Polluted Parks: How America is Failing to Protect Our National Parks, People and Planet from Air Pollution

Nearly every national park is affected by air pollution and climate change in adverse ways. NPCA’s “Polluted Parks” report evaluates damage from air pollution at 417 national parks based on harm to nature, hazy skies, unhealthy air and climate change. It also presents stories of people affected and clear and feasible solutions to benefit our air, parks and climate.

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96%
of national parks are plagued by significant air pollution problems

Problem

Oil and gas production emits pollutants that harm our air and exacerbate climate change. The administration’s proposal to rollback methane pollution rules would increase emissions by more than 40 percent.

Solution

Federal and state governments must hold polluters accountable by advancing and strengthening regulations that require sharp reductions in air pollution from oil and gas development.

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89%
of national parks suffer from haze pollution

Problem

Coal plants muddy skies in our national parks from Rocky Mountain to Big Bend. Power plant pollution also drives climate change and can harm people and wildlife.

Solution

The administration must end its efforts to rollback and rewrite air and climate rules that favor industrial polluters over people and our planet. Instead, it should implement our nation’s clean air laws.

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88%
of national parks have sensitive animal species and habitat damaged by air pollution

Problem

During the last two years, the Trump administration has systematically undermined sound science and the role of scientists in policy and rulemaking.

Solution

The administration and Congress must restore and safeguard unbiased science in the foundation of health and environmental policies.

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85%
of national parks have air that is unhealthy to breathe at times

Problem

National parks and wilderness areas suffer from haze pollution that chokes off incredible views in our national parks.

Solution

EPA must abandon efforts to excuse polluters from contributing to regional haze and instead prioritize cleaning and clearing up the air at protected public landscapes.

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80%
of national parks are significantly threatened by climate change

Problem

The Trump administration is dismantling commonsense rules that limit greenhouse gas pollution and withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement — the global climate treaty aiming to cut pollution and move to clean energy.

Solution

Congress must swiftly enact legislation to significantly cut U.S. climate emissions by 2030 and preserve and implement rules to reduce carbon and methane pollution to get our nation’s climate policies back on track.

Read the Full Polluted Parks Report Download Now

Reporte en español

Solutions for Clean Air and a Healthy Climate

Achieving solutions for clean air and a sustainable climate requires all of our participation.

Here are 10 actions you can take to protect national parks:

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    Look for opportunities

    in your day-to-day life to carpool, walk, bike, or take a bus or train instead of driving.

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    Urge local, state and federal government representatives

    to return to the tenets of the Paris Climate Accords and speed up the transition away from coal and gas to renewable energy.

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    Call

    New Mexico’s governor to encourage her state’s new efforts to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas development and ask Utah’s governor to join the growing list of states addressing this climate problem.

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    Testify at a public hearing

    on a state or federal rule to tell your story of why clean air and a healthy climate matter to you. Follow NPCA on social to learn about opportunities.

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    Write an op-ed

    or letter to the editor demanding EPA return to its mission in service of the environment and public health by abandoning rollbacks, implementing the Clean Air Act and advancing regulations to stave off the worst of climate change.

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    Go Solar!

    Consider installing solar panels on your home and supporting NPCA at the same time!

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    Submit written comments

    on proposed state and federal rulemaking, speaking out for park protection, clean air and a healthy climate. Join NPCA’s email list to learn about opportunities.

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    Write to Congress

    and tell them to right the direction of our national air and climate policies and hold EPA accountable to its mission to protect public health and the environment.

  • F1485ad1 dd87 4c5a 9846 10083bc78072 original
    Get involved with NPCA by attending a

    civic voice workshop, becoming a member or volunteering with us.

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See what NPCA is doing to clear the air and act on climate

Learn More