Clean Air Victories

Above: Thanks to work to eliminate coal-fired power plants from Oregon and Washington by 2024, skies will be clearer at places like Mount Rainier National Park. Photo © Danny Warren/iStockphoto.

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

NPCA works nationally and regionally to improve air conditions around the country.

Clean Air Victories!

Rocky Mountain National Park: In July 2014, NPCA reached a settlement requiring the best pollution controls on one of the oldest units at the Craig Station coal plant in Colorado. By the 2021 deadline, Rocky Mountain National Park—along with other national parks, wilderness areas, and communities in the region—will experience cleaner, healthier air as a result of this victory.

Acadia National Park & Northeast Region: In May 2014, NPCA’s efforts to permanently end the impacts of coal plant pollution from New York’s  Danskammer Generating Station were rewarded. Under pressure from NPCA and allies, owner Helios Power Capital announced that it would not burn coal if the plant is restarted (it is not currently operating). Danskammer’s pollution impacts multiple national parks and wilderness areas in the region, including Acadia National Park in Maine.

Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks: In June 2014, as a result of a 5+ year effort, NPCA and the Environmental Protection Agency filed a Consent Decree with the Court establishing a schedule to review the pollution control plan  the atXcel Energy’s Sherburne County coal plant in Minnesota. The plant affects air quality at Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks. Once entered by the Court the agreement will require a review of the plant’s park impacts and determination of best emission controls by August 2015.

Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Rocky Mountain National Parks: In January 2014, NPCA’s advocacy in Wyoming resulted in a plan to benefit the region’s national parks by limiting pollution from 10 of the state’s outdated coal-fired power plants. By requiring the installation of modern pollution control technology, the plan will reduce the state’s emissions of nitrogen oxide pollution by 65,000 tons each year. Less pollution will mean cleaner air and water at Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, and other parks in the region—along with benefits to the health and well-being of visitors and neighboring communities.

Canaveral National Seashore & Sun Coast Region: In August 2013, EPA made Duke Energy’s commitment to retire two of the coal-fired units at its Crystal River Energy Complex legally enforceable. The company opted to close them rather than install the required pollution controls that NPCA advocated for- resulting in even benefits for park air, and the climate too! The power plant, located on the western coast of Florida, impacts protected national parks and wilderness areas in Florida and Georgia.

Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks: In June 2013, the Nevada Legislature passed legislation to shut down the state’s most notorious air polluter—the Reid Gardner Generating Station. The coal-fired power plant hurts air quality at many of the region’s parks, including Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks and nearby Lake Mead National Recreation Area—the fifth most-visited site in our National Park System. NPCA has long advocated for cleanup of Reid Gardner’s pollution. Three of the four units at the plant are on track to close by the end of 2014, with the remaining unit to close by 2017.


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