On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans one in every ten Americans at the time stood up to demand a cleaner and healthier environment. This first Earth Day was one of the largest grassroots demonstrations in the nations history and it worked. By the end of the year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was created and tasked with both cleaning up the damage already done to the environment, and establishing guidelines to help Americans make a cleanerand saferenvironment a reality. Soon after, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, setting national air quality, auto emission and anti-pollution standards. Two short years later the Clean Water Act became law, followed by decades of new innovations that helped to more than double the size of our economy while actually cutting pollution and making the country healthier.
Travel through time to understand the events that sparked the creation of EPA, an overview of significant milestones throughout the decades and our dedication to a cleaner and healthier future. See what “dirty” air really looks like. Remember also that rivers and lakes were literally on fire.