How The EPA Unclogged The Bloodstream Of America

Documerica Potomac Silt Erosion

Today, Donald Trump declared in a speech at the White House, “I will tell you that the EPA, you’re right, I call it, it’s clogged the bloodstream of our country.”

The Environmental Protection Agency has clogged the bloodstream of our country?!? No. This is a bald faced lie.

The EPA has cleaned the bloodstream of America. Rivers, streams, and lakes are the bloodstream of our country, and the Environmental Protection Agency has unclogged them of the pollution that nearly killed them after generations of corporate abuse.

All Donald Trump needs to do to if he’s having trouble understanding this fact is to spend a few minutes looking into the environmental history of the body of water just a 15-minute walk from the White House. In the 1970s, the Potomac River was clogged with silt from erosion resulting from years of unsustainable agricultural practices and unwise community development. The river was also suffering from terrible industrial pollution, making it almost ecologically dead.

The water quality of the Potomac River reached its lowest point around the time that the Environmental Protection Agency was created in the early 1970s. The photo on the left below shows what the Potomac looked like at that time, from the back of a motor boat (the turbulence you see is the wake of the boat). It’s a photograph taken as part of the EPA’s Documerica program, a volunteer program to photographically document what the United States looked like at that moment in time. The photo on the right shows the Potomac River as it looks today, from the exact same vantage point, looking off the back of a motorboat.

Potomac River Before and After EPA

The truth is plain. Not all sources of water pollution have been cleaned up. There’s a great deal of work left to do, but the EPA has been successful in turning the tide, bringing the land, air, and water of the USA back from the ruin of the mid-20th century.