Great Smoky Mountains National Park: smoggy skies

Great Smoky MountainsPhoto: jorge_dfw

The threat: The bill threatens to obscure visibility and pollute the air in the Smokies by preventing the EPA from monitoring and improving air quality in national parks and wilderness areas under the Regional Haze Program. Another provision of H.R. 2584 halts the reduction of air pollution that travels hundreds of miles and plagues eastern parks like the Smokies and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. (H. Rept. 112-51, p. 72 [PDF])

The Interior bill would make the Smokies a little smokier — and unhealthier. Smoky Mountains is the most visited
national park in the United States,
and it is known for its astounding wildflowers, hundreds of miles of trails, and of course, its cloud-covered peaks. Hazy pollution could obscure the mountains, contribute to acid rain, and increase respiratory ailments among visitors.