EPA's Regional Haze Program
EPA and other Agencies have been monitoring visibility in national parks and wilderness areas since 1988. In 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a major effort to improve air quality in national parks and wilderness areas. The Regional Haze Rule calls for state and federal agencies to work together to improve visibility in 156 national parks and wilderness areas such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Great Smokies and Shenandoah.
The rule requires the states, in coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and other interested parties, to develop and implement air quality protection plans to reduce the pollution that causes visibility impairment. The first State plans for regional haze are due in the 2003-2008 timeframe. Five multi-state regional planning organizations are working together now to develop the technical basis for these plans.
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