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Environment

What Cities Looked Like Before the EPA

Whatever happens to the Environmental Protection Agency, it has a clear legacy in cities.
What fresh hell is this? It's Cleveland, obscured by industrial smog in July 1973.
What fresh hell is this? It's Cleveland, obscured by industrial smog in July 1973.Frank J. Aleksandrowicz/NARA

The Environmental Protection Agency has a murky future in the Trump administration. Hours before the President promised in his address to Congress “to promote clean air and clear water,” he signed an executive order to roll back an Obama-era EPA clean water rule.

Then there are the reports from Politico and The Washington Post that say the White House sent a proposal to the EPA on Monday that would slash the agency’s budget by about a quarter and eliminate a fifth of the agency’s workers. Large cuts to state grant programs even have Congressional Republicans worried and as former Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt settles in to lead an agency he had often fought in court, he’s promised to continue with its basic mission (while stripping climate change from its vocabulary).