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Clean Water, Clean Air and the EPA

With Earth Day fast approaching, we look back at two laws created to help keep our environment healthy and secure.

We take for granted access to clean water and clean air, but would it surprise you to know just 42 years ago there were no laws protecting our environment?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was implemented Dec. 2, 1970. The EPA was created during Richard Nixon’s presidency in an attempt to address environmental concerns of Americans.The success of the EPA led to the creation of other environmental laws. One such law was the Clean Air Act, which was approved in 1970. 

The purpose of the Clean Air Act was to protect the air we breathe as well as protect the environment from pollution. 

According to the EPA, “The Clean Air Act Amendments will prevent over 230,000 early deaths in 2020.”

Another law created in 1972 was the Clean Water Act. Its purpose was to protect bodies of water from toxic waste and pollution, which are harmful to the bodies of water. They are unhealthy for the animals who inhabit the water and also for humans who use the water for drinking. 

According to the EPA, “Over the past 25 years, since enactment of the Clean Water Act, America has made significant strides in cleaning up our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.”

For all the perceived good, the EPA has done for the United States, it is not without controversy.

During the Republican primaries, the presidential candidates took shots at the environmental organization, with some calling it "the job-killing EPA," according to Politico.com.

The current front-runner, Mitt Romney, said in October he was skeptical of climate change science and promised to reverse the Obama administration’s finding that carbon dioxide is a danger to public health, making it subject to Clean Air Act restrictions.

For a list of Earth Day-related activities and events, go here.

joe April 17, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Exactly my point William....99% of what the EPA's effects were done 30 yrs ago...now they have diminished returns to the point that they are abusing their power; costing us tax money we can't afford and jobs we desperately need.
joe April 17, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Laws are already in affect to prevent someone from dumping dry cleaning chemicals into a well. Just as they are for thowing garbage out a car along the highway. You don't need the EPA for that. I am sure if you knew BOTH sides of the story, you would not feel the same way about those big bad corporations who hire people, pay taxes, create wealth, make our lives better, etc.
Vlad The Impaler April 25, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Walden you typical of the rivertowns liberal, you will not be happy until the government controls every aspect of the individuals life in the name of safety or the enviorment, while personal property rights are shredded. We have enough laws on the books to protect the enviroment the last thing we need are more laws. Green Tech..joke... lets drive up the price of electricity for the average person just so we can bring technologies online line that make liberals feel good about themselves....
Ross Revira April 25, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Walden China's air is so dirty they had to shut down factories during the Olympics. So I guess if you want to learn how to pollute WATCH CHINA.
Bjorn Olsson April 27, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Ross, I think that is the main reason they are putting so much money into green tech.

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