New EPA Rule Endangers Health of Cherished National Parks, Wildernesses and Surrounding Communities

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 1, 2012
Contact:   Mark Wenzler, Vice President of Clean Air and Climate, National Parks Conservation Association, mwenzler@npca.org, 202-454-3335
Jeff Billington, Senior Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, jbillington@npca.org, 202.419.3717


New EPA Rule Endangers Health of Cherished National Parks, Wildernesses and Surrounding Communities

Policy will exempt outdated, highly polluting coal-fired power plants from clean air laws that protect air quality in national parks and wilderness areas throughout the Eastern U.S.

Statement by Mark Wenzler, NPCA Vice President of Clean Air and Climate Programs

“By finalizing its so-called “Better Than BART” rule yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ignored detailed scientific data and its own mission, as laid out in the 1977 Clean Air Act, to restore pristine air quality to treasured places like Acadia and Great Smoky Mountains national parks. The new policy puts the long-term health of national parks, wilderness areas and wildlife refuges across the eastern U.S. states, and the communities that depend on them, in jeopardy.

“This new EPA policy exempts some of the oldest and highest polluting coal-fired power plants in 28 eastern states from installing the Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART), which has been shown to cut down air pollution rates by as much as 90 percent. Instead, these states will only have to rely on the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which offers no specific protections for the national parks, wilderness areas, and wildlife refuges designated as “Class I areas” that the Clean Air Act mandates be protected.

“By allowing nearly 150 antiquated coal-fired units to avoid installing the most effective pollution controls, the EPA is ignoring the needs of cherished places like Shenandoah, Badlands, and Voyageurs national parks and the people who value them. EPA’s action leaves our national parks, their native wildlife, and the health of visitors and nearby communities vulnerable to higher levels of air pollution for many years to come.

Background: NPCA’s report, Cleaning up the Haze: Protecting People and American Treasured Places, demonstrates how EPA’s “Better than BART” rule will allow hundreds of outdated coal-fired power plants to escape full cleanup. The report notes that EPA could have required emission reductions at the plants that actually affect protected parks and wilderness areas, rather than giving these plants a blanket exemption from laws intended to restore park air quality.  

To read the Cleaning up the Haze: Protecting People and America’s Treasured Places report visit: http://www.npca.org/news/reports/cleaning-up-the-haze.html

To see real stories from people who are concerned about air pollution in national parks visit: http://www.npca.org/protecting-our-parks/air-land-water/clean-air/clean-air-geostory.html
 

###

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