Congress declared as a national goal the prevention of any future, and the remedying of any exiting, impairment of visibility in mandatory class I Federal areas which impairment results from manmade air pollution. (U.S. Clean Air Act, Section 169A).

In 1999, EPA adopted regulations to implement the Clean Air Act visibility goal set forth in 40 CFR 51.308(d)(1), requiring states to make reasonable progress toward improving visibility in the nation’s most pristine natural areas, designated as Class 1 areas such as national parks and wilderness areas.

Visibility is impeded by haze caused by tiny pollution particles in the air, which reduce the clarity and color of what we see. The pollutants that lead to haze can originate from sources located across broad geographic areas. As a result, EPA grouped states into regions and delineated regional organizations to develop strategies to reduce emissions of particulate matter and other pollutants leading to regional haze, and help states meet the consultation requirements of the Regional Haze Rule. MARAMA states are included in the MANE VU and SESARM regional organizations.

MARAMA supports the MANE VU region to develop technical products needed to implement the rule. These include development of the inventory required to do air quality modeling. The following links provide further details on MARAMA Haze work and general information concerning regional haze in the MANE VU region.

MANE VU Class I areas are national parks exceeding 6000 acres, wilderness areas and national memorial parks exceeding 5000 acres, and all international parks in existence on August 7, 1977. There are 156 Class I areas in the U.S., including seven in the MANE-VU region:

IMPROVE IMPROVE is the national visibility monitoring network. It was initially established in 1985, and consisted of 30 monitoring sites primarily located in national parks, 20 of which began operation in 1987. Data from monitoring stations for each Class I area are found at the IMPROVE website.

Regional Organizations
MANE VU State Implementation Plans
MANE VU Modeling and Technical Products
Since 1998, MARAMA has coordinated the development of regional Emission Inventories for air quality modeling. States and regional groups use these inventories and the resulting modeling for State implementation Plan (SIP) requirements for ozone, fine particulate and regional haze.