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EPA’s 50th Anniversary Underscores Need to Refocus on Agency’s Mission, Environmental Justice

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marking the 50th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency ahead of a new presidential administration and during a public health crisis is an opportunity to refocus on and reinvest in the agency’s essential mission and programs, including its work supporting vulnerable and underserved communities.

“Fifty years ago, President Nixon stood before Congress and declared that clean air, clean water, and environmental protections were part of ‘the birthright of every American.’ Today, with air pollution and COVID-19 disproportionately sickening and killing Black, Brown and Indigenous communities, the EPA must refocus on its core mission and the vision that launched the agency,” said Mustafa Santiago Ali, vice president of environmental justice, climate, and community revitalization at the National Wildlife Federation. “We look forward to working with President-elect Biden, his EPA administrator, and his entire team to transform the agency’s mission from words into action — and to ensure the agency and the people it serves thrive for the next half century and beyond.”

President Nixon founded the EPA in 1970 as Americans grew increasingly concerned about environmental disasters and their effects on both wildlife and people. The agency was then established with a mission of ensuring a cleaner, healthier environment for all Americans. Learn more here about the National Wildlife Federation’s work to combat environmental threats.  

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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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