Environmental Protection Agency
Question: When/Where/How/Why was the US Environmental Protection Agency created? Where did the environmental protection vision come from?
The EPA, its founding and its go-forward agenda, came from the initiatives and demands of the Environmental movement
Back in the day, we used to say "people power" would act to bring about changes that were needed... this was in the early years of the modern environmental movement... We believed that our voices, joined together across our country and led by the energy and hopes of young people, could be a political force for protection of our communities, health, and our common future -- our land, air, water... food, health, well-being.
"Every day is Earth Day"
And so it came to be... idealism joined with realism and 'vision became reality'.
In the 1960s and 70s a foundation was built, and now we, in the US and the world, are attempting to continue to build and construct, to put it plainly, a better world.
We can say we are a Generation Green in progress...
Read the story that follows about the EPA start-up generation, how it happened, how visionary political representatives put ideas into action and the political voice and pressure of a political movement pushed a president to sign the Congressionally proposed, drafted and passed legislation.
GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: Environmental protection is at the heart of our agenda and a 360 call to action
- Protecting the Planet, Protecting Home
Looking back to the beginnings of the EPA
GreenPolicy360 Founder/Siterunner: In his rumpled suits and quiet way a man named George E. Brown moved to form coalitions few thought could be formed and garnered support for the first set of U.S. Congressional acts that served as foundation legislation for decades of green progress.
I was fortunate, as a student who met the new Congressman in the mid-1960s to then go on to see him in action over three decades. Let's begin with some memories of Earth Day and then the EPA.
George E. Brown Jr, Congressman from East Los Angeles and your GreenPolicy360 Siterunner's friend/mentor and colleague. Please take time to click here on George's page, and revisit some highlights over the years --
George's lobbying Senator Nelson for a 'teach-in' that came to be known in 1970 as the first "Earth Day" also came about as George lobbied to create an Environmental Protection Agency. Congressman Brown was a mover-and-shaker, although he still goes under radar for the most part, even as he was a central figure in helping create the green movement and, as a 'big science' leader in Congress, a visionary and foundational green environmental agenda.
George's work advanced environmental air quality and clean air legislation. He introduced the nation's first bill to ban lead in gasoline and was at the forefront of the Clean Air Act. He attacked Los Angeles smog, some of the worst air quality of any city in the world at the time and the air standards that came out of California became models worldwide. He succeeded in clean air and water efforts, though rarely given credit given his quiet approach to accomplishing big picture goals.
George E Brown was a key player in legislation founding the Environmental Protection Agency.
As the LA Times noted (without pomp or circumstance) in the Congressman's obituary in 1999: "He championed the creation of the federal Environmental Protection Agency". The creation of the EPA was in many ways Congressman George Brown's vision achieved..."
The founding of the EPA was based on new realizations of science and the environment. The vision of the "Whole Earth" that began with unprecedented Apollo photos on the cover of Life magazine in January 1969 led to a coming together of education, students 'teach-ins', scientific space missions studying earth systems for the first time, and popular demands for environmental protections.
A leader and a chairperson on the House science committee for over 30 years, George legislatively engineered an array of science efforts, including one that greens look to as prescient -- climate science.
When Congressman Brown drafted originating legislation establishing a national climate change research program via the National Climate Program Act of 1978, the scientific community and nation were just beginning to awaken to a new national security threat. I remember his concern, our concern. He was trained as a scientist, an engineer, with an ability to see facts and data sets in a way others could not.
Representative Brown was out in front of "Big Science". In his decades on the House Science, Space & Technology Committee, he worked to expand the reach of science. He knew that good data enabled good policy decisions. He pressed for first-generation earth science satellites and ongoing earth monitoring missions and data sharing....
Thirty plus years setting the agenda for visionary science in the House of Representatives
Rep. George E. Brown, an activist member and for many years chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Via Wikipedia / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Brown_Jr.
Brown was known as a champion for science. He left behind a deep and expansive legacy that has shaped science and science policy in America. Among some of his many accomplishments during his service on the House Science Committee:
• Established the first federal climate change research program in the Federal Climate Program Act of 1978
• Established the Office of Science and Technology Policy
• Established the Environmental Protection Agency
Too many to count ...essential reasons why environmental protection regulations exist and need to expand around the world --
Foundational environmental laws of the 1960s/70s:
Unprecedented environmental protection, a vision that began a process that continues to this day...
Green, environmental public policies, a foundation on which to build sustainable quality of life...
National environmental policy act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Environmental_Policy_Act
Clean air act (extended 1970) https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-84/pdf/STATUTE-84-Pg1676.pdf
Occupational safety and health act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupational_Safety_and_Health_Act
Consumer product safety act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Product_Safety_Act
Federal insecticide, fungicide and rodenticide act http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/lfra.html
Clean water act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Water_Act
Noise control act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_Control_Act
Endangered species act http://www.fws.gov/endangered/laws-policies/
Safe drinking water act http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/sdwa/basicinformation.cfm
The Chemical Pollution Vectors... the Ongoing Challenge
Health Impacts in the Air & Water, Everywhere the Sources of Damage to the Environment Need to Be Eliminated, Controlled, Mitigated, Prevented -- the EPA's Workload Is a Living Earth Necessity
Case Study: TCE / trichloroethylene (TCE), as the chemical industry attempts to delay and weaken EPA controls.
The need to phase out the use of TCE under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is clear and present.
TCE presents severe risks to workers, consumers, and communities across the country. At Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the use and release of TCE at a marine base contaminated drinking water supplies for between 500,000 and 1 million service members, their families, and other local residents. Veterans stationed at that base experienced a 70 percent greater risk of Parkinson’s disease than those stationed elsewhere, and their children faced increased risks of leukemia, lymphoma and neural tube defects.
Visit the EPA's Website -- Use the Resources
National Service Center for Environmental Publications
Search, retrieve, download, print, and order EPA technical, scientific, and educational materials from this site –- free of charge
Flashback from the US Trump Years of Attempting to 'Eliminate the EPA'
Only One Country Refuses to Support the Int'l Climate Agreement
Trump's EPA in November 2017
Brown has been hailed in German media as the “anti-Trump” for his efforts to keep the United States engaged in the 2015 Paris agreement’s commitments to cut greenhouse emissions...
“It’s hard to get your mind around something so extensive,” said Brown, who was appointed by Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, the U.N. conference president, to serve as a special advisor for states and regions...
“Let’s lead the whole world to realize this is not your normal political challenge,” he added. “This is much bigger. This is life itself. It requires courage and imagination.”
"True-Cost Eco-nomics of Climate Change"
- To Protect the 'The Commons'
Vorsorgeprinzip at GreenPolicy360
At GreenPolicy360, we believe "each of us can make a positive difference by stepping up and doing our best"
- Together, we are Planet Citizens. Speaking out, we should act as Planet Citizens, Planet Scientists...