U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hits 40

Scientific American: Forty years ago today, Republican president Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. At the time the nation had no law mandating clean water, clean air or the safety of chemicals. Lead was still in all gasoline, and acid rain was poisoning the waterways downwind of the nation's coal-burning power plants. Forty years later, we have the EPA to thank for reductions in air and water pollution, unleaded gasoline—as well as cars more efficient at burning it—and even new efforts to......

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