NPCA Implores President Obama To Improve Air In National Parks

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The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has petitioned President Obama urging him to take immediate action to clean up the air in America’s national parks. This move comes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took air samples in ten of the nation’s most iconic parks and found that while air quality is improving it is doing so at an incredibly slow rate. So slow in fact, that the NPCA predicts it could take up to 300 years before the parks return to their natural states.

The complete list of the ten parks the EPA surveyed, along with the estimated year that each will return to its level of natural air quality are listed below.

• North Cascades National Park (Washington) – 2276
• Badlands National Park (South Dakota) – 2265
• Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota) – 2177
• Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming/Montana/Idaho) – 2163
• Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota) – 2158
• Big Bend National Park (Texas) – 2155
• Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona) – 2127
• Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado) – 2119
• Joshua Tree National Park (California) – 2106
• Sequoia National Park (California) – 2096

The 1977 Clean Air Act and the 1998 Regional Haze Rule were created to help improve air quality in the national parks. But thanks to loop holes in those pieces of legislation, clean-up is going much slower than expected. The NPCA’s petition to the President encourages him to close those loop holes and hold polluters responsible for their actions. By taking these actions it is hoped that the air quality can being to improve much sooner. To add your name to the petition, click here

As someone who happens to love America’s national parks I have to whole heartedly get behind this petition. The parks are some oft he best outdoor playgrounds in the world and they really should be protected for future generations to enjoy too. I’m encouraged to hear that air quality is improving but it is sad to hear that it could take up to ten generations to get them back to their natural state. If that is as unacceptable to you as it is to me, then click on the link above and add your name to the petition.

300 Years for Clean Air? Our National Parks Can’t Wait! from NPCA on Vimeo.

Kraig Becker

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