Reply To: Cuyahoga River and Creation of EPA


I also found this, no laws against dumping whatever you want in the river. But what about lawsuits? Private property rights, etc? It feels like I’m only getting half of the story here. I can’t believe that every single company along the river in Akron and Cleveland was happy with dumping all their waste into it.

–Pollution has been the main factor in the Cuyahoga River. It was very prevalent in the early 1800’s as well as now. Industry and population have made the river become a “flowing dump”. Raw sewage was a big problem, because it was directly dumped into the Cuyahoga River. Cleveland started to have rapid growth and had about 40,000 people living there at that time.

–Industry was a prime source in the pollution. There were no laws or rules of what one could dump in the river. Refining oil was a big industry in that time. John D. Rockefeller made it possible for the oil business to come to Cleveland. There were many things being dumped in the river such as: gasoline, oil, paint, and metals. The river was called “a rainbow of many different colors”. Before the turn of the century it was thought that “a dirty river was sign of prosperity.” [1]