The Political Science of Acid Rain

by Dan Morse, Assistant Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 8, Pg. 53-56

Document Type: Feature article


Emission control engineers must understand the politics and science of acid rain. Current research indicates that acid rain can be connected with lake acidification. But it can not be connected with tree damage, a notion held by most of the public. Other pollutants, most notably ozone, are probably more responsible for deforestation in the United States and Germany. Because acid rain has become a political subject, it is often hard to understand the current evidence of its damage. If the U.S. Congress decides to control emissions, they will probably attack both sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. For pollution control engineers, this means scrubbers and clean coal technologies to control sulfur, and selective catalytic reduction and low NOx burners.

Subject Headings: Acid rain | Political factors

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