Review of Acid Rain Program

Categories: Environmental Issues


The world over is regrettably hit by the acid rain phenomenon. Termed as precipitation, its effects are irreparable to both flora and fauna including forests, streams and lakes, particularly when the deposition of both nitric and sulphuric acids is bent towards a lesser PH level. Descriptively, acid rain constitutes any rainfall considered to be less than 5.6 in the P H level. Acid rain is as a result of natural sources and activities of man. The natural sources include volcanoes and decayed vegetation while the man -made sources refer to the combustion of fossil fuels.

The infiltration effect of acid rain into the ecosystem and habitat corrosively alters the chemistry content with drastic effects. In addition, the interdependency of environmental species whose cycle is usually disrupted by this agent of pollution limits the viability of a productive entity. However, a conscious role by man can readily help avert sub sequential long term effects caused by acid rain. The ever increasing need to have a clean environment safe to live in is our responsibility.

The notion of adapting to lesser harmful modes of energy that have few effects in the environment should be the backbone of today's technology. The paper seeks to identify the causes, economic effects and an adaptable acid plan program.

Acid rain formation:

Acid rain is largely formed from either wet or dry deposition of nitric and sulphuric acids, which are its major constituents. The aqueous and the gas state are the precipitating factors in the formation of these agents of acid rain.

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Colorless and a by product of fossil fuels, sulphuric acid combines with moisture constituting a 69.4% from the industrial processes. Cumulatively, a 10% option is attributed to volcano release and vegetation rot (Ostmann, 2002)… In addition, effects of lightning and forest fires constitute acid rain albeit in low percentages. Nitric acid is a production of processes that are exposed to extreme temperatures. 5% bacterial action constitutes lightning, forest fires, soil effects and volcano action. With far reaching effects, nitric acid easily permeates to further sites of original locations, which means its effects are widespread.More so, smog is readily formed and has nitric acid contents that have effects on the ozone layer. Lightning has certain degrees of nitric acid emission harmful in the environment.

Economic Effects of acid rain:

Acid rain has some general effects on the lakes, streams, trees and also on forest soils which are likely to be sensitive. It also destroys other materials like construction materials and paints. Historic works such as sculptures also suffer destruction by acid rain. More so, the concentration of the acidic particulates in the air hinders visibility and causes harm to public health (Ostmann, 2002).

Vegetation cover, for instance trees and leaves, readily dissolve acidic nutrients containing toxic substances. They absorb these toxic substances when they fall on exposed plant parts or when they seep to the underground water or into the soil thus poisoning the leaves and trees and hence deprivation of food nutrients in the energy formation process. The saddening effects of dissolved acid rain is slow forest growth rate and leaf reduction since most leaves turn brown and eventually end up dropping. This affects key physiological plant processes such as photosynthesis. Sustenance of healthy status is compromised as runoffs occasioned by rain in forests deprives off the vegetation successive growth owed to effects of acid rain. Adverse effects of acidic rain on man are evident on respiratory related problems where difficulty in breathing is widely experienced. The particulates found in the acid rain are mixed with other particles in the air and once inhaled by human beings respiratory disorders such as bronchitis and asthma affects them leading to early deaths. Other associated complications include irreversible brain damage and kidney complications. As direct consumers of foods supplied in the ecosystem. Man is likely to suffer from food poisoning through the harmful toxins present in food. When vegetation is exposed to acid rain, soluble toxic elements are deposited in the food and therefore not fit for human consumption. It is worth noting that aluminum, a solvent in acidic rain is a compound soluble in water and despite treated urbanized water services the compound is not completely eliminated meaning man is prone to health related diseases including Alzheimer's disease (Cormick& Hayward1986). General irritation that is occasioned by acid rain includes discomfort of eyes and throat. Dry coughs and headaches are a common occurrence in systematic exposure to acid rain. Asthma as a respiratory related ailment is also traced to effects of acid rain.

