September 27, 1962: Silent Spring and Storm King Mountain; 1973: Radioactive Leak

September 27, 1962:  Publication of Silent Springby Rachel Carson. By 1970 DDT is banned. Silent Spring is often seen as a turning point in environmental history because it opened a much stronger national dialogue about the relationship between people and nature. Check out these linksto recent stories on the impact that Rachel Carson and her writings have had on us all.

September 27, 1962:  New York Timesfront page story.“The publication of Rachel Carson’s landmark study of pesticide use, Silent Spring, alone makes September 27, 1962 a momentous day in the modern history of American environmentalism. But a front-page story in that morning’s New York Timesportended another development that would profoundly shape the nascent environmental movement: The utility giant Consolidated Edison was planning to build the nation’s largest pumped-storage power plant at Storm King Mountain in the Hudson Highlands. Con Ed chairman Harland Forbes told the Times“no difficulties are anticipated.” He was wrong….

The legacy of Storm King continues to be felt locally in the essential conservation and ecological work of organizations, including Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper, that grew out of the fight. As David Schuyler writes in his essential history Embattled River: The Hudson and Modern American Environmentalism: ‘The Court of Appeals, in granting and affirming Scenic Hudson’s standing, established a precedent that other environmental groups and citizen activists would use effectively in succeeding years.’”

Another reference:  Power on the Hudson: Storm King Mountain and the Emergence of Modern American Environmentalism

Source:  Thanks to Simon Gruber for bringing this important piece of environmental history and coincidence to my attention.

September 27, 1973New York Times headline–Radiation Traced to Atom Plant in Colorado. The Colorado Health Department has found radioactive contamination in Broomfield’s drinking water supply and has traced the source to waste dumps at the Atomic Energy Commission’s nuclear weapons factory at Rocky Flats, five miles to the west. Tritium, or radioactive hydrogen, was found in the town’s water in concentrations 10 times the normal background radiation level.

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