments, and one of them I remember was using mice and setting them out so far from the nuclear engine that was running around, and they had to buy sun visors for the mice. No! They bought them or did they have to make them? Well, they might’ve been able to use a child’s, I don’t know. Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 So why did they have to have sunglasses? Because it was so hot in the sun for those animals. Oh, that is so funny! So they had little animal sunglasses. Oh, that’s funny. Well, we’ve heard that there were dogs out there they had to put little booties on them because it was so hot and they used the little golf—. Yes. Well, I remember, I was showing a group from Washington our trailers out there. Another thing, in those days, the government workers agencies didn’t buy refrigerators. And we always had to have a refrigerator— they used to keep the animal samples in. And anyway, I was out there and this one person from Washington was very concerned that we had a refrigerator, and so I said, Well, we keep animal samples. Oh sure! I opened it up and there was a frozen beagle. And they saw that I wasn’t fibbing and—. Right. So you did experiments on dogs and cats? Yes. We had biologists and they did experiments on dogs. Do you know what kind of experiments they did or—? Well, most of them was the radiation effects. That’s what the farm was for, too. I heard something about pigs. This was in the real early days, that they’d put uniforms on the pigs? Well, they did use pigs. Now, I don’t remember anything about them having uniforms on. But the pigs they used because the pig skin is closest to the human, and so that’s why they used them. Right. So did you have a lot of scientists coming in and out of Public Health Service on grants, is that how it worked? Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 No, we had a lot employed. In fact most of our employees were the technical people, either scientists— but we had water specialists, we had research chemists, we had many nuclear physicists. And how would new experiments come up? Like would someone just think of something that would be valuable? Well, they were always concerned about biological effect and so that’s what most of them were for; to try to determine what the effect on animals were. We even had a whole body counter and I guess the place it’s located in is still there. People from around the test site, family members were brought in and they were put in the whole body counter. Every once in a while they got a request from one of the hospitals— this is before the MRIs [ magnetic resonance imaging] or anything— and they could do a whole body count. Oh, was that like you would go through a machine and it would tell you how much radiation? Yes. Right. Oh, OK. And so people from the outlying areas could utilize that if they—? Well no, what they did was they’d bring people in, and of course they had to be willing to come, but they brought children in, and unfortunately most of that data’s been lost, which is just really too bad. [ 00: 25: 00] Did it look like an MRI machine? Well, they had to have shielding, I vaguely remember but what they did is they went into something like an MRI machine— some of them got claustrophobic— then they would shoot them with the sensors and determine whether they had radiation. Oh, OK, so it wasn’t like an X- ray. It was more just trying to detect radiation levels in someone’s body. Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 Yes. Oh, that’s interesting. And did they do that out at the test site? No, they did it right over here, in the university [ UNLV]. Oh, right on campus. Yes, and do you know where the EPA buildings are? No. Oh. Well, they’ve got some temporary buildings but there was a series of five buildings. We had the biology building, we had the— or were there four? I guess there were four. I mean it started as a water lab and then it became the biology building, and then the administration, and the area monitoring, and then biology was down here. So you actually worked on campus. Yes, I worked the longest period. I went to work for them in 1957 and I worked for them until 1974. And then you went to San Francisco. Right, from there. In 1974 you went to San Francisco. OK. And then when did you retire? In 1981. In 1981. And you retired with a GS- 15 [ government service] status, which was pretty high. I was telling everybody about that after the interview. Well, I always felt it was something I should’ve gotten right here, but as I explained to you I didn’t, so I got it later. But the best thing about it, it led to some marvelous experiences. With Agriculture I learned all about water and farming and all that, but mainly about water. And now in my volunteer work people consider me somewhat of an expert. And then with the [ National] Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 Park Service we had all of the western— I mean we had the parks in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Guam. So I got to do quite a bit of traveling with that. And that’s what you did in 1974. You went to San Francisco and you worked with the Park Service. Oh well, I first worked for the Agriculture Research Service. And then I left there and went to work for the Park Service in about 1978. OK. Now when you started with the EPA you started clerical and then did you just move up through—? How—? There were—? Yes. Well, as I said there were only four of us, and more people kept coming in. They’d give me additional responsibilities, and when I left I was a GS- 13. What was your title? I was management officer. OK. And were you in charge of