Once upon a time in America our major cities had major smog problems. Some still have those problems but not nearly to the extent they once did.
If one needs to know why we need the EPA and a strong government regulation just point them to this story from Huffington Post
Quote:Tehran Pollution Crisis 2012: Thousands Dead In Iran's Capital As Government Warns To Stay Indoors
Tough sanctions and a struggling economy have caused a severe medicine shortage in Iran, but the country is also facing a dire health crisis of another kind: air pollution.
Hassan Aqajani, an adviser to Iran's health minister announced Sunday that 4,460 people have died from air pollution in Tehran in a one-year period since March 2011, AFP reports. The announcement came just as a five-day closure of government offices, schools, and banks because of air pollution came to an end -- the second such shutdown in a month.
Though the city has reopened its public buildings, officials are still urging residents to remain indoors, likening going outside in current conditions to "suicide," the New York Times notes.
The cloud of yellow smog enveloping Tehran has become an annual event in recent years, as sanctions on imports of refined gasoline have forced the country to turn to low-quality alternatives, exacerbating Iran's already tenuous environmental state. "It feels as if even God has turned against us," a local artist told The New York Times as the city's skyline remained obscured with smog.
There is more at the link but if the story doesn't convince then maybe this picture of Tehran from last December will.