Air Quality in National Parks

Executive Summary

Despite nearly two decades of emissions control for ozone reduction, the photochemical ozone problem is still a national problem; and it continues to plague human society and ecology in the United States. It is now beilived to be the most intractable of the criteria pollutant problems. Moreover, the rising concentration of ozone in the United States appears to be part of a larger pattern of ozone increases throughout much of the northern hemisphere which may be a significant contributor to the global warming due to Greenhouse Effect.

The primary objective of this research was to perform an analysis, interpretation and characterization of ozone, other trace gases (NO, NOy, VOC, CO, and SO2) and meteorology for data from two enhanced ambient monitoring stations in Mammoth Cave and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks. The project proposed complimented the Southern Oxidant Study (SOS) Program and provided advice on the collection and interpretation of additional data. The project also addressed case study analysis, and back-trajectory analysis to ascertain pollutant sources affecting the parks. In addition, attempts were made to develop critical load concept to provide a receptor-oriented approach for use in developing emission control policies and setting emission targets.