|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||February 27, 2003|
|Contact:||Don Barger, NPCA, 865-803-4480|
Bush Air Pollution Plan A Threat to Air Quality
"At a time when our parks need real leadership to restore their future, the president is putting a giant roadblock in the path to cleaning up the air pollution plaguing national parks," said Don Barger, NPCA southeast regional director. "Air pollution is one of the most critical threats our parks face, and the administration proposal leaves our parks in jeopardy."
According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analysis made public last year, the Bush air pollution plan would achieve weaker goals, over a longer timeframe, than would enforcing the current Clean Air Act. In addition:
§ According to an analysis using EPA's modeling runs, the Bush air pollution plan will mean more than 100,000 unnecessary premature deaths between now and 2020. These deaths would be avoided under faithful enforcement of the current Clean Air Act.
§ According to EPA's own analysis, even after the Bush air pollution plan is fully implemented, at least 60 million people would still live in areas that violate air quality standards.
§ Power plants are the largest uncontrolled source of mercury. EPA's own analysis demonstrates that while the Bush air pollution plan would reduce total nationwide mercury emissions compared with today's levels, it will result in local increases in mercury emissions at 128 major power plants around the United States.
Under the president's proposal, even in 2018 the level of nitrogen deposition (acid rain) Great Smoky Mountains National Park would receive still would be four times the level at which soils could begin to recover. "America's parks and America's people deserve better," Barger said. "We have a long road to travel to clean up the air pollution in our parks. This proposal lets the air out of the tires and steers us for the ditch."