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National parks and coal

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

In its report "Dark Horizons", the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) identified "the top 10 national parks at risk from pollution from new coal-fired power plants."[1] [2]

The report included an interactive map created using the Google MapsNPCA application, with icons depicting the proximity of new and existing coal-fired power plants to the parks.

According to NPCA, "one in three national park sites has air pollution levels that exceed health standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most of the air pollution affecting national parks results from the burning of fossil fuels, especially by coal-fired power plants. Until now, some remote national parks like Great Basin in Nevada and Teddy Roosevelt in North Dakota have largely been spared dirty air. But as energy development activities increase, these parks too, are now vulnerable."[3]

"Dark Horizons" report described a set of regulatory changes proposed by the EPA that would make it easier to build coal-fired plants near parks. According to NPCA, the changes were proposed over the objections of EPA's own scientists as well as scientists at the National Park Service.[4]

List of Threatened Parks

The top-ten parks (along with nearby plants that are identified by the "Dark Horizons" report as permitted or in the permitting stage) are as follows:

Shenandoah (Virginia)

Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee/North Carolina)

Mammoth Cave (Kentucky)

Theodore Roosevelt (North Dakota)

Mesa Verde (Colorado)

Capitol Reef (Utah)

Zion (Utah)

Great Basin (Nevada)

Wind Cave (South Dakota)

Badlands (South Dakota)

Resources

References

  1. "Clear Today, Gone Tomorrow," National Parks Conservation Association website, accessed June 2008
  2. "Dark Horizons: 10 National Parks Most Threatened by New Coal-Fired Power Plants," National Parks Conservation Association, (PDF)
  3. "Clear Today, Gone Tomorrow," National Parks Conservation Association website, accessed June 2008
  4. "Clear Today, Gone Tomorrow," National Parks Conservation Association website, accessed June 2008


Related SourceWatch Articles

External links

"10 national parks most threatened by coal-fired power plants," National Parks Conservation Association (interactive map) "Dark Horizons: 10 National Parks Most Threatened by New Coal-Fired Power Plants," National Parks Conservation Association, May, 2008 (PDF)