Clean Air

NPCA at Work | Cleaning Up Haze | Victories | Reports | Pollution in Parks | Sources

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Ask the President to give the gift of clean air to our national parks – for ourselves, and for future generations.

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Polluted Parks: How Dirty Air is Harming America’s National Parks

Check out NPCA's Interactive Clean Air "GeoStory"

Watch allies explain why clean air is important to them.

Air pollution is among the most serious threats facing national parks. Dirty air can discolor and warp the horizon and cut miles and miles off of scenic views. It is also harmful to plants, fish, and other wildlife, and even affects the health of visitors and park staff. Most of the air pollution affecting national parks results from the burning of fossil fuels, especially by coal-fired power plants.

NPCA advocates for strong and fair enforcement of existing laws and regulations that protect our parks and lungs from pollution. We are taking steps to defend America’s national parks from the air, water, health and climate impacts of coal-fired power plants and other polluters.  

Through our Clean Air for Parks campaign, we’re working to strengthen the Regional Haze Rule, which is designed to restore park air to clear, healthy conditions. In its current form, the Rule allows some parks to maintain dirty air for centuries. Revisions to the Rule are expected soon, and NPCA is advocating for changes that will ensure robust air protections for parks—and the people who love them and live near them.


Ulla Reeves
NPCA Clean Air Campaign Manager or 828-772-1213


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Recent blog stories

The Elk Can’t Speak: Denying Pollution Doesn’t Help National Parks

An elk at Yosemite, one of the national parks with the worst air quality in the country. Photo © Americanspirit/Dreamstime.Advocating for better air quality is something I do for a living. I recently worked with a team of experts to release a report that found a shocking number of our national parks—75% of the 48 we researched—have significant air pollution problems. Problems that could worsen asthma attacks in children. Problems that could irritate the lungs […]

How Much Pollution Is Too Much?

A hiker looks across Kings Canyon National Park from Big Baldy Ridge. Ozone levels regularly exceed EPA standards at this park, putting people and plants at risk.As our understanding of air pollution evolves, so does the U.S. government’s responsibility to regulate these dangers. According to new findings by an independent panel of scientists, some of the microscopic toxins in our air have the potential to harm both people and parks at lower levels than we once believed. The U.S. Environmental Protection […]

We Can’t Afford to Wait

Persistent high temperatures could kill the namesake trees at Sequoia National Park.The giant trees that give Sequoia National Park its name are some of the largest and longest-lived organisms in the world, reaching their exceptional stature after persevering for thousands of years within a limited range in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s difficult to look up at this kind of grandeur and imagine the sequoia as a fragile, […]


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