- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The federal government's cap-and-trade acid rain program seems to be working, at least according to the federal government. The EPA announced in a report on Monday, Dec. 14, 2009, that power plants across the country had successfully decreased emissions of SO2 to 7.6 million tons in 2008. Emissions from sources in the Acid Rain Program fell by 52 percent compared with 1990 levels and are already below the statutory annual emission cap of 8.95 million tons set for compliance in 2010, the agency said.
When the program began in 1990, part of that year's Clean Air Act amendments, many in industry were adamant that the planned cuts would be nigh impossible to attain. The cap, which finally will reach its maximum of 8.95 million tons in 2010, now seems very much within reach.
All 3,572 electric generating units subject to the program's SO2 requirements held enough allowances to cover their SO2 emissions, resulting in 100 percent compliance in 2008. The agency also noted that sensitive water bodies in the Eastern U.S. were showing signs of recovery from acidification.