Alvin L. Alm, 63, a former senior U.S. government official who helped establish environmental policies in Republican and Democratic administrations over four decades. A native of Denver and a graduate of the University of Denver, Alm received his master's degree in public administration at Syracuse University. His government career began in 1963 at the Bureau of the Budget, where he became a senior budget examiner and worked on water pollution control programs. In 1970, he was hired as the first staff director of the newly created Council on Environmental Quality and, three years later, he joined the Environmental Protection Agency as assistant administrator for planning and management. He left the EPA in 1977, then returned in 1983 for two years as deputy administrator under William D. Ruckelshaus. In his last government post, as the Energy Department's assistant secretary for environmental management from 1996 to 1998, Alm helped engineer a controversial 10-year cleanup of many of the nation's nuclear waste dumps--a task that had previously been expected to take as long as 70 years. At the time of his death, he was working for Chambers Associates, a public policy consulting firm. EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner called Alm "an instrumental force in shaping this nation's energy and environmental policies." On Monday at Georgetown University Medical Center of a heart attack.