Visibility Impairment and Regional Haze from Smoke
In addition to concerns about public health, safety, and local nuisance impacts of smoke, we must also be concerned about environmental effects, such as visibility impairment and regional haze.
In 1999, EPA issued regulations to improve visibility in 156 national parks and wilderness areas across the Nation. The Regional Haze Rule calls for state and federal agencies to work together to develop and implement air quality protection plans to reduce the pollution that causes visibility impairment. As smoke can be carried by the wind and cause problems hundreds of miles away, prescribed forest fires and agricultural burning are some of the sources of haze covered by the rule.