Sunday, January 08, 2017

June 22, 2014
By Jonathan H. Alder

On the morning of June 22, 1969, (click here) oil and debris that had collected on the surface of the Cuyahoga River as wound its way through Cleveland caught fire.  The story attracted national attention, and was featured in a report on the nation’s environmental problems in the August 1 Time magazine. The fire illustrated just how bad the nation’s environmental problems had become by 1969.  As then-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson commented in 2011, the fire was evidence of “the almost unimaginable health and environmental threats” from water pollution of the time. After all, as one environmental activist put it, “when rivers are on fire, you know things are bad.”...