Happy 40th Birthday, EPA!

40 years of environmental protection

By Christina Catanese

Forty years ago today, on December 2, 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was founded.

We’ve come a long way since the 1970s.  At that time, a mere 36% of rivers and lakes in America were suitable for fishing and swimming, but in 1998, nearly 62% of these waterways met these criteria.   Billions of pounds of pollutants have been removed from our waters, and more Americans now receive drinking water that meets health standards than ever before.

To learn about the environmental challenges and successes of the past 40 years in the United States, as well as vision and priorities for the next generation of environmental protection, visit the EPA@40 website.  The EPA Greenversations Blog also has more on the history of the EPA.

However, much work remains ahead to make our waters healthy.  What do you think should be the EPA’s priorities for the future?  You could help shape the next 40 years of environmental protection!

About the Author: Christina Catanese has worked at EPA since 2010, and her work focuses on data analysis and management, GIS mapping and tools, communications, and other tasks that support the work of Regional water programs. Originally from Pittsburgh, Christina has lived in Philadelphia since attending the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Political Science and an M.S. in Applied Geosciences with a Hydrogeology concentration. Trained in dance (ballet, modern, and other styles) from a young age, Christina continues to perform, choreograph and teach in the Philadelphia area.