Aquatic life is a threatened species .Whereas the effect of acid rain in their habitat means a lower PH level which not only affects their calcium levels that collectively weaken their spines, but also cause deformations in their developing bones. This is especially apparent over sudden spring changes in the PH levels. Oxygen assimilation is likely to be hindered by the creation of mucus in the gills. Wild animals are losing their natural habitat due to the erosion and subsequent diminish of vegetation cover. This being their source of food especially herbivorous, their number will soon be out sourced by virtue of lack of food prompting for the ideal of survival for the fittest. With poor acid rain prevention strategies, the animal species will eventually be distinct and cause a deficit in the ecosystem and food chain cycles (White, 1988).

Whereas some water masses sport relative PH levels like the lakes (between 6-8) PH levels, certain chemicals in the environment prompt acidity as they occur as dry particles. This in turn causes acidity. In addition, most lakes in the temperate regions are recipients of snow, whose seepage into the ground also known as spring shock ends up as a runoff into the ground. Arguably, the residue that collects itself is acidic in nature which means acid is present in the water biomes (Ostmann, 2002).The unprecedented effect of acid rain on materials is adverse such that it constantly calls for regular and often expensive repair strategies to many nations in the world. Corrosion of metals not withstanding, there is a general downgrading of both textiles and leather products exposed to acid rain. Hype architectural designs and monuments are ruined in the face of acid rain. Substances such as marble and sandstone are often in a deplorable state when they come into contact with acid rain. Ceramics, which are an instant appeal art segment lose their luster when corroded .Moreover, Limestone's decay is hasted too when in contact with acid water. Infrastructure modes for instance trains in Poland are adversely affected and as a measure authorities call for slower movement to ease complete corrosion. The ruining of desirable art and paintings collection in public places such as museum can be attributed to acid rain if leaks of a kind take place.


An amicable and responsive solution oriented approach need be embraced for the successful emission of acid rain. Albeit hard financial times, a positive attitude and general public awareness drives off the effects and detrimental consequences. Some of the solutions that help minimize the glaring effects of this environmental threat include seeking an alternative energy sources. The greatest energy source in day to day running is powered by fossil fuels. A Cut in using the same and instead adapting to other power generators would help minimizes acid rain. Relatively unexploited sources such as solar and geothermal energy would greatly help minimize emissions from power operated plants. Emphasis on the already harnessed wind mills and hydro energy should be placed. Adoption of resourceful appliances will also help minimize acid rain effects. Modern electrical appliances that are geared towards efficiency should be adapted thereby replacing old gadgets that are neither efficient nor productive. Conservation of power is also reduces the impacts of acid rain (Boyle R. & Boyle A., 1983). In addition to appliance durability conservation, unused lights should be turned off as well as electrical equipments not in operation for instance computers need not be left on. Homes that are insulated help keep low effects of acid rain; for they help in the conservation of power (White, 1988). Other factors such as minimal fuel usage should be put into consideration. As a remedy to cutting down on fossil fuel usage, vehicle owners can instead turn to battery driven automobiles .A much healthier option is to choose to walk; a sure way of staying fit and using fuel cells. Using low nitric emitting vehicles is also an ideal approach in helping keep emissions at bay. Another corrective remedy is liming of water. Though short term, liming can be a venture that can help keep the fish in water masses such as lakes. Liming will check on the acidity of the water and aquatic life will survive longer as opposed to largely acid waters. Finally, scrubbers can be used in the smoke stack for the purpose of eliminating oxides formed from sulfur. They are more useful when used in utility plants (Baines, 1990).

