"Acid Rain & What Pennsylvania is Doing" Top 5 Page for this destination United States of America Warnings Or Dangers Tip by deecat

  Power Plant in Pennsylvania
by deecat

Acid Rain is a term used to refer to rain that is high in acid. Many states have problems with it, & Pennsylvania has some of the most acidic rain, snow, fog, & sleet in the USA.

What causes it?
Rain that falls downwind from industrial areas contain a good deal of acid, caused when high levels of sulfur dioxide & nitrogen oxide gather in the air. The chemicals come from coal-burning power plants &car exhaust.

The coal mined in Pennsylvania is high in a chemical called sulfur. When the coal is burned, it sends poisonous clouds of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. Along with exhaust from cars & trucks, these chemicals return to the ground as acid precipitation.

One of the big problems in Pennsylvania is that acid rain is slowly eating away at bronze & stone monuments at Gettysburg National Military Park & elsewhere. The state is working to offset this damage. The monuments at Gettysburg are carefully cleaned & covered with a layer of protective wax as have other parks.

The state has required power plants to reduce emissions to help control the pollution. Smokestacks at coalburning power plants in the state have been fitted with "scrubbers" to filter out the sulfur dioxide. These scrubbers use powdered limestone & water to absorb pollution before its released into the air. But, the scrubbers leave behind tons of waste called sludge,causing the landfills to become polluted. National laws have called for less-polluting vehicles. As a result, the amount of sulfur dioxide produced has decreased about 1/4 since 1980.

The good news is that even though Pennsylvania receives some of the most acidic rainfall in the country, it causes less damage here than in some other states. Why? Geologist say that Pennsylvania's soil & rocks are naturally low in acid & can absorb the acid in acid rain without great harm except in the Pocono Mountains.
Thank goodness Pennsylvania has set up a monitoring system. It must be working; the levels of acid drop each year.

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  • Written Mar 31, 2005
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