Guide to the Gail M. Rockwood Papers, 1970-2000 AIS.2000.20

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Gail M. Rockwood Papers
Collection Number
AIS.2000.20
Date
1970-2000
Extent
38.75 linear feet (31 boxes)
Abstract
Gail Rockwood, an environmentalist, compiled a collection of environmental materials in the course of her activities as a member of the Citizens Advisory Council (CAC), Environmental Quality Board (EQB), Sierra Club, and through personal activism. This collection documents the environmental activism of Rockwood in Pennsylvania. The collection focuses on a variety of subjects including water and air pollution, mining, and appropriate land use. These major subjects are documented through legislative drafts and other legal documents, meeting notes and minutes, correspondence, newspaper and article clippings, and program announcements and agendas. The collection includes working drafts of proposals and legislation, environmental publications, newspaper clippings and articles, and some of Rockwood’s notes. The collection applies to Pennsylvania’s environmental issues during the late twentieth century.

Preferred Citation

Gail Rockwood Papers, 1970-2000, AIS.2000.20, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

Gail M. Rockwood, originally from Detroit, Michigan, received her Bachelors degree from Albion College in 1960. Following a move to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Rockwood became involved with the environmental movement after witnessing the effects of coal mining in the region. She helped to organize the Southwestern Group of the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter in 1972. Rockwood has been especially active in promoting the need for environmental education in Pennsylvania’s elementary and high schools, and focused attention on drafting legislation to address this matter.

Between 1976 and 2001, Rockwood served in a variety of state environmental organizations and committees. Most notably, she was appointed to the Citizen’s Advisory Council (CAC) from 1976 to 2001, which oversees the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). During her time on the committee she served as council chair and vice chair. Moreover, Rockwood served as CAC representative for the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) and the Mining and Reclamation Advisory board.

The Gail Rockwood Public Service Award was established in September of 1998 by the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation. The award recognizes individuals who have spent at least ten years in voluntary service and demonstrate personal achievement, continual volunteer involvement, solution-oriented leadership, recruitment of others, and the inspiration to excel.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection documents the environmental activism of Gail Rockwood in Pennsylvania. The collection closely follows her involvement in various state government and civic environmental agencies. Specifically, Rockwood’s efforts as a member of the CAC from 1976 to 2001 are documented, as are her efforts to increase the curriculum of environmental education provided to elementary and high school students in Pennsylvania. The collection focuses on a variety of subjects including water and air pollution, mining, and appropriate land use. These major subjects are documented through legislative drafts and other legal documents, meeting notes and minutes, correspondence, newspaper and article clippings, and program announcements and agendas.

The collection has been arranged by series according to Rockwood’s areas of involvement. Each series includes materials generated from and related to activities conducted as a member of a number of environmental groups. Subject areas related to membership in political and civic organizations generally pertain to the organizational and legal aspects of involvement in those organizations.

According to convention, once an organization is introduced in full for the first time, subsequent references will utilize the acronym.

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Arrangement

Series I – Citizen’s Advisory Council, (CAC) 1976-2000

Series II - State Government Environmental Organizations, (DER and DEP) 1976-2000

Series III – Environmental Quality Board, (EQB) 1982-1998

Series IV – Mining Materials, 1973-2000

Series V - Air Pollution, Water Quality, and Energy, 1973-1998

Series VII - Environmental Education, 1970-1991

Series VIII – Research Files, 1976-1998

This collection is only arranged at the series level; there is no individual folder-level inventory for this collection at the present time. Please contact the Archives Service Center for more information.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 2009

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collectons
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Gail M. Rockwood in 2000.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Alesha Shumar, Shaun Hayes, Sean Kilcoyne, and Evan Watersin October 2008.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) Records, 1971-1976, AIS.1979.21, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Patricia Pelkofer Papers, 1969-2003, AIS.1993.05, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Concerned Residents of the Youghiogheny Records, 1976-2001, AIS.2004.14, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter Records, 1970-1997, AIS.2000.16, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Environmental Action Foundation Records, 1970-1996, AIS.1996.13, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Wynona S. Coleman Papers, 1971-2005, AIS.2000.21, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Citizens Coal Council.
  • Citizen’s Advisory Council (Pa.).
  • Environment and Resource Management Project.
  • Environmental Law & Policy Center.
  • Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Group.
  • Pennsylvania Alliance for Environmental Education.
  • Pennsylvania. Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Pennsylvania. Department of Environmental Resources.
  • Pennsylvania. Environmental Quality Board.
  • Tri-State Citizens Mining Network.
  • United States. Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Allegheny County (Pa.)
  • Fayette County (Pa.)
  • Pennsylvania

Personal Name(s)

  • Rockwood, Gail W.

Subject(s)

  • Coal mines and mining -- Environmental aspects -- Pennsylvania
  • Coal mines and mining -- Law and legislation -- Pennsylvania
  • Coal mines and mining -- Waste disposal -- Pennsylvania
  • Environment
  • Environmental policy
  • Environmental policy -- Pennsylvania
  • Environmental protection -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny National Forest
  • Environmentalists -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Hazardous waste sites -- Pennsylvania
  • Longwall mining -- Pennsylvania
  • Personal papers
  • Strip mining -- Appalachian Region
  • Waste disposal sites -- Pennsylvania
  • Women
  • Women environmentalists -- Pennsylvania

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Previous Citation

Gail Rockwood Papers, 1970-2000, AIS.2000.20, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh.

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Citizen’s Advisory Council, (CAC) 1976-2000 

Scope and Content Notes

The Citizen’s Advisory Council (CAC) is a group of citizens appointed by Pennsylvania legislators to oversee the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). It was created by state legislation in 1971. Among other duties, the CAC reviews all of Pennsylvania’s environmental laws and consults with the DEP in their execution. Rockwood was a CAC member from 1976 to 2001, serving as council chair and vice chair. She also served as a representative for the CAC to the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) and the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board.

