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The United States Goes Green

By Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / January 12, 1993



1872: Yellowstone, first national park, established.

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1892: John Muir founds Sierra Club.

1898: Pollution of navigable waters banned by Rivers and Harbors Act.

1905: National Audobon Society founded.

1908: Grand Canyon set aside as national monument, under Antiquities Act of 1906.

1920: Mining on federal lands regulated by Mineral Leasing Act.

1930: Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) declared safe because nontoxic, noncombustible.

1936: National Wildlife Federation formed.

1948: Federal Water Pollution Control Law passed.

1956: Echo Park Dam project dropped in Colorado, a wilderness protection victory.

1962: Rachel Carson's `Silent Spring' published, exposing dangers of pesticides.

1963: First Clean Air Act provides funds for air-pollution control.

1966: During a four-day atmospheric inversion, some 80 people die in New York City.

1969: Oil spill in Santa Barbara alerts public to pollution issues.

1970: Earth Day celebrated for first time on April 22.

National Environmental Protection Policy Act passed; requires environmental impact statements.

1972: Clean Water Act passes; to restore polluted waters and eliminate discharges of pollutants.

First United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, in Stockholm.

Oregon passes nation's first bottle-recycling law.

1973: US passes Endangered Species Act after 80 nations sign ban on trade in endangered species.

1975: Atlantic salmon return to the Connecticut River after a 100-year absence.

1976: National Academy of Sciences reports that CFC gases from spray cans damage the ozone layer.

1981: Quebec says 60 percent of its sulphur dioxide pollution is from US industry.

1983: Reagan's Interior Secretary James Watts resigns under fire from environmentalists.

1987: 24 nations pledge to halve CFCs by 1999; later amendment requires phasing out by 1999.

1988: Dumping of wastes in oceans outlawed by international Ocean Dumping Ban agreement.

1989: Timber sales in Alaska's Tongass National Forest halted by Congress.

1990: Clean Air Act amended to include emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen.

1992: Bush attends Earth Summit in Brazil.