Air pollution is among the most serious threats facing national parks, affecting visitor health, compromising scenic vistas and altering the climate. A proposed revision to the rule intended to restore national park air could diminish these threats.

Air pollution discolors and warps horizons at our parks while cutting 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, but vehicles, agricultural and industrial emissions are also contributors.

The Clean Air Act’s Regional Haze Rule requires the restoration of natural air quality in America’s most treasured national parks and wilderness areas, however loopholes in the law are a barrier to achieving clean air. Many of our parks are decades — even centuries — from reaching the goal of clean, healthy air, and visitors, wildlife and ecosystems are paying the price.

In April, the Obama administration proposed some important updates to the Regional Haze Rule. Some of these changes are a step in the right direction and, if adopted, will result in every state being held accountable for achieving steady reductions in park pollution. However, other proposed changes would allow known polluters to delay cleaning up their act and set back efforts to clean up the air in national parks by years.

By adopting the proposed changes that strengthen the Regional Haze Rule and rejecting those that would weaken it, the Obama administration can take advantage of this tremendous opportunity in the centennial year of the National Park Service and leave a legacy of cleaner, healthier air for America’s national parks and wilderness areas and the people who cherish them

Learn more by reading NPCA’s Polluted Parks report and Clean Air for Parks fact sheets.

#CleanAir4Parks actions taken: 32,000 since summer 2015!

Asking the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt strong revisions to the Regional Haze Rule.


  • More than 16,300 letters sent to the Obama Administration

    Feb 2016

    NPCA activists urged President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to close loopholes that prevent clean air in our national parks.

  • 15,000 Comment on Revised Regional Haze Rule

    Aug 2016

    National park advocates urged the EPA to adopt strong revisions to the Regional Haze Rule to restore clean air and clear views to our national parks.

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