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Aspen Institute Highlights 10 Ways EPA Has Strengthened America Over the Past 40 Years/List by group of environmental thought leaders unveiled as Agency commemorates 40th anniversary

Release Date: 11/29/2010
Contact Information: Alisha Johnson; En español: Betsaida Alcántara

WASHINGTON – The Aspen Institute – an international nonprofit dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue – today unveiled a list of 10 ways the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has strengthened America over the past 40 years. The unveiling of the Aspen Institute list – which was compiled by a group of more than 20 thought leaders – kicks off a week of events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the EPA. Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson unveiled the list today at the Aspen Institutes offices in Washington, DC, where he was joined by EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

The list was compiled by a group of more than 20 environmental thought leaders, including several former EPA officials, convened by the Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Program. The group included people with experience in government, non-profit organizations and private sector companies who interact with the Agency.

“Over its 40-year history, EPA has evolved into the world’s preeminent environmental regulatory agency through a balanced, three-pronged strategy, combining excellent science, regulatory enforcement, and engagement of all stakeholders in developing new solutions to environmental problems. EPA’s balanced, multifaceted structure and operation sets the standard around the world for applying strong science, as well as economic incentives and disincentives, to achieve positive environmental outcomes while allowing businesses to grow and prosper,” said Isaacson.

The following are highlights of EPA’s 40 year history identified in the report:

Removing Lead from Gasoline—and from the Air
Removing the Acid from Rain
Clearing Secondhand Smoke
Vehicle Efficiency and Emissions Control
Controlling Toxic Substances
Banning Widespread Use of DDT
Rethinking Waste as Materials
A Clean Environment for All/Environmental Justice
Cleaner Water
The “Community Right to Know” Act

A full copy of the report can be found at

“For 40 years EPA has led our country’s efforts to protect the air we breathe, water that we drink, and land where we build our communities,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “I’m proud the Aspen Institute has drawn together a distinguished group of people involved in this cause, including individuals who represent different perspectives and different approaches, to recognize and highlight some of the important ways EPA has protected and strengthened America. These are accomplishments we are using, along with many others, to guide our work for the next 40 years and beyond.”

For more information about the EPA’s 40th anniversary, visit