Air quality, specifically increasing regional haze, is a concern at White Sands National Monument. Rapid population growth in the nearby cities of El Paso, Juarez, Las Cruces, and the Southwest in general all contribute to more frequent hazy days. Visitors to the monument currently enjoy the views of the rugged mountain skyline as a backdrop to the dunes. With increasing haze, the stark beauty of contrasting white sand dunes and rugged near mountains will be lost.
The monument is a Class II area under the Clean Air Act. There is no current air quality monitoring program.
Prevailing south and southwesterly winds in association with the north/south trend of the two mountain ranges that border the Tularosa Basin may direct air pollution into the monument.