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Air Quality at Haleakalā National Park

What’s in the Air?

Map of Haleakala National Park in Hawaii
Haleakalā NP, Hawai'i

Most visitors expect clean air and good visibility in national parks. Given its remote setting on the island of Maui, Hawai'i, Haleakalā National Park (NP) enjoys great air quality relative to other parks. However, volcanic gases and particles from the Kilauea Volcano on the nearby (big) island of Hawai'i are transported to Maui on "kona" winds, affecting air quality and visibility in the park. In addition to this natural source of air pollution, there are local human-caused air pollution sources that can degrade air quality, including power generating stations, sugar cane processing facilities, agriculture, and vehicles. These airborne pollutants can harm the park's natural and scenic resources such as soils, surface waters, vegetation, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Haleakalā National Park?

  • Nearby volcanic activity emits pollutants like sulfur gases, and nitrogen deposition may promote spread of invasive plant species that displace native plants. more »
  • Ozone concentrations are relatively low and unlikely to affect native plants. more »
  • Fine particles of air pollution - including volcanic gases - often cause haze in the park, affecting how well and how far visitors can see vistas and landmarks. more »

What is the National Park Service doing about air pollution at the park?

  • Monitoring fine particles and haze to assess status and trends. more »
  • Working with federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and public interest groups to develop strategies to reduce air pollution, and protect and restore park resources. The NPS also reviews plans for development that may increase air pollution in national parks. more »
  • Reducing emissions through park operations, increasing climate change education, and identifying areas for improvement. more »

Featured Content

Impacts icon

Pollutants including nitrogen, sulfur, ozone, and fine particles affect resources such as scenic vistas. Find out how on our Haleakalā NP Air Pollution Impacts web page.

Studies and Monitoring icon

Studies and monitoring help the NPS understand the environmental impacts of air pollution. Access air quality data and see what is happening with Studies and Monitoring at Haleakalā NP.

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016