Policy Update May 16, 2022

NPCA support for Joseph Goffman as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation

Ahead of a nomination hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, NPCA sent the following letter of support for the nomination of Joseph Goffman. 

Our national parks are symbols of healthy wild spaces, clear views, conservation, historic preservation and our shared heritage. NPCA works towards clean air, a healthy climate and protections for cultural resources, wildlife and waters and we believe the highest level of protections must be afforded to these incredible places. We strongly support the Biden-Harris Administration in addressing climate change head-on, prioritizing frontline communities and environmental injustices, and advancing policies that safeguard the natural and cultural resources that make our parks world-renowned.

Joseph Goffman is an eminently qualified candidate to lead EPA’s air office. He has decades of legal experience in environmental policymaking and a strong history of working across stakeholders to advance critical climate and air pollution reduction initiatives. As acting head of OAR, Goffman has taken important actions in support of robust implementation of the Regional Haze Rule, the pivotal Clean Air Act program designed to restore clear and clean skies 156 iconic national parks and wilderness areas.

Goffman has also prioritized the reconsideration of critical air rules, including the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter and ozone, regulation of methane and volatile organic compounds from the oil and gas sector, and greenhouse gas standard for cars and trucks. These efforts stand to greatly improve air quality and cut climate pollution, which in turn benefit the health of our national parks as they face the serious impacts of climate change and dirty air.

During his time as Associate Assistant Administrator for Climate and Senior Counsel with EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, Goffman also played a key role in ensuring compliance with the round 1 of state haze plans. This work reduced 1.4 million tons of visibility-impairing pollution that marred the views in our national parks and wilderness areas. He was also instrumental in developing the power plant and oil and gas sector rules aimed at significantly cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Our national parks are suffering from the climate crisis. These special places represent some of our most extreme and fragile ecosystems and hold irreplaceable cultural and historical artifacts. National parks also suffer from significant air pollution that muddies park skies, degrades ecosystems and harms people’s health, particularly in the predominantly Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and poor communities adjacent to polluting facilities. We need leadership at EPA who will guide and enact policies that address greenhouse gas, toxic and criteria pollution, and environmental injustices that will also benefit the health of our national parks.

Our National Park System protects our nation’s natural and cultural history and resources and binds Americans together. These places unify us as a people. It is America’s legacy to future generations and to the world. But this story is still incomplete, and the chapters to be written must be done with the utmost care, prioritizing the well-being of all people and our planet. Please support Joseph Goffman as head of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation