Creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency

On July 9, 1970, President Nixon transmitted Reorganization Plan No. 3 to the United States Congress by executive order, creating the EPA as a single, independent agency from a number of smaller arms of different federal agencies.

Prior to the establishment of the EPA, the federal government was not structured to comprehensively regulate the pollutants which harm human health and degrade the environment. The EPA was assigned the task of repairing the damage already done to the natural environment and to establish new criteria to guide Americans in making a cleaner, safer America.

The creation of the EPA in 1970 brought together a patchwork of federal programs concerned with various aspects of the environment under the control of a single regulatory agency. In the same year, Congress passed one of our nation's most complex and ambitious statutes, the Clean Air Act, directing EPA to set and America to achieve national air standards.