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
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
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 www.epa.gov 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: http://rachel_carson_homestead.myupsite.com/
For more information on pollution prevention, go
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