Governor Thomas Kean and the Founding of the Department of Environmental Protection


Founded on the very first celebration of Earth Day–April 22, 1970–the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) celebrated its 50th birthday on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Future Governor Thomas Kean was a state legislator at the time, but a friend and adviser to gubernatorial candidate and later governor William Cahill. In a roundtable discussion on environmental policy in the Kean administration held by the Eagleton Center on the American Governor on May 14, 2013, Governor Kean told a quick and funny story of the founding of the DEP, a story well worth revisiting on the department’s golden birthday.

Also see the story in N.J. Spotlight.