What America looked like before the EPA, in photos

posted by Tim Carmody Mar 12, 2018

Popular Science has a series of photos taken by EPA staff in the early years of the agency after it was formed in the 1970s, that have since been digitized.

It's pretty grim stuff: abandoned cars in Jamaica Bay, broken candy-glass unreturnable bottles everywhere, and one mill after another belching out smoke and dumping refuse in the rivers.

The Atlas Chemical Company, by Marc St. Gil

Oxford Paper Company, by Charles Steinhacker

Burning barge on the Ohio River, by William Strode

Mary Workman holds a jar of undrinkable water from her well, and has filed suit against the Hanna Coal Company - by Erik Calonius

Given that there's been a renewed, serious push this year to dismantle or undermine the EPA, it's worth revisiting just why we needed an agency to protect the environment to begin with.