Letter Aug 1, 2023

47 organizations urge EPA to protect parks and communities from haze

Letter to EPA Administrator Regan (195 KB)

Leaders of organizations across the country urged the Environmental Protection Agency to act swiftly and hold polluters accountable in the name of national parks and the communities who rely on them.

Air pollution resulting from the extraction, development and burning of fossil fuels may not originate in our beloved national parks, but emissions drift hundreds of miles from their source. As a result, visitors miss out on scenic views they travel grand distances to witness. From the Grand Canyon all the way to Acadia, some may never experience the breathtaking overlooks across stunning landscapes thanks to more frequent hazy days.

Cleaning up this haze pollution — which harms air quality, obscures scenic vistas and impacts communities and people’s health — is what we strive for with NPCA’s Clean Air Program. And this pollution phenomenon affects an astounding 90% of national parks. Yet the Environmental Protection Agency has missed key deadlines in responding to and holding states accountable for their pollution harming certain national parks and wilderness areas.

That’s why nearly 50 organizations urged EPA Administrator Michael Regan and the regional administrators across the nation to act as swiftly as possible and respond to the 37 state plans currently submitted to the agency. Based on the Regional Haze Program, EPA has missed its own deadline to either approve or deny state plans to curb air pollution. *Because an opportunity through this program only comes once in a decade, we cannot miss this critical chance to protect communities and clear the air. *

The Regional Haze Rule is a time-tested, effective program that has resulted in real, measurable and noticeable improvements in national park and wilderness area visibility and air quality over the past decade. Yet parks and communities — from the Everglades to Mount Rainier and Acadia to Joshua Tree — are still plagued with haze pollution that threatens public health, nature and visibility.

In their letter, leaders voiced their view that EPA must hold states accountable for thorough and comprehensive analyses and ensure that their worst sources of haze pollution harming certain national parks and wilderness areas are considered. They pointed out the following:

  • States should not be allowed to skip emission cuts or enforceable requirements from sources known to negatively affect air quality in our national parks and wilderness areas.

  • EPA should ensure that state plans include emission control requirements on sources

  • EPA should also ensure that states are not dismissing any possible emission reduction measures that do in fact satisfy the required comprehensive analyses.

Assuring clean air throughout our parks, as well as the people who rely on them for economic prosperity, solace in nature and as family vacation destinations, requires the action of all. To join the fight to keep our air clean, please read more about our regional haze work here.


Jennifer Hadayia
Executive Director
Air Alliance Houston
Houston, TX

Nicole Zussman
President and CEO
Appalachian Mountain Club
Boston, MA

Matthew Mehalik
Executive Director
Breathe Project
Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Catherine Garoupa
Executive Director
Central Valley Air Quality Coalition
Stockton, CA

Michael Murray
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
Washington, DC

Scott Skokos
Executive Director
Dakota Resource Council
Bismarck, ND

Abigail Dillen
San Francisco, CA

Luke Metzger
Executive Director
Environment Texas
Austin, TX

Eve Samples
Executive Director
Friends of the Everglades
Stuart, FL

Michael Hansen
Executive Director
Birmingham, AL

Codi Norred
Executive Director
Georgia Interfaith Power and Light
Decatur, GA

Mark Magaña
Founding President & CEO
Boulder, CO

Patrick Campbell
Executive Director
Group Against Smog & Pollution
Pittsburgh, PA

Lexi Tuddenham
Executive Director
Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah)
Salt Lake City, UT

Maite Arce
President and CEO
Hispanic Access Foundation
Washington, D.C.

Deaconess Irene DeMaris
Executive Director
Iowa Interfaith Power & Light
Des Moines, IA

Lane Boldman
Executive Director
Kentucky Conservation Committee
Frankfort, KY

Ashley Wilmes
Executive Director
Kentucky Resources Council
Frankfort, KY

Patricia Schuba
President, Board of Directors
Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO)
Labadie, MO

Gene Karpinski
League of Conservation Voters
Washington, DC

Eric Engle
Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action
Parkersburg, WV

Kathryn Hoffman
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Saint Paul, MN

Dominique Browning
Director and Co-Founder
Moms Clean Air Force
New York, NY

Anne Hedges
Montana Environmental Information Center
Helena, MT

Tanya Coventry-Strader
Interim Executive Director
Mothers & Others For Clean Air
Atlanta, GA

Theresa Pierno
President and CEO
National Parks Conservation Association
Washington, DC

David Garbett
Executive Director
O2 Utah
Salt Lake City, UT

John Bridge
Olympic Park Advocates
Sequim, WA

Jana Gastellum
Executive Director
Oregon Environmental Council
Portland, OR

Patrick McDonnell
President and CEO
Harrisburg, PA

David Romtvedt
Powder River Basin Resource Council
Sheridan, WY

Sean Dixon
Executive Director
Puget Soundkeeper
Seattle, WA

Joel J. Africk
President and CEO
Respiratory Health Association
Chicago, IL

TJ Ellerbeck 
Executive Director
Rural Utah Project
Salt Lake City, UT 

Mark Pearson 
Executive Director
San Juan Citizens Alliance
Durango, CO   

Hope F. Cupit 
President and CEO
Roanoke, VA 

Ben Jealous 
Executive Director
Sierra Club
Washington, DC 

DJ Gerken 
President and Executive Director
Southern Environmental Law Center
Charlottesville, VA 

Marquita Bradshaw 
Executive Director
Sowing Justice
Memphis, TN 

Keith Hammer 
Swan View Coalition
Kalispell, MT 

Sandra Gross 
Executive Director
Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning
Oak Ridge, TN 

Courtney Shea 
Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light
Knoxville, TN 

Jonny Vasic 
Executive Director
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment
Salt Lake City, UT 

Christina Hausman Rhode 
Executive Director
Voyageurs Conservancy
Minneapolis, MN 

Eric Frankowski 
Executive Director
Western Clean Energy Campaign
Longmont, CO 

Margaret (Maggie) Johnston 
Executive Director
Wild Alabama
Moulton, AL 

Renée M. Chacon 
Executive Director
Womxn from the Mountain
Commerce City, CO 

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