|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||February 26, 2008|
|Contact:||Lindsay Bartsh, National Parks Conservation Association, 415.989.9921 x22|
National Parks Suffering from Airborne Pesticides and Chemicals
Statement by Mark Wenzler, NPCA Director of Clean Air and Climate Programs
The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is deeply troubled, but not surprised, by the findings of pollution from airborne contaminants in our national parks.
Unfortunately, our national parks are not isolated islands of protection. They too, are suffering from the effects of global warming, air pollution, and chemical use outside of park boundaries. The same dirty air that travels across our schoolyards, backyards, and farmyards is toxic to the national parks and the wildlife, plants, and cultural and historic treasures the parks were established to protect.
Air pollution and airborne contaminants harm what Americans value most about their national parks: it destroys habitat for park animals and plants, risks the health of park visitors and staff, damages the historic symbols of our heritage, and clouds the majestic views found in our national parks.
The United States must lead by example and ensure that the chemicals and pesticides used here are safe for humans, wildlife, and our national parks. We must strive to eliminate mercury emissions from our own coal-fired power plants, which are a major source of this toxic contaminant in our national parks. The national parks were set aside for this and future generations and deserve our utmost protection.