SFGate shows What America looked like before the EPA stepped in .
Shortly after, the Environmental Protection Agency was created. To help foster support for the newly created agency, Nixon sent out 70 photographers tasked with documenting 'subjects of environmental concern' all throughout the United States.
At the time, environmental laws were only just beginning to be formed and regulate the environment.
Known as 'The Documerica Project,' the photographers captured thousands of images of rural and urban life. Back then, the images demonstrated the toll that unchecked manufacturing and energy industries had on the environment.
Today, they continue to serve as a reminder of what Nixon called the 'price tag' on pollution: 'Through our years of past carelessness we incurred a debt to nature, and now that debt is being called.'"