This article was written by Kate Galbraith for Texas Tribune via The New York Times:
Last year, as wildfires raged in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, visitors to Guadalupe Mountains National Park had to settle for a more limited view when hiking up Guadalupe Peak, Texas’ highest point.
“All summer, there was a haze here,” said Jonena Hearst, the park’s geologist. Even before the fires, she said, visibility had been decreasing slightly over time.
The Environmental Protection Agency wants cleaner air at national parks across the country, including Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend in Texas. By November, it is supposed to complete a plan that could regulate emissions from dozens of Texas’ industrial plants, with the goal of reducing haze at parks. Texas officials who would execute the plan are not seeking any new controls, and the electric power industry, unusually, is taking the prospect of a new E.P.A. rule in stride.
“Big Bend is our largest national park, but there is very little industry around that area, so these new rules don’t really have much effect on generators,” said Walt Baum, executive vice president of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas.
Stephanie Kodish, the clean air counsel for the National Parks Conservation Association, said the visibility protection for parks has been decades in the making. The haze controls will apply to a variety of air pollutants, including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
Photo Credit: Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune