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Astonishing photos of polluted American landscapes before they established the EPA

When US president Richard Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency in 1971, the first thing they did was hire 100 photojournalists across America to document the cataclysmic state of environmental devestation across the country and force its citizens to look.

The project – titled ‘Documerica’ – took six years and produced almost 80,000 photographs. You can view many on the US National Archives website, but here is a selection of the most harrowing.

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Smog obscuring the George Washington Bridge

Check out these astonishing photos of trash-filled American landscapes before they established the EPA that make it clear just how badly we need systems like it around the world.

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A factory burning discarded batteries and belching poison into the air outside Houston in Texan

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Along a New Jersey highway

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A landfill outside New York City

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A poisoned lake in Utah

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A mountain of oil drums near in Louisiana

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[via Upworthy]

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March 22, 2017