One only has to look at how the US Department of Homeland Security and its TSA (Travel Safety Association) are making headlines recently for implementing controversial security measures at American airports, thereby changing the way we travel, to see clearly the effect that governmental agencies can have on our everyday life.
One agency that often gets overlooked has done more to change the United States (and through its influence the world) than most people realize. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.
As part of a larger week of commemorating 40 years of protecting the environment, the Aspen Institute – an international nonprofit dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue has listed the top 10 ways that the EPA has strengthen America. The list highlights how environmental activism benefits not only the Earth, and the people that live on it from a social, moral, and public health perspective, but also how by having avoided widespread contamination of the nation’s resources, it has lead to a stronger, more economically viable future for the nation as a whole over time.
Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson had these comments on the history of the EPA and its effect. “Over its 40-year history, EPA has evolved into the world’s preeminent environmental regulatory agency through a balanced, three-pronged strategy, combining excellent science, regulatory enforcement, and engagement of all stakeholders in developing new solutions to environmental problems. EPA’s balanced, multifaceted structure and operation sets the standard around the world for applying strong science, as well as economic incentives and disincentives, to achieve positive environmental outcomes while allowing businesses to grow and prosper,”
The following are highlights of EPA’s 40 year history identified in the report:
· Removing Lead from Gasoline—and from the Air
· Removing the Acid from Rain
· Clearing Secondhand Smoke
· Vehicle Efficiency and Emissions Control
· Controlling Toxic Substances
· Banning Widespread Use of DDT
· Rethinking Waste as Materials
· A Clean Environment for All/Environmental Justice
· Cleaner Water
· The “Community Right to Know” Act
A full copy of the report can be found at www.aspeninstitute.org.