Establishment Of The Environmental Protection Agency

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Zoe Brown Mrs. Helms English III Honors 7 November 2014 Establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency Environmental disasters during the 1960s in the United States had significant impacts on both the human and sea life populations. During the New York weather inversion of 1965, over 80 people died from the man-made smog over the four day period. In the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969, over 3,700 sea birds were killed, along with countless other forms of marine life. The nuclear reactor meltdown in Idaho in 1961 was the only United States incident by that time that resulted in immediate fatalities, in which three operators were killed (“Learn the Issues”). Cleveland, Ohio’s Cuyahoga River sustained 13 reported fires, resulting in…show more content…
On April 22nd, 1970, the American public gathered in the streets to celebrate clean air, water, and land. Congressmen in Washington D.C. halted their activities to be their constituents; however, the Nixon administration was laboring at what would become the capstone of environmental policy, the EPA. While Earth Day was the launch of environmentalism in the modern sense, individuals had been combating natural resource degradation for centuries. In 1849, Henry David Thoreau published a compilation of lectures, Walden, that would become the standard by which all subsequent nature writings are judged. John Muir, father of the American preservationist movement, cofounded the Sierra Club, which preserved California wild lands. Both Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt worked during their tenure as presidents to save the National Park System (“Environmentalism”). After World War II, the United States’ birthrate skyrocketed, and people found themselves living on the edge of parks and nature. The public began to question whether the government was working to preserve untouched land for future generations. When Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962, the era of environmentalism was born. This movement “demanded the state not only preserve the Earth, but act to regulate and punish those who polluted it” (Farrah). The work on the pesticide poisoning of man sparked a powerful public
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