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PA NEW U.S. CANADA REPORT SHOWS ACID RAIN REDUCTION PROGRESS
Release Date: 10/16/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1998
NEW U.S. CANADA REPORT SHOWS ACID RAIN REDUCTION PROGRESS
The United States and Canada today jointly released their fourth biennial Progress Report on acid rain and other air quality issues under the United States/Canada Bilateral Air Quality Agreement. This report emphasizes efforts to develop a joint plan of action for addressing transboundary air pollution on ground-level ozone (smog) and particulate matter (PM), and partnerships and initiatives between some Canadian provinces and individual states. The joint plan was initiated in an April 1997 agreement signed by EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner and former Canadian Minister of the Environment Sergio Marchi. The two governments report progress in reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), an important ingredient in the formation of acid rain. Since the beginning of EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act’s acid rain program in the United States in 1995, the 110 biggest SO2-emitting power plants are showing a 50% reduction from 1980 levels. In 1997, SO2 emissions for all 110 plants totaled 5.5 million tons, 23% (or 1.7 million tons) better than required by law. The report also cites an analysis from the National Atmospheric Deposition/National Trends Network showing that in 1995 sulfate (a by-product of SO2 and chemical reactions in the atmosphere) concentrations decreased by as much as 25% in the eastern United States compared to the period between 1983-1984. This decrease was accompanied by a reduction in the acidity of precipitation. Analysis of data from the Clean Air Status and Trends Network shows that sulfate and SO2 concentrations in the air at 31 eastern sites decreased by 26 to 30 percent between 1989 and 1995. The U.S. Canada Air Quality Agreement was established in 1991 to address transboundary air pollution issues. For further technical information, contact Rosemary Wolfe of EPA’s Acid Rain Division at 202-564-9176. The “United States-Canada Air Quality Agreement Progress Report 1998" is available on the Internet at: www.epa.gov/acidrain (click on “Laws, Regulations, Agreements”) or from the Acid Rain Hotline at 202-564-9620.