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- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA released a report that shows 15 years of successful results from its nationwide effort to address acid rain in the United States. Since its inception in 1995 as part of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the EPA’s Acid Rain program has earned widespread acclaim due to dramatic SO2 and NOX emission reductions that are saving American lives and ecosystems. An analysis estimates annual public health benefits of the program in 2010 alone at more than $120 billion, about 40 times the estimated cost.
Some of the major accomplishments of the program through 2009 include:
- Power plants have decreased emissions of SO2, a precursor to acid rain, to 5.7 million tons in 2009, a 67 percent decrease from 1980 levels and a 64 percent decrease from 1990 levels.
- Air quality has improved; the average amount of ambient SO2 decreased 76 percent between 1980 and 2009. The largest single-year reduction in SO2 since the start of the Acid Rain program occurred between 2008 and 2009.
- Reductions in fine particle levels yielded benefits including about 20,000 to 50,000 lives saved annually.
- Many lakes and streams affected by acid rain in the east are exhibiting signs of recovery.
More information on the Acid Rain program report is available at this link.