|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||October 2, 2000|
|Contact:||Libby Fayad, 202-454-3306|
National Parks Conservation Association Files Suit on TVA Pollution
"People like to think of the Smokies as a pristine natural environment," said Tom Kiernan, NPCA president. "In fact, it's among the most polluted national parks in America. TVA is a federal agency and a major source of that air pollution, and we want the agency to do much, much more to protect the park."
Researchers in the national park have documented air-pollution damage to 30 different plant species and impacts on another 60 species. Vistas from the high peaks that once stretched for 93 miles now average only 15 miles in the summer tourist season. Coal-fired power plants, such as those operated by TVA, are the largest stationary sources of the harmful, haze-producing pollutants affecting the southern Appalachian region.
The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring TVA to comply with established air-pollution emission limits and to pay civil penalties to the federal government for opacity violations for the past five years.
"We've had a crisis in slow motion going on in these mountains for years," said Don Barger, NPCA's southeast regional director. "Unfortunately, action to clean up the major sources of air pollution has been even slower, and we can no longer afford the risk of delay."