The records in this series consist of CAC annual reports, meeting minutes and agendas, and correspondence related to a variety of issues considered by the CAC such as the federal "Clean Air Act" and the effect of coal mining on Pennsylvania communities. Performance reviews of the CAC conducted by the Pennsylvania legislature in the early 1980s are included as well, as are governmental reports and notes of annual meetings. The records date from 1976 to 2000.

  Box
Citizen's Advisory Council, (CAC), 1976-2000 1-9

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Series  II. State Government Environmental Organizations (DER and DEP) 1976-2000 

Scope and Content Notes

This series collects material related to Pennsylvania’s two primary environmental oversight organizations, the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Initially, environmental responsibilities were administered by the DER; however, by Act 1995-18 of the Pennsylvania legislature, this body was split in two, creating the DEP and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

Materials within this series consist of annual reports as well as special publications dealing with timely subjects like the Three Mile Island nuclear accident of 1979. There is a large amount of information produced by both organizations, including drafts, newsletters, and formal correspondence. Studies of topical issues such as soil erosion and low level radioactive waste are also represented. In addition, there are records from an investigation into the DER conducted by the Pennsylvania legislature in 1982. Documents relating to the oversight of the DER and the DEP can be found with the CAC files in Series I.

  Box
DER and DEP, 1976-2000 10-13

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Series  III. Environmental Quality Board, (EQB) 1982-1998 

Scope and Content Notes

The Environmental Quality Board (EQB) adopts all of the Department of Environmental Protection's regulations. It is chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. The EQB is the DEP's rulemaking body. The Board includes eleven state agencies: the Department of Environmental Protection, Agriculture, Health, Community and Economic Development, the Public Utility Commission, the Fish and Boat Commission, the Game Commission, Labor and Industry, the Governor's Office of Policy, the Historical and Museum Commission, Transportation, Citizens Advisory Council and members of the Senate and House. The EQB also considers petitions to change regulations and has other responsibilities including reviewing state Clean Air Implementation Plan changes, waste disposal facilities, and the adoption of Hazardous Waste Facilities Plan.

Rockwood served as a board member of the EQB and many of its subsidiary committees. The materials included in this series are meeting minutes, agenda, drafts of regulations, legislation, and educational publications. The records date from 1982 to 1998.

  Box
EQB, 1982-1998 14-18

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Series  IV. Mining Materials, 1973-2000 

Scope and Content Notes

This series documents the regulation of coal mining as a result of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). As a member of the CAC, Rockwood was elected to Pennsylvania’s Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board, which advised the DEP on environmental laws and regulations related to abandoned mines in Pennsylvania. The materials included are drafts of regulations, hearings, litigation, and educational publications. In Pennsylvania, regulations were drafted by committees assisted by advisory groups that included a variety of stakeholders.

  Box
Mining Materials, 1973-2000 19-22

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Series  V. Air Pollution, Water Quality, and Energy, 1973-1998 

Scope and Content Notes

To meet the demand of federal air and water quality standards, the DEP set standards and developed agencies to monitor the compliance of the state of Pennsylvania with these laws. Through the DEP, the Allegheny County Health Department's Air Pollution Control division was formed, although it is more commonly known as the Bureau of Air Pollution Control (BAPC), or the Bureau of Air Quality. This agency, along with the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) and the Allegheny County Air Pollution Committee (ACAPC) were major contributors to the research, testing and legislation of air quality standards.

The DEP focused on water quality issues through the Water Resource Advisory Committee, particular emphasis on the water quality of the Ohio River Valley. Among other issues, wetlands and watershed protection are covered in the documents. Many records of the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), such as water quality reports and meeting minutes, are included in this series.

The records on energy encompass a range of materials related to the production of various forms of energy. Primarily, these materials deal with coal and nuclear industries; however, a number of surveys of the energy crisis relate to solar and other alternative energy sources. Additionally, several power plant sitting reports are included, as are studies and reports produced at the state government level relating to energy conservation.

Much of the material may have come from Rockwood’s research for numerous environmental committees. The records date from 1973 to 1998.

  Box
Air pollution, Water Quality, and Energy, 1973-2000 23-28

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Series  VI. Environmental Education, 1970-1991 

Scope and Content Notes

Gail Rockwood was involved in the effort to mandate the teaching of environmental curriculum at the elementary and secondary levels in Pennsylvania. Early champions of environmentalism include the Environmental Education Committee of the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, of which Rockwood served for a time as chairperson. In 1973, Governor Milton J. Schapp appointed a sixteen member Environmental Education Advisory Council to study environmental education and make further recommendations. The Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter quickly endorsed the advisory council findings. Rockwood was subsequently involved in the Pennsylvania Alliance for Environmental Education (PAEE), formed in 1977 for the purpose of uniting and empowering environmental educators across the state. As chairperson of the CAC, she sustained her commitment for environmental education. This series includes correspondence, reports, and drafts of legislation, as well as newsletters and various samples of environmental education curriculum. Related materials which advocate environmental education on the national level are included, as are environmentally themed coloring books and stories which Rockwood collected. The records span from 1970 to 1991, with a bulk of them created after 1973.

  Box
Environmental Education, 1970-1991 29-30

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Series  VII. Research Files, 1976-1998 

Scope and Content Notes

Rockwood collected clippings, articles, reports, and studies on a wide variety of topics relevant to mining, hazardous waste disposal, energy, and environmental protection in general. This series contains general environmental articles, newsletter, pamphlets and resources collected for research purposes.

  Box
Research Files,  undated 31

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