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Whatever happened to acid rain?

2010 April 8

Recently, my coworkers and I have started tracking the internet chatter about acid rain. We were curious about what the world was saying about this iconic environmental issue. Acid rain is taught in most schools across the country so imagine our surprise when we found a pretty significant number of people who thought the problem of acid rain has been solved.

So…what really did happen to acid rain?  It was a big problem in the 80s and early 90s, but now we don’t hear much about it. This year marks the 20th anniversary of EPA’s Acid Rain Program….

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Josh Stewart is the Communications Intern with the EPA’s Clean Air Markets Division. Josh is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Political Management at The George Washington University.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. April 12, 2010

    I am so glad that this topic has been brought up again! It is very timely for us in Massachusetts, as we just finished the April Acid Rain Monitoring weekend.

    To give you a little bit of the history of monitoring in Massachusetts, The Acid Rain Monitoring Project began at the University of Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center in 1983, under the direction of Dr. Paul Godfrey. The project’s mission was initially to develop a comprehensive picture of the sensitivity of Massachusetts surface waters to acid deposition, and later evolved to determine long-term trends in this sensitivity.

    27 years later, our volunteers are still sampling, twice a year now and are collecting in October and April from 26 sites on the long-term list of endangered water bodies and at least 100 streams from a list of randomly chosen sites throughout the state.

    We have many volunteers, some new and some who have been with us from the beginning. They have shared many stories and observations over the years and we hope they will share some of those here in this forum.

    Acid rain is still an issue to be looked at, and with the help of many dedicated volunteers, there is data available to help us make informed decisions about how to proceed in the near future.

    Beckie Finn
    Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

  2. cwalke permalink*
    April 13, 2010

    @Beckie Scotten Finn
    Thanks for sharing information about your involvement in monitoring acid rain. Please check back on April 22nd. We will be doing a post on the water quality monitoring programs that we use to assess the Acid Rain Program.

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