Navigation Links
Clean Air Act has led to improved water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed
Date:11/6/2013

FROSTBURG, MD (November 6, 2013) A new study shows that the reduction of pollution emissions from power plants in the mid-Atlantic is making an impact on the quality of the water that ends up in the Chesapeake Bay. The study by scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science confirms that as the amount of emissions of nitrogen oxide from coal-fired power plants declined in response to the Clean Air Act, the amount of nitrogen pollution found in the waterways of forested areas in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia fell as well.

"When we set out to reduce nitrogen pollution to the Chesapeake Bay, deposition of nitrogen resulting from air pollution on the watershed was considered uncontrollable," said Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. "This study shows that improvements in air quality provided benefits to water quality that we were not counting on."

Researchers evaluated long-term water quality trends for nine forested mountain watersheds located along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania to southern Virginia over a 23-year period (1986 to 2009). The sampling began slightly before the Clean Air Act of 1990 imposed controls on power plant emissions to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution through its Acid Rain Program. According to the EPA, total human-caused nitrogen oxide emissions declined 32% from 1997 to 2005 in 20 eastern U.S. states that participated in the program.

Intended to reduce the emissions (sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide) that caused acid rain, the program had the unintended consequence of reducing the amount of nitrogen oxide particles landing on forests in the sample area and ultimately improving water quality in the watershed.

"