EPA Turns 50 This Year


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EPA Turns 50 This Year

By: George Colvin, CPG, CHMM

Published in August 2020 Focus on the Environment Newsletter

On December 2, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will celebrate its 50th birthday. Nearly 50 years ago, on December 2, 1970, President Richard Nixon created EPA by executive order to consolidate in one agency a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting, and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection across the country.  Eight years prior, Rachel Carson, an inveterate birdwatcher published Silent Springs on the indiscriminate use of pesticides and the fear that without control fewer species of birds would be singing each spring.  Who can forget, our own Cuyahoga River catching fire in 1969?  The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970 in what was considered by some the start of the modern environmental movement.  Who knows what the next 50 years will bring for EPA and the environmental movement, but no one can argue that EPA has not been good for this country and the world. 


George H. Colvin is a hydrogeologist with over 30 years of consulting experience. Much of his experience has focused on RCRA Corrective Action, RCRA closure, and groundwater investigation, monitoring, and cleanup. He holds a BS in Geology from Ohio University and MS in geology and hydrology from Vanderbilt University. He is a Certified Professional Geologist with the American Institute of Professional Geologists, a registered geologist in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, and a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.