National Wildlife Refuge System

Air Quality Basics

Overview

Air quality is important not only to our health, but also for natural resources. Natural resource can be harmed by the air pollution emitted by power plants, factories, automobiles, and other sources. Pollutants transport with the wind and can come from sources nearby or hundreds of miles away.

 

Sources of Air Pollution

Air pollution in Fish and WIldlife Service areas comes from local and far-away sources. These sources include automobiles, power plants, factories, wildfires, and other sources. See our Sources of Air Pollution webpage for more information on air pollution sources and air pollutants of concern.

 

Effects of Air Pollution

The effects of air pollution can be detrimental to the refuge environment. Air pollutants can cause injury to vegetation, impair visibility, and change terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. For more detailed information on how air pollution can impact Fish and Wildlife Service resources continue on to Effects of Air Pollution webpage.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has responsibilities under the Clean Air Act to protect air quality and resources in the FWS. More information can be found about the impacts of air pollution on the individual refuges at the AQ in Refuges page.

 

Legal Background

The Fish and Wildlife Service has responsibilities under the National Wildlife Refuge Improvement Act and Clean Air Act to protect air quality and resources in the refuges. To learn more about the legal responsibilities of the Fish and Wildlife Service continue on to the Law & Policy webpage.

Last updated: March 15, 2013