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EPA Celebrated Pollution Prevention Week by Touring Newly Renovated Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale, Pa.

Release Date: 09/20/2012
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 or

PITTSBURGH (September 20, 2012) - - Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mid-Atlantic Region marked its annual Pollution Prevention Week by commemorating the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson's groundbreaking book, Silent Spring, at the newly renovated Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale, Pa.

Rachel Carson's 1962 book, which focused on what she saw as the widespread and detrimental use of pesticides, is credited as being the catalyst for the modern environmental movement and helping to lead to the creation of the EPA in 1970.

EPA's events in the Pittsburgh area centered on how one person can make a difference, Carson's pioneering work and its lasting change.

"With the publication of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," average citizens grasped, maybe for the first time, how their choices could harm the environment in which they live," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. ”Each of us is an engine of change in the choices we make, what we buy and how we live."

The event and tour of the Rachel Carson Homestead was followed by a pollution prevention lesson for approximately 150 9th and 10th grade students, and faculty involved in environmental science at nearby Springdale Jr./Sr. High School. Allegheny Valley School Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Griffith and Allegheny Valley School Board Chairman Larry Pollick introduced the EPA regional administrator to the assembly audience.

Garvin spoke of EPA's history and the conditions which led to the agency's creation before responding to questions from the students.

While pollution can be a complex topic involving pesticides, power plant emissions and groundwater contamination, one of the easiest ways for individuals to make a difference is through recycling and Pollution Prevention Week is an annual opportunity to take stock and renew our efforts.

Recycling began about 25 years ago with just paper. It eventually expanded to include glass and plastic, then electronics. The next expansion is already underway with food recovery, which through donations to hunger-relief organizations and composting, diverts food waste from landfills where it can produce harmful gases that contribute to climate change.

The Rachel Carson Homestead on Marion Avenue in Springdale, Pa. has just completed a year-long renovation. The house is listed with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Pittsburgh History and Landmarks.

To learn more about your own community, go to and click on MyEnvironment on the lower left side of the page. After entering your zip code, the site will provide a snapshot of your environment including air pollutants, and companies with permits to discharge waste water into rivers.

For more information about Rachel Carson and the Rachel Carson Homestead, go to:

For more information on pollution prevention, go to: