When EPA was founded in 1970, America was suffering from smog filled cities, polluted rivers, toxic waste dumps, and harmful pesticides like DDT. Since then, the EPA has put limits on air and water pollution that industries are allowed to emit, banned cancerous chemicals like PCB’s, enacted acid rain controls, taken the lead on limiting greenhouse gasses to reduce climate change, and continues to keep polluters in check. As a result, Americans have a cleaner and safer environment today than 50 years ago.
Even with everything the EPA has accomplished, there is still much to be done to ensure the long-term health of our communities and our environment:
Thousands of acres of land, and hundreds of rivers, are still polluted from the era when there were no checks on dumping chemicals. The Superfund and Brownfields programs create jobs and economic value by cleaning up these sites for development and recreation.
Low-income communities and communities of color still have higher rates of asthma and lead exposure. EPA is working with states and communities to reduce air pollution and lead poisoning.
Some companies are still allowing toxic chemicals to escape into the environment, knowingly or not. EPA enforces environmental laws and holds polluters accountable.
Now more than ever, EPA cannot move backwards. The EPA must remain a leader in the American environmental movement, and continue and build upon their critical work cleaning up the environment, ensuring environmental justice, and protecting human health.