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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

Happy birthday to the EPA.


CURWOOD: Twenty-five years ago this week, the Environmental Protection Agency was created by order of President Richard Nixon. The EPA was formed to bring activities ranging from air pollution control to pesticide registration, in 5 diifferent departments, under one roof. At first the Agency employed 5,400 people. Today it has more than 3 times that number. Since the EPA's creation the US has removed lead from its drinking water and DDT and PCBs, and substantially cleaned up the air. But many challenges remain. Forty percent of all US rivers are still unfit for swimming or fishing, and one in 4 of all Americans live within 4 miles of a toxic waste site. Despite its Republican parentage, the Agency has come under fire from today's Republicans. Current GOP proposals call for substantial cuts in the EPA's budget.



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