Today marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA was officially established on Dec. 2, 1970, as the result of President Richard M. Nixon's "Reorganization Plan No. 3" issued in July 1970. The following day President Nixon appointed William D. Ruckelshaus as the first head of the EPA. The new agency consolidated federal research, monitoring and enforcement activities in a single agency. EPA's self-described mission "is to protect human health by safeguarding the air we breathe, water we drink and land on which we live."
To see 40 years of images related to the American environment and the work of the EPA, please click here.