Yesterday the EPA commemorated its 40th anniversary. It was a time to reflect on the many ways EPA has protected the air we breathe, safeguarded the water that flows into our homes, and cared for the land where we build our communities and grow our food.
Many Americans may not remember what life was like before EPA opened its doors. Los Angeles was known as the smog capital of the world, and in 1969 - six months before the EPA’s founding - Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River actually caught fire because of pollution.
Today, when we pour a glass of water, we can be confident it is free of pollution. We can breathe easier knowing that our cars are not releasing harmful lead pollution into the air. When we buy an apple at the grocery store, we are assured it will not carry the dustings of extremely dangerous pesticides.
EPA’s hard work since 1970 has not only made our nation’s air, water and land cleaner, it has spurred significant economic development. Today the U.S. leads the world with its private sector environmental protection industry, which employs more than 1.5 million Americans.
Every American has benefitted from the dedication and passion of EPA’s workers, who for 40 years have fulfilled a vision of healthier families, cleaner communities and a stronger America. This week we honor that work by ensuring that EPA continues to improve the lives of every American for the next 40 years and beyond.
For more information about EPA’s 40th anniversary – including a video that highlights some of the Agency’s significant achievements in protecting Americans’ health and environment – please visit http://www.epa.gov/40th/.