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EPA Marks 50 Years of Earth Day With a Virtual Celebration

Posted on April 22, 2020 by Lauren Scott

April 22, 2020 marks 50 years since Earth Day became a nationally recognized day of environmentalism. Usually, it is a day devoted to cleaning up beaches, parks, rivers, and streams. However, this year, EPA is encouraging citizens to celebrate virtually through online environmental education opportunities and activities as well as virtual park tours to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin senator, was inspired to create Earth Day after witnessing the effects of the Santa Barbara oil spill on January 28, 1969. The first official Earth Day celebration the following year brought national attention to widespread environmental challenges of the time, prompting 22 million Americans to take part in demonstrations urging action for clean air, land, and water.

Today, Earth Day is observed in 192 countries with over 75,000 organizations planning their own activities and 1 billion people participating in environmental events.

EPA Reflects on Environmental Progress

Through environmental regulation and the cooperation of companies and individuals alike, US environmental benchmarks have improved and are expected to continue making progress. These indicators include:
  • In 1970, over 40% of community drinking water systems failed to meet even the most basic health standards. Today, over 92% of water systems meet all current health-based standards.
  • America reduced the six main criteria air pollutants by 73%.
  • Since 2008, US has doubled the number of low-income communities achieving attainment with EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards to 86%.
  • In the past three years, 38 areas have moved from nonattainment to attainment.
  • Last year, EPA delisted more Superfund sites than during any other year since 2001.
  • Just this week, EPA finalized a rule to better define what bodies of water fall under Waters of the US guidelines, aiming to protect our waters from pollution.

Convenient, Effective Online EHS Manager Training

Managing site compliance with the many complex EPA programs that affect your business—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to TSCA, EPCRA, CERLCA, and more—is a major challenge. If you’re new to the field, or need an update on changing EPA rules, online training is a convenient way to quickly build in-depth expertise.

Lion's Complete Environmental Regulations online course provides comprehensive training on EPA's most-cited environmental regulations. Learn from any internet connection at your own pace.

Check out the latest EPA compliance training options here:
Clean Air Act Regulations Online
TSCA Regulations Online
New! Clean Water Act & SDWA Regulations Online
Just Launched! Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online