Bush Admin. Decision Could Boost Pollution in National Parks

In a move that could lead to more pollution in national parks, the Bush administration on Friday said it will permit North Dakota to change the way it estimates air pollution in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Seems like a small thing, but the new estimation formula is likely to produce lower emissions predictions, paving the way for a new coal-fired power plant to be built near the park. Enviros fear that the U.S. EPA will cut similar deals with other states — for example, Utah, where there’s a proposal to build a new coal-fired plant in the vicinity of Capital Reef National Park*. “This looks to be a terrible precedent for national parks across the country,” said Frank O’Donnell, executive director of Clean Air Trust. But supporters of the change argue that the new system will produce more accurate air-pollution predictions.