Above: Air pollution comes from many sources, though coal-fired power plants are a major contributor, such as the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona, shown above.
NPCA at Work | Cleaning Up Haze | Victories | Reports | Pollution in Parks | Sources
Where Does Haze Pollution Come From?
Regional haze comes from many sources of pollution over a wide area. Coal-fired power plants are responsible for a significant portion of the regional haze in the U.S., along with other industrial facilities like refineries, cement plants, and paper mills. But a large number of other sources—like cars, or oil and gas activities—can add up to big contributions too. There are also natural sources of haze, like forest fires or dust storms. However, the law only deals with the haze caused by humans.
The pollution from these sources comes together and creates small particles in the atmosphere. Because they’re very small, these particles can travel a long, long way and have a serious impact over a broad area—that’s why it’s called “regional” haze. For instance, pollution from the Midwest can end up over parks in New England, many states away. Wherever it comes from, when pollution reaches park skies, air resources are impacted. Fortunately, the law requires that those impacts be mitigated.