|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||August 21, 2001|
|Contact:||Andrea Keller, National Parks Conservation Association, cell: 202-320-7844|
Public Hearing Focuses on National Parks Air Quality
Washington, D.C. - The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the nation's leading parks advocacy organization, today testified at a public hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule to require older power plants and industrial polluters to reduce emissions that contribute to haze in the national parks.
"Millions of Americans who escape urban congestion by visiting national parks are greeted by dim, hazy vistas and unhealthy air instead of the expansive views and scenery that have made these areas our national treasures," said Libby Fayad, General Counsel for the National Parks Conservation Association. "Cutting haze-causing pollutants would improve visibility in national parks like Acadia, the Great Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah, and Big Bend."
Beyond ruining the views in Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, Mammoth Cave, and other national parks, toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants and other industrial polluters can contribute to ground-level ozone, acid rain, and premature death among thousands of people each year.
"After 25 years, most of the industries involved have failed to do the right thing and clean up their pollution," Fayad said. "The public is tired of paying the bill. It is time for the Environmental Protection Agency to require older power plants and industrial facilities to meet today's pollution-reduction standards."
The National Parks Conservation Association included Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina and Big Bend National Park in Texas on its 2001 list of America's Ten Most Endangered National Parks because of poor air quality.
The full text of Fayad's testimony is available online.