Thu January 20, 2011
EPA Misses Deadline to Finalize Plans to Reduce Air Pollution at National Parks
By Laurel Morales
Flagstaff, AZ – Air quality has improved at national parks over the past three decades thanks to the Clean Air Act. But Grand Canyon officials say visibility at their park is still affected by smog from as far away as Los Angeles and as close as the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant.
The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to finalize state plans to reduce haze in all protected parks and wilderness areas in the country.
National Parks Conservation Association spokeswoman Stephanie Kodish says not one of the haze plans for any state has been finalized.
KODISH: We're not only talking about visibility but the exact same pollution that impacts visibility also damages lungs. (0:07)
Kodish is among six clean air groups who have filed a notice to sue the federal government.
EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones says there is more work to do but the agency has made progress in every state.
JONES: In the near future EPA will issue a number of air rules that are vital to protecting public health and that will complement state's efforts to reduce regional haze. (0:11)
Jones says the agency will review the environmental coalition's legal filings and will work to respond to them as quickly as possible.
In Flagstaff I'm Laurel Morales.