The U.S. has made phenomenal progress in environmental pollution control since the end of World War II and the 1990's, air and water, coast to coast. This progress was driven by "We the People" and a robust economy.
EPA was the implement of the drivers, and now is engaged in that well known activity of save our bureaucracy. The control technology, equipment, and operational expertise was developed in response to the free market demand for such products.
Great comment about the Mohawk, Good luck with the classroom discussion.