The 21st century is an age of environmental awareness. We have commissions and agencies that measure our pollution in minutiae level parts per million. There is study after study of the affects of not only elemental health pollution, but also mental health pollution. Although there is no doubt of the importance of this era of hyper-awareness of this movement, it is a new phenomena in the spectrum of history. In the United States, a vanguard in environmental awareness has only seriously started legislating pollution controls for the protection of its citizens in the past thirty years. Many detractors, even today, feel that it is a losing
battle and that regulation of pollution control is indirect conflict with the industrial machine that is the backbone of the United States economy. However, there is one example of a region of this country that demonstrates not only the successful combination of environmental control and business, but this relationship was started forty years before the nations first pollution regulations were drafted to Congress.
Pittsburgh's story is one of suffering and redemption that no city, no community no region can claim to be more tragic and hopeful in its fight against pollution. A city founded in a river valley rich with resources; central access by water, rail and road; and integral to the key to the creation of a nation; Pittsburgh knew days when no vegetation grew from the soil and the sky was permanent midnight twenty four hours a day. That was life in the monikered "Smoke City" until citizens and businesses took fate into their own hands and cleaned themselves up. Their struggle endured hardship and death, but the residents of Pittsburgh found themselves after two hundred years of darkness living in one of the cleanest major cities in the country.
Before Europeans traveled the Monongahela to the confluence of the "Three Rivers" of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio, Pittsburgh was a sparsely populated... [continues]
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