Donald Gipe, CO SEE Enrollee

Donald Gipe is an Instructor for EPA’s unique National Air Compliance Training Delivery Project (NACTDP).

The Clean Air Act establishes the respective roles of state and federal agencies within the statutory framework mandated by Congress. States, usually in conjunction with their local agencies, have the primary responsibility for the control of air pollution within their respective geographic boundaries. This responsibility entails the development and implementation of air pollution control plans and strategies to meet national standards; the adoption of statutes, regulations, and rules providing for air pollution control; the monitoring and assessment of air quality; the provision of technical assistance and information to the public and to the regulated community; evaluating and ensuring compliance by those being regulated, and, when necessary, taking enforcement actions to resolve violations.

How does this relate to Don’s position? The federal role under EPA, in addition to its responsibility to develop and implement national programs, includes providing program and technical guidance, oversight, and assistance to the states which meet their needs in their efforts to achieve the ends envisioned by the Act, and to address those problems which states are unable, for whatever reasons, to successfully resolve. EPA is responsible for providing Level 2 inspections under the Clean Air Act and the SEE Program has been helping EPA meet this need since 1993.  The NACTDP program continues to utilize the talent and skills of experienced workers (including retired EPA federal employees like Don!) with backgrounds in air pollution compliance and enforcement to deliver the specialized and sought after trainings.

Don brings 40 years of experience to the SEE Program! Before joining the NACTDP Program as a SEE Enrollee, Don was a federal Employee with the EPA where his final assignment was serving as the Director of the National Enforcement Training Institute – West. He was responsible for developing and providing training for government inspectors at the State, Federal, Local and Tribal level.  As part of this job, he had the opportunity to provide training at a number of international locations including Eastern Europe, Asia, Southern Africa and the far eastern Pacific Islands.  Additionally, he was involved with assisting South Africa in developing their overall environmental protection and training program.  He continued this work with South Africa for several years after retiring from the EPA.

Don’s prior positions within EPA all related to environmental enforcement work and concentrated on inspection issues.  For many years he was either an inspector or supervised inspectors.  He has worked in all environmental programs including the EPA’s criminal investigation program.  Don states, “All of this experience is used in the training programs I present now for the SEE program.  I think hands on experience is essential for providing good instruction to the participants.” He adds, “While working at EPA I supervised several SEE employees and became familiar with the program.  I’ve found I enjoy teaching and really enjoy the students.  Every class I learn something – I hope the students can say the same.”

Don holds degrees in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering.  He also graduated from the Military’s Command and General Staff College and the Air War College. His military background spans 30 years including off and on duty with the Reserves. “I spent 30 plus years with a uniform close by,” he says.

In addition to remodeling homes with his wife (putting his professional engineering registration to good use), Don and his wife travel extensively, “I have friends in South Africa that we attempt to visit on a regular basis – plus we love the animals.  Nothing like being in an open vehicle with a lion or elephant or leopard only a few feet away with absolutely nothing to keep them from eating you or stepping on you except the hope that they don’t recognize things in a vehicle as food or a danger.  We have children in Spain that we visit frequently and we’ve been very fortunate to having visited a number of countries worldwide with plans to continue.”