GHG Emissions in the NPS

The NPS manages the largest number of structures of any civilian federal agency. While greenhouse gas emissions are often a result of operating buildings, they also result from maintaining roads and bridges and protecting our visitors and resources. The main emissions sources that Climate Friendly Parks measure are the following:

Stationary combustion: examples of these are boilers, heaters and generators.

Purchased electricity: includes electricity that parks or offices purchase from a power company. The emissions generated from purchased electricity vary greatly by location because the mechanism to generate electricity varies. For instance, some areas rely heavily on coal, which has a high emission factor, others generate electricity through hydroelectric systems, or use a combination of resources.

Mobile combustion: mobile combustion includes cars, airplanes, boats and trains, or anything else that burns fuel to move. It often takes into account visitor vehicle miles traveled, which often makes up the bulk of a park’s emissions. That is why taking advantage of public transportation available in parks, or carpooling to a park is so important.

Wastewater treatment: this category captures the emissions from wastewater treatment at wastewater treatment plants (in park or external), and does not include septic tanks. It is important to find out whether the digestion procedure in the plant is aerobic or anaerobic.

  • Municipal solid waste disposal and incineration.
  • Hydroflourocarbons from refrigerant use.
  • Any other activities unique to the park that generate emissions.