For more information about National Park Service air resources, please visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/.


NPS Air Quality Responsibilities

Park visitor enjoys clear views of the Brule Formation at Badlands National Park, South Dakota
A park visitor enjoys clear views of the Brule Formation at Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

The National Park Service (NPS) has a responsibility to protect air quality and resources affected by air pollution under the NPS Organic Act and the Clean Air Act. The Organic Act created the NPS and directs the NPS to conserve the resources and values of parks in a way that will leave them "unimpaired" for the enjoyment of future generations. One of the purposes of the Clean Air Act is "to preserve, protect, and enhance the air quality in national parks" and other areas of special national or regional natural, recreational, scenic or historic value. The Clean Air Act includes special programs to prevent significant air quality deterioration in clean air areas, and to protect visibility in major national parks and wilderness areas. The Clean Air Act provides tools and many opportunities to protect park resources. In some cases, the Clean Air Act gives the federal land manager a special role in decision-making when park air quality might be affected. These laws provide the basis for the NPS’s general policy (Management Policies, 4.7.1) of promoting and pursuing measures to safeguard park resources and values from the adverse effects of air pollution.



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Last Updated: January 10, 2013