the whole office structure? Was that—? No, I was charge of personnel, budget and finance, general services, and safety. I guess that was it. That’s quite a load. Yes, it was quite a load. Would you have to put the budget together? Yes. OK. And then that was the other question I was going to ask you. You had talked about how you came up with the Basic Capability for accounting. Now why would the EPA use that accounting? Well, the EPA didn’t use it. Actually we had two accounting systems. We had the EPA accounting system and we used the DOE accounting system. And so people got so irritated Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 because we had two different accounting systems. And the reason I thought we needed to go to Basic Capability, because initially they had these operational period and that. They would give us money for those, but when we were doing them on a continuing basis, we never knew when somebody was going to throw in some extra work. [ 00: 30: 00] So we wanted the ability to hire a basic capability or the basic number of people, and then if we needed to supplement that, they could provide us that money on a test basis, which as I said it took a long, long time to get them to see that. To get the AEC to see that? Yes. OK. And that was the presentation that you made. Yes. Many, many times. And you presented that in front of the AEC, not Nevada AEC but just the government? No, I presented it to the people of the Nevada Operations Office. It had become the Nevada operations office then. Now the Basic Capability, you said you created that, right? Yes. And did you create that out of the AEC accounting system, from what you learned there? Yes. Well, that actually was more of a budgeting thing. We had to account for the money that was spent by tests or projects. But we got the money in just a big chunk of money, and when DOE had lots of money it was no problem. We’d say, Well, we need more, they’d give us more. But eventually they started running into budget limitations and so it became a problem if we didn’t have the money and didn’t have the people to provide the service they needed. So I mean it just seemed logical that you would—. Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 And you said the EPA still uses that, right? No, not the EPA. You know, the EPA never used it. OK. The AEC? Yes, or DOE. And how I found out about it, I was on this ad hoc committee and this guy from Nevada Operations Office came in and bragged about how they were the only operations office that budgeted basic capability and I thought, Oh my God. Oh, that is funny. Well, I thought it was funny too but, you know, I wish I’d kept the booklet that I put together for Bob Miller but I didn’t. You get so much stuff— you get rid of it but—. And from my reading, the budgetary process was pretty convoluted. It seemed very complicated just within the AEC itself. Would the budgetary process change depending upon the administration, you know, which presidential administration was in office, or would it stay pretty much the same? Actually it didn’t used to change too much but— well, I can remember, I was with the EPA when Nixon got into office. And just between us, I don’t know what persuasion you are, I mean they both do it but it’s much, much more rampant when the Republicans are in there. They have all these friends and cohorts they want to hire and so a lot of jobs are created to cover these people. And that comes out of the budget, I would imagine, yes. But no, probably the biggest difference in the way budgeting is, there’s been far less emphasis on science. For example, the Agriculture Research Service. When Reagan was elected he tried to abolish it and darn near did. And then, well, after Clinton got in, why, they’re restoring it now. And you would feel the effects at the EPA, right? Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 17 Yes. Well, you know what’s happened to EPA under Reagan. I mean lots of people were forced out of the agency. And frankly, one of the reason I opted to retire, I could see that was the end of possibilities for women. Yes. And that was due to the presidential administration, the power that was in office. Yes, in office. Most of the women that I knew have sort of been [ 00: 35: 00] forced out. They’re bringing in women now but they’re usually people that have worked on the political campaigns and things. Right. Now how would you feel it at the EPA, like when you said Reagan abolished or tried to abolish the agricultural research, how would that be felt there? Oh my goodness, what happened is almost every agency was in such turmoil, nobody was doing their work. Everybody was either trying to run around and figure out do they have a job, or don’t they have a job? Well, EPA here now is just a shell of what it was. And is that due to money being taken away or people being taken away or jobs and like that? Well, largely money taken away, and largely because a lot of things that they used to be interested in, they’re not interested in anymore. And that’s the experimentation and—? Yes. OK. So has the EPA’s mandate decreased since— because it originated in 1970, right? Yes. So you see it as it’s really declined? It’s really declined, yes. Do you think that that’s nationwide or is it just here in Las Vegas? No, nationwide. It’s nationwide. Speak to some environmental groups, and it just—. Cox_ N_ 06082004_ ARCH. doc UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 18 Is that even under Clinton because didn’t Clinton try to—? Oh no, Clinton, you know, strengthened them. But I think the thing of it is that at that point a lot of— I mean he