Acid Rains Essay Research Paper Acid RainsScientific

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Acid Rains Essay, Research Paper Acid Rains Scientific evidence has shown that atmospheric deposition of sulfur and nitrogen compounds can harm ecosystems. Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA or the Act) addresses the problem of such effects by mandating reductions in emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, the major precursors of acidic deposition. Coupled with Titles I and II of the Act, which address new and existing stationary and mobile sources of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, implementation of Title IV is expected to provide significant benefits to the United States and Canada. These benefits include decreases in the acidity of lakes and streams, concomitant improvements in fish population diversity and health, decreases in soil degradation and forest

stress, improvements in visibility (especially to scenic vistas), decreases in damage to materials and cultural resources, and a reduction in human health effects. Congress included Section 404 in Title IV (Appendix B of the Act) requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) to provide a report to Congress on the feasibility and effectiveness of an acid deposition standard or standards to protect sensitive and critically sensitive aquatic and terrestrial resources. Specifically, Congress listed six areas to be addressed in the report: + Identification of sensitive and critically sensitive aquatic and terrestrial resources in the U.S. and Canada which may be affected by the deposition of acidic compounds; + Description and specification of a numeric value for

an acid deposition standard sufficient to protect such resources; + Description of the use of such standard or standards in other Nations or by any of the several States in acidic deposition control programs; + Description of measures that would be needed to integrate such standard or standards with the control program required by Title IV of the Clean Air Act; + Description of the state of knowledge with respect to source-receptor relationships necessary to develop a control program on such standard or standards and additional research that is on-going or would be needed to make such a control program feasible; + Description of impediments to implementation of such control program and the cost-effectiveness of deposition standards compared to other control strategies including

ambient air quality standards, new source performance standards and the requirements of Title IV of the Clean Air Act. This report fulfills the requirement of Section 404 by integrating state-of-the-art ecological effects research, emissions and source-receptor modeling work, and evaluation of implementation and cost issues to address the six areas and other issues related to the feasibility of establishing and implementing an acid deposition standard or standards. Congress also requires the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP) to conduct a study similar to the technical portions of this report, on the reduction in deposition rates needed to prevent adverse ecological effects. NAPAP is required to submit its report to Congress in 1996 (Section 901[j] of the

Clean Air Act Amendments). Developing a Standard to Protect Sensitive Resources An acid deposition standard is a level of deposition (most likely in units of kilograms of pollutant per hectare per year) that provides a predetermined level of protection to specific ecological resources. The natural resources most at risk from acidic deposition and those most amenable to a quantitative assessment are aquatic systems. Therefore, a standard designed to protect against the ecological effects of acidic deposition would most likely be developed based on effects to aquatic systems. Other ecological resources such as high elevation red spruce forests in the eastern United States and Canada may also be at risk, but less is known about the effects process, and the rate and extent of impacts