David D. Dominick

David Dewitt Dominick, founding member of the Environmental Protection Agency, died peacefully on Nov. 3, 2022, at the age of 85, in Billings.

He was the beloved son of Dr. DeWitt Dominick and Mary Elizabeth Lakin Pullman (Dominick) and predeceased his four siblings: Mary Weston Dominick, John Pullman Dominick, Marshall Woodbury Dominick and Stephen Ward Dominick.

David Dominick was born in 1937 in Philadelphia and spent much of his childhood in Cody where his family soon accumulated horses for all the children and took many pack trips into the surrounding mountains. After junior high David attended the Pomfret School in Connecticut, graduating in 1955. In 1960, he earned a degree in Anthropology from Yale University. His thesis on the little known Sheepeater Indian tribe remains an important document for the Native American history of the Cody region.

At Yale he also was a coxswain for the No. 1 varsity crew. After college he entered the Officers Candidate program for the U.S. Marine Corps., graduating No. 1 in his class as a 2nd Lieutenant, and serving for three plus years. He entered the University of Colorado Law School in 1963, and graduated in 1966 with a J.D. His area of study was in Environmental and Water law. Dominick was a member of the bar in both Wyoming and Colorado.

David began work in Washington, D.C., in 1965 for Senator Milward Simpson and later for Senator Cliff Hanson. In 1971 he received a presidential appointment from President Nixon as one of the four Assistant Administrators of the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under William Ruckelshaus. David was instrumental in writing new laws and regulations for keystone environmental policies to safeguard the health and well-being of the American people, among them the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

His responsibilities included making policy decisions specifically focused on five areas of environmental pollution control including solid waste, pesticides, toxic materials, radiation and noise pollution. During his tenure, he successfully implemented bans on DDT, predator poisons, mercury, and numerous other agricultural and industrial chemicals.

Following his resignation from the EPA, and departure from D.C., Dominick moved with his family to Denver and pursued a lengthy practice in environmental law.

After retiring from his law practice, David continued to seek a higher level of understanding in multiple endeavors; in 1999, he earned his M.S. in History from Utah State University, and his associated thesis became the basis of his book, The Nixon Environmental Agenda, An Insider’s View of Republican Decision-Making 1968-1973, published in 2020.

David DeWitt Dominick had an insatiable desire to learn and to challenge his intellect. He was enthralled by the natural world, and the geology, ecology and cultural history of his home state, Wyoming. David was a delightful storyteller, a lifelong ornithologist, a wild horse chaser, and when well, a wonderful mountain man companion. Though he struggled more and more in his later years with bipolar depression, he cherished his family and community, enjoyed writing, singing in the Episcopal Church choir, and walking his beloved dogs in Cody where he lived until 2020.

David was married in 1966 (divorced 1993) to Mary Helen Stein. He is survived by Mary and three sons: Christopher, Andrew and DeWitt, as well as five grandchildren.

Memorial services for David will take place next spring, specific times to be announced.

The family suggests that memorial donations (in lieu of flowers) be made to the Wyoming Outdoor Council, 262 Lincoln Street, Lander, WY, 82520 or to FOAL, P.O. Box 1043, Cody, WY, 82414, our local organization to protect the wild horse herds in the McCullough Peaks, or, if you wish, to a favorite charity you prefer.