Acid rain program

The acid -rain program main purpose is to reduce the amounts of Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in the air which will result in the reduction of acid rain. In its operation it deals with approaches that are market oriented including both traditional and innovative techniques in its application. While controlling the pollution of air, it puts into account pollution reduction and promotes energy efficiency (Cormick& Hayward1986). Initiating a program that will help curb and address the emission of both sulphate and nitrate oxides into the atmosphere is paramount. As much as having a defined program in place to address the acid rain is imperative, addressing emissions from nitric acid, a target on the boilers geared by coal was as a result of 1996-2000 implementation amendments on the act, clean air. The programs main objectives are to check on emission and adapt ways of achieving this reduction. A drawback however lies on the fact that in comparison to sulphuric acid emission's approach, the nitric acid set up does not readily embrace a system that focuses on alliance utility trading. On the other hand, flexibility is achieved laying emphasis on the achievements derived from emission of the oxides. Conformity is essential to emissions with rates on individual boilers in regards to meeting the limitations on emission rate that is in excess of 2 or further units. The program readily commences on the free market enticement with an aim of pollution reduction.

The acid rain program has its associated benefits. It causes a significant drop in smog production and increases filtering of the oxides culminating in much better health. It also enhances radiant flora that is away from a stressed up outlook of forest cover An acidified water mass whose sulphuric and nitric contents will be greatly reduced will generally be valuable. The unpleasant wearing out on monuments and other significant buildings will scale down considerably (Boyle R. & Boyle A., 1983).

The acid rain program will have direct effects on the rate of sulphuric acid. With specifications, the allowed rates will be 1 ton of sulphuric acid (White, 1988). The allowed rates will be in conforming to the laid down expectations meaning each ton of the sulphuric acid formation emitted an alliance is not rendered hence not in use. Also, through banking allowance, payments will be sold or alternatively bought. Despite any collective number of allocations in one's possession, and in regards to the acts on public health protection of the clean air act, there would be no violation of the limits set within the federal states bracket that would be emitted at any levels whatsoever. With a restrictive yet effective phase 2 benefits will be maintained (Puce Inc, 1987).

An ambitious tracking system allows both alliance and electronic keeping systems. This approach will necessitate account accountability and subscriptions by interested persons can be made on request to the EPA advisories. The tracking system also involves conducting tallies in which the system determines the fulfillment with the stipulated restrictions in regards to emission (Baines, 1990).


As an environmental hazard, acid rain is constituted by both nitric and sulphuric acid that have not only limitations not only to the environment, but also to man. With a destructive force onto plant life, including slowed down plant growth rates and subsequent falling off, acid rain need be addressed to help curb and promote good sustainability and growth not only to plants but also to animal's and man alike. Such measures may like: use of energy sources unlike wind and solar can be a great relief as well as an exit to the fuel fossils that readily promote emissions of sulphuric and nitrate acids into the atmosphere. Use of scrubbers at smoke stacks is paramount as it helps in reducing the emissions of sulpates in plants. Liming water is also important as a way of reducing acidity and promoting a viable P H level convenient for aquatic life though nature too has its way of emitting the oxides into the atmosphere, through lightening and forest burns or fires, man's activities are by far the greatest contributor into the acid rain formation. Manufacturing of products that are producers of the oxides are to be reduced if a sustainable environment is to be adapted. An enviable acid plan program is a move that should be embraced in order to fight the challenges that face man and his environment. Through the emission of oxides into our environment.


  • Acid Rain, the Facts (1988).Ontario: Environment Canada publishers.
  • Baines, J. (1990). Acid Rain. MA: Steck-Vaughn publishers.
  • Boyle R. & Boyle A. (1983).Acid Rain NY: Schocken Books
  • McCormick, J. & Hayward R. (1986). Acid Rain. NY: Gloucester Press.
  • Ostmann, R. (2002).Acid Rain: A Plague upon the Waters .NJ: Dillon Press.
  • Puce Inc (1987).Acid rain .Quebec Ministry of the Environment, Canada Ontario: Puce Publishers.
  • White J. (1988). Acid Rain: The Relationship between Sources and Receptors. NY: Springer publishers.


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Review of Acid Rain Program. (2021, Oct 31). Retrieved from

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