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First of all as the name suggests acid rain is rain that is too acidic with a pH of 5 or below PH is based on the concentration of hydrogen ions Acid Rain is caused by emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides These major contributing pollutants come from factories power plants automobile exhaust chemical fertilizers and other sources Acid rain harms man-made objects as well as humans animals plants aquatic systems soils forest and etc The list goes on and on Acid rain reaches the earth in five different forms rain snow hail sleet or fog There are also dry acidic particles that fall from the atmosphere Most people do not think that acid rain is a big deal but it is There have been laws passed to help control this issue but it has not helped the United States as much as it should have In this report I will explain controversies in the past over acid rain and I will say a little bit about what is going on in the present In the 1980s acid rain was a major environmental issue Environmentalists believed that acid rain was poisoning lakes and killing fish in North America Because the political debate was so fierce and the scientific process was so acrimonious Congress created what was then the countrys biggest environmental research project which consumed half a billion dollars in 10 years Following this research project Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1990 which required polluters mainly electric power companies to reduce their emission of sulphur dioxide After this act the problem seemed to be solved Now we have come to realize that acid rain has not at all disappeared In many lakes across North America the water is less acidic but there is no sign of recovery across the northeastern and midwestern United States-and there may not be for decades Gene Likens an ecologist at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies
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