The online tool for teaching with documents, from the National Archives

Birth of the Environmental Protection Agency

Mapping History

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

Concern for man's effect on the environment grew in 1960s America. The people and government became more concerned about the long-term effects of their actions on the natural world. In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formed under President Richard Nixon. It has the authority to create and enforce environmental standards and regulations.

In 1971, shortly after its own birth, the EPA began the DOCUMERICA project. Over 100 photographers around the country documented the state of the environment and efforts to save it.

For each photograph on the map, determine what environmental topic you think it focuses on, write the topic in one of the blank boxes, and move it to the map to label the photo.


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

Birth of the Environmental Protection Agency

Mapping History

Examine the documents and text included in this activity. Consider how each document or piece of text relates to the image shown below. Write the corresponding document or text number on the image where you think it belongs. (Some may be placed for you already.) Write your conclusion response in the space provided.

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Activity Element

EPA Gulf Breeze Laboratory: Bioassay Wet Lab. This Is A Close-Up Of A Syringe Pump, Which Controls The Rate Of Flow Of DDT PCB, And Dieldrin To Oysters In Tanks

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2

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Pollution Sign Affixed to the Door of a Gasoline Service Station

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3

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Spraying Fertilizer

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4

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Enter Your Response





5

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Enter Your Response





6

Activity Element



Enter Your Response





7

Activity Element



Enter Your Response





8

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Clear Water At Outlet Of Sewage Treatment Plant Is Cleaner Than The Water Of The Stream It Will Be Dumped Into

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Enter Your Response





10

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Barren, Eroded Land Is A Result Of Oil Spill

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11

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Enter Your Response





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Enter Your Response





13

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Near Logan Airport--Airplane Coming In For A Landing Over Neptune Road Homes

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14

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The Trojan Nuclear Plant On The Banks Of The Columbia River Portland General Electric, The Builder Of The Plant, Has Encountered Great Opposition From Environmentalists

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Conclusion

Birth of the Environmental Protection Agency

Mapping History

Based on the topic labels you created, what legislation would you have expected Congress to pass and the EPA to be tasked with enforcing in those early years? Visit the list of regulatory topics on the EPA's website. Look for acts that were passed related to your expectations. What are they? Were they passed in the early years of the EPA or later? Were there any issues not regulated that you feel should have been?

Your Response




Document

Barren, Eroded Land Is A Result Of Oil Spill

5/1972

This primary source comes from the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency.
National Archives Identifier: 545827
Full Citation: Barren, Eroded Land Is A Result Of Oil Spill; 5/1972; Records of the Environmental Protection Agency, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/barren-eroded-land-is-a-result-of-oil-spill, September 17, 2019]


Barren, Eroded Land Is A Result Of Oil Spill

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Document

Clear Water At Outlet Of Sewage Treatment Plant Is Cleaner Than The Water Of The Stream It Will Be Dumped Into

6/1972

This primary source comes from the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency.
National Archives Identifier: 543803
Full Citation: Clear Water At Outlet Of Sewage Treatment Plant Is Cleaner Than The Water Of The Stream It Will Be Dumped Into; 6/1972; Records of the Environmental Protection Agency, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/clear-water-at-outlet-of-sewage-treatment-plant-is-cleaner-than-the-water-of-the-stream-it-will-be-dumped-into, September 17, 2019]


Clear Water At Outlet Of Sewage Treatment Plant Is Cleaner Than The Water Of The Stream It Will Be Dumped Into

Page 1



Document

EPA Gulf Breeze Laboratory: Bioassay Wet Lab. This Is A Close-Up Of A Syringe Pump, Which Controls The Rate Of Flow Of DDT PCB, And Dieldrin To Oysters In Tanks

7/1972

This primary source comes from the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency.
National Archives Identifier: 546326
Full Citation: EPA Gulf Breeze Laboratory: Bioassay Wet Lab. This Is A Close-Up Of A Syringe Pump, Which Controls The Rate Of Flow Of DDT PCB, And Dieldrin To Oysters In Tanks; 7/1972; Records of the Environmental Protection Agency, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/epa-gulf-breeze-laboratory-bioassay-wet-lab-this-is-a-closeup-of-a-syringe-pump-which-controls-the-rate-of-flow-of-ddt-pcb-and-dieldrin-to-oysters-in-tanks, September 17, 2019]


EPA Gulf Breeze Laboratory: Bioassay Wet Lab. This Is A Close-Up Of A Syringe Pump, Which Controls The Rate Of Flow Of DDT PCB, And Dieldrin To Oysters In Tanks

Page 1



Document

Near Logan Airport--Airplane Coming In For A Landing Over Neptune Road Homes

5/1973

This primary source comes from the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency.
National Archives Identifier: 548448
Full Citation: Near Logan Airport--Airplane Coming In For A Landing Over Neptune Road Homes; 5/1973; Records of the Environmental Protection Agency, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/near-logan-airportairplane-coming-in-for-a-landing-over-neptune-road-homes, September 17, 2019]


Near Logan Airport--Airplane Coming In For A Landing Over Neptune Road Homes

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Document

Pollution Sign Affixed to the Door of a Gasoline Service Station

4/1973

This primary source comes from the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency.
National Archives Identifier: 557217
Full Citation: Pollution Sign Affixed to the Door of a Gasoline Service Station; 4/1973; Records of the Environmental Protection Agency, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/pollution-sign-affixed-to-the-door-of-a-gasoline-service-station, September 17, 2019]


Pollution Sign Affixed to the Door of a Gasoline Service Station

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Document

Spraying Fertilizer

5/1972

This primary source comes from the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency.
National Archives Identifier: 553881
Full Citation: Spraying Fertilizer; 5/1972; Records of the Environmental Protection Agency, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/spraying-fertilizer, September 17, 2019]


Spraying Fertilizer

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Document

The Trojan Nuclear Plant On The Banks Of The Columbia River Portland General Electric, The Builder Of The Plant, Has Encountered Great Opposition From Environmentalists

5/1973

This primary source comes from the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency.
National Archives Identifier: 548039
Full Citation: The Trojan Nuclear Plant On The Banks Of The Columbia River Portland General Electric, The Builder Of The Plant, Has Encountered Great Opposition From Environmentalists; 5/1973; Records of the Environmental Protection Agency, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/the-trojan-nuclear-plant-on-the-banks-of-the-columbia-river-portland-general-electric-the-builder-of-the-plant-has-encountered-great-opposition-from-environmentalists, September 17, 2019]


The Trojan Nuclear Plant On The Banks Of The Columbia River Portland General Electric, The Builder Of The Plant, Has Encountered Great Opposition From Environmentalists

Page 1