Evidence linking large reductions in acid rain to sulfur emissions cuts in the eastern United States

V. C. Bowersox, J. A. Lynch, Jeffrey Wayne Grimm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Concentrations of sulfate (SO42-) and free acidity (H+) in precipitation decreased by 10 to 25 percent over large areas of the eastern United States in 1995. These decreases were extraordinary in magnitude and spatial extent, compared to the 1983-1994 record of observations from the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN). In contrast, nitrate, ammonium, and calcium concentrations generally increased in 1995. What's more, the H+ and SO42- declines were highly correlated (R2 = 0.72), indicating a reduction of acid rain. The largest concentration decreases in both ions occurred in and downwind of the Ohio River Valley. This is the same area where the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) set limits on SO2 emissions from 110 affected sources, 63 in states bordering the Ohio River Valley. Phase I of the CAAA required these limits be met by January 1, 1995. Indeed, sulfur dioxide emissions from Phase I sources dropped 40% in 1995 compared to 1994. This was a nearly 19% reduction in overall emissions in the 21 states with Phase I sources. Based on our analysis of emissions and NADP/NTN precipitation chemistry data, we infer that the substantial declines in acid rain in the eastern United States in 1995 occurred because of large reductions in SO2 emissions in the same region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association's Annual Meeting & Exhibition
Editors Anon
PublisherAir & Waste Management Assoc
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
EventProceedings of the 1997 Air & Waste Management Association's 90th Annual Meeting & Exhibition - Toronto, Can
Duration: Jun 8 1997Jun 13 1997

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association's Annual Meeting & Exhibition

Other

OtherProceedings of the 1997 Air & Waste Management Association's 90th Annual Meeting & Exhibition
CityToronto, Can
Period6/8/976/13/97

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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    Bowersox, V. C., Lynch, J. A., & Grimm, J. W. (1997). Evidence linking large reductions in acid rain to sulfur emissions cuts in the eastern United States. In Anon (Ed.), Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association's Annual Meeting & Exhibition (Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association's Annual Meeting & Exhibition). Air & Waste Management Assoc.