NTEU Celebrates EPA at 50

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is celebrating its golden anniversary this year. The celebration has already started with photos and stories of how EPA employees contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment for all Americans.

NTEU-represented EPA employees can be found across the country working to educate citizens, establish partnerships with state and local governments and businesses, and monitor and enforce federal laws. Today, NTEU continues our work to defend the ability of EPA scientists to conduct groundbreaking research that leads to cleaner land, air and water for our country.

Created from growing concern about environmental pollution, the EPA was established on Dec. 2, 1970, to consolidate into one agency a variety of federal environmental responsibilities including research, monitoring, standard setting and enforcement activities. Under the leadership of EPA’s first administrator, William Ruckelshaus, the EPA banned the general use of the pesticide DDT. Among other harmful impacts, DDT is generally believed to  have poisoned bald eagles causing a precipitous decline in their numbers.

Since its formation, the EPA has set the nation’s air quality standards, regulated the quality of public drinking water, created programs to clean up hazardous waste sites and protected children from exposure to lead-based paint, among other achievements. 

Learn more about EPA history by looking back at the agency’s milestones and what’s next for the future.