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EPA Celebrates the Nation's Cleaner Environment on its 35th Anniversary

Release Date: 12/02/2005
Contact Information:



Contact: Dave Ryan, 202-564-4355 / ryan.dave@epa.gov


(Washington, D.C.-Dec. 2, 2005) EPA celebrated its 35th anniversary today by citing the significant progress made in pollution reduction and protecting the health of all Americans. Since its creation by President Richard Nixon on December 2, 1970, EPA has been instrumental in creating a cleaner, healthier environment.

"While at 35, EPA may still be one of the newer kids on the block, the results we have delivered to the American people can stack up next to any of our federal partners in the government," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "EPA's birthday present is cleaner air, water and land for all Americans -- fulfilling our obligation to leave the nation's environment healthier than when we found it."

Between 1970 and 2004, total emissions of the six major air pollutants dropped by 54 percent. This is particularly impressive when noted that the gross domestic product increased 187 percent, energy consumption increased 47 percent, and U.S. population grew by 40 percent during the same time, proof that economic growth and environmental protection do go hand in hand. Through land restoration efforts, 600,000 acres of contaminated land now provide ecological, economic, and recreational benefits. Just last year alone, EPA and its partners took action to restore, enhance, and protect nearly 830,000 acres of wetlands.

In the enforcement area, EPA since 1995 has received commitments from industry to spend more than $35 billion on environmental improvements, reducing more than 10 billion pounds of pollutants.

"Over the last three-and-a-half decades, through the use of innovative and collaborative approaches to environmental protection and a commitment to responsible stewardship, we have made remarkable progress in our ongoing effort to make the air cleaner, water purer, and the land better protected," Johnson added.

After 35 years, EPA's work continues to make substantial impacts on the environment. Last month, the agency released an annual report highlighting progress made in 2005. These successes include new rules for mercury and interstate air pollution that will dramatically reduce power plant emissions and an aggressive campaign to reduce pollution from diesel engines. EPA also announced $76.7 million in brownfields grant funding this year which will be used to assess, clean up and revitalize blighted sites in 45 states. Also in FY 2005, agency enforcement actions reduced treated or eliminated more than 1.1 billion pounds of pollutants.

For more information on EPA's 35th Anniversary, visit: http://epa.gov/35thanniversary/