The Cuyahoga River in Ohio literally “caught fire” in 1969. Extensive coverage from Time Magazine led to the signing of the National Environment Protection Act (NEPA) into law on Jan. 1, 1970, creating the EPA and leading to the river’s cleanup. Below is a sample of the suffocating pollution residents faced.
Houston, Texas is the subject of this shocking photo of unchecked pollution.
The EPA oversees cleanup programs aimed at removing debris, illegal dumping, and other environmental hazards such as this one in Queens.
Since the EPA was created, “aggregate national emissions of the six common pollutants alone dropped an average of 70 percent” according to the EPA’s website.
Without the EPA or with a scaled-back one, big-time polluters will have free reign, advocates fear.
Whether the EPA is “bloated” or not is up for interpretation, but the truth remains: we need to remember our roots if we have any hopes of creating a better future.
Serious issues like the pending Dakota Access Pipeline, pollution, fracking in general, the plague of toxic agrochemicals decimating bee and monarch populations, and many more all need our attention, and the natural world is suffering as big oil and gas continue to pollute everything in sight.
As Simmons wrote in 2009: