Great Smoky, Gets Less SmoggyBy Michael Frank on March 13th, 2013
A new report from Colorado State University shows that the Clean Air Act has done a lot to improve the air quality at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which also happens to be the nation’s busiest. The park, and surrounding areas, are significantly cleaner than they were two decades ago. (The shot at left shows the same location in 1990 and 2010.) Between 1990 and 2010 sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States dropped from 23 million tons to 8 million tons and nitrogen oxide emissions were cut in than half, based on EPA emissions data. The gains have mostly been seen in the East; in the West there are still too many coal-fired power plants spewing. To the “left” of the Mississippi, acccording to a 2011 report by the National Parks Conservation Association, the impact of power plant emissions on visibility in parks and wilderness areas costs the economy an estimated $5.62 billion a year — not including costs to public health. Via Park Advocate.
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Tags: National Parks