Acid rain was a huge issues back in the 1970s, 80s and beyond. However since all the trouble there have been numerous command and control variables in play to regulate emissions. The EPA now regulates emissions from large coal burning power plants alongside the Clean Air Act, Cap and Trade and so forth.
Furthermore, to combat acid rain there have been technological advances, like scrubbers, that are put upon heavy emitting smoke stacks to capture harmful gasses. In addition, some power plants have built there smoke stacks so far into the atmosphere that it doesn’t cause the acid rain that once polluted some areas.
Not to say that acid rain doesn’t exist, it does, but not at such a scale as it once was. There are still environmental concerns to acid rain that is being battled in congress however the EPA is now in charge of regulating most of the power plants.
It has a lot to do with the fact that when people get interested in certain issues, the press covers them to suit demand, but when the demand goes away, or something newer and more interesting comes to the forefront, people forget about the previous issues. Acid rain is still a problem; it’s just not as much of a problem as say, global warming, in many people’s eyes. In 1990 Congress passed the Clean Air Act, and released a report in the U.S. National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP), which stated, “There is no evidence of an overall or pervasive decline of forests in the United States and Canada due to acidic deposition or any other stress factor. Moreover, there is no case of forest decline in which acid deposition is known to be a predominant cause.” However, the report’s findings are considered to be biased, since there was a lot of money spent putting political pressure on the program. Regardless, the report caused a lot of people to forget about acid rain.
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