Statement by Thomas C. Kiernan, NPCA president, about Governor Leavitt's Nomination

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   September 23, 2003
Contact:   Andrea Keller, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-454-3332


Statement by Thomas C. Kiernan, NPCA president, about Governor Leavitt's Nomination

Washington, D.C. - Governor Michael Leavitt’s nomination to be the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deserves careful attention by the U.S. Senate. His record as Governor of Utah shows that he has been sensitive to some environmental concerns, including an interest in the health of the region’s national parks, but he has also supported policies detrimental to other federal lands.

If confirmed, he will be challenged to protect the same national parks he stood-up for as Governor while working within an administration that earned a D-minus from NPCA earlier this year for a series of damaging park policies.

Over the past three years, the Bush administration has promised to “restore and renew” the national parks. While doing some good things for parks, the administration has also backed away from effective enforcement of the Clean Air Act to improve air quality in parks. In fact, the Bush administration on August 25 issued changes that will relax pollution-control regulations for thousands of power plants and factories and undermine the Clean Air Act—at the expense of the health of our families and the national parks.

Additionally, the administration’s Clear Skies Initiative repeals or significantly weakens many provisions of existing law that have protected health and the environment. In fact, Clear Skies would eliminate a program to improve haze in the national parks that the Washington, D.C., circuit court ruled EPA must implement under the new administrator. This presents a challenge for Governor Leavitt, who has been rightfully credited with tackling haze in Grand Canyon National Park through his participation in the Western Regional Air Partnership and other efforts.

Our parks need greater protections. Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California has had one of its worst years on record for exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency’s health-based ozone standards. In 2002, NPCA and two partners named Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee as the most polluted national park in the country, based on more than 10 years of National Park Service data. Last summer, the park recorded 42 days of unhealthy air, surpassing polluted metropolitan areas such as Atlanta.

Close

Want to learn more about the  ?

The   can be seen in the wild in America’s national parks. Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Sign up to protect parks in   & other states

Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association Community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Sign up to protect   and other National Parks

Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association Community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Please leave this field empty
Yes, please sign me up for NPCA’s newsletter and other emails about protecting our national parks!

National Parks Conservation Association
National Parks Conservation Association

Log In

Or log in with your connected Facebook or Twitter account:

GO

Welcome to our growing community of park advocates. Thanks for signing up!

Sign Up:

Or sign up by connecting your Facebook or Twitter account:

GO