Acid Rain: Policies, laws & Future activities.

Acid Rain Controls

  • Canadian Acid Rain Control Program in 1985
  • The Clean Air Act Amendments in the U.S. in 1990
  • The Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement in March 1991.

The C.A.R.C.P

  • Found in March 1985.
  • joint venture by the federal and provincial governments and industry to reduce SO2 in eastern Canada.
  • Reductions of SO2emissions according to set targets and schedules, the development of new cost-effective technologies to reduce emissions, and an extensive research and monitoring program.

Ontario Hydro

  • 1997, that it would lay up indefinitely seven of its 19 operating nuclear power stations.
  • it would operate existing fossil plants such as Nanticoke and Lambton at higher levels and bring the mothballed units at the Lennox station back on stream.
  • Total emissions increased but remained within the limit set by the Eastern Canada Acid Rain Program

The U.S Acid Rain Program

  • the overall goal of which is to reduce SO2and NOxemissions.
  • Primarily affects electric utilities.
  • Phase 1: 1995 to 1999, 110 coal-burning electric utility plants located in 21 eastern and Midwestern states will be regulated.
  • Phase 2: 2000, smaller and cleaner plants burning coal, oil or gas will also be regulated. In addition, annual emissions limits on the large coal-burning plants will be tightened.
  • A Key element of the program – Emissions allowance trading system.
  • Sets the overall limits for emissions but makes use of the market place to find the most efficient means of meeting the limits through the economic incentive of the tradable allowances.
  • Core Rules – Allowance System, Permits, Continuous Emissions Monitoring, Excess Emissions and Administrative Appeals Process.

Canada – U.S. Air Quality Agreement

  • 1991, Prime Minister Mulroney and President Bush signed the Air Quality Agreement between Canada and the United States, which addresses shared concerns about trans-boundary air pollution. The first air pollution issue the Agreement tackles is acid rain.
  • Scheduled reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions over a 10 year period. Tighter emission standards for new motor vehicles, the monitoring of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, and specific actions to protect both countries’ pristine wilderness areas.
  • Annex 2 of the Agreement describes the coordination of research and monitoring activities and the exchange of scientific and technical information.

Second International SO2 Protocol

  • Commits Canada to continue controlling its sulphur emissions in order to protect human health and the environment
  • To support the long-term aim of working toward achieving critical loads
  • To establish a Sulphur Oxide Management Area (SOMA) for southeastern Canada.
  • To support the establishment of a multinational Implementation Committee to review the implementation of the Protocol and compliance by the Parties.

Clean Air Act

  • On 16 December 1980, the House of Commons passed Bill C-51, An Act to amend the Clean Air Act. The amendment empowered the Minister of Environment Canada to recommend appropriate emission standards to control air pollutants from Canada.
  • This amendment harmonized Canada’s Clean Air Actwith the comparable U.S. law, which had a similar provision with regard to trans-boundary air pollution. The Clean Air Actis now incorporated into the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

Activities/Future Actions

  • Acid Rain Science Assessment (2004)
  • Need for targeted additional sulphur dioxide reductions to protect very sensitive areas and to set the stage for eventual recovery of acid-damaged regions.
  • Need to respond to the damage being done to forests.
  • A need to broaden the focus of activity to address a potential acidification problem in Western and Northern regions.

This is information gathered for my portion of a class project done earlier this term in Biol 4095, at York University. My collaborators and I were tasked with giving a lecture on Acid Deposition.

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