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William Ruckelshaus Awarded The Presidential Medal Of Freedom


William Ruckelshaus in a 2012 file photo. Ruckelshaus was named a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient in 2015.

William Ruckelshaus in a 2012 file photo. Ruckelshaus was named a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient in 2015.

Katie Campbell, KCTS9/EarthFix

Environmental elder statesman William Ruckelshaus was awarded the highest civilian honor in the country Tuesday. He was at a ceremony in Washington D.C. to accept the Medal of Freedom, one of 17 awarded.

KUOW/EarthFix reporter Ashley Ahearn spoke with Ruckelshaus last week, before he departed for Washington, D.C.

The longtime Republican was the nation’s first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Nixon.

Ruckelshaus is one of two Washington’s environmental leaders who will be honored Tuesday by President  Obama. His friend, the late Billy Frank Jr. will be honored posthumously.

Frank died last year. He was an elder with Puget Sound’s Nisqually Indian Tribe and a leader in the struggle of Washington’s Native Americans to assert their treaty-bound fishing rights.

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