About EPA

The Origins of EPA

Do you know your EPA history?
We celebrate EPA's "birthday" every December 2. What actually happened on December 2, 1970?


B is the correct answer.

Administrator Ruckelshaus was confirmed by the Senate on December 2, 1970, which is the traditional date we use as the birth of the agency. 

Five months earlier, in July 1970, President Nixon had signed Reorganization Plan No. 3 calling for the establishment of EPA in July 1970.

Two days after his confirmation, on December 4, Ruckelshaus took the oath of office and the initial organization of the agency was drawn up in EPA Order 1110.2.


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The United States Environmental Protection Agency was born on December 2, 1970. The documents below shed some light on its birth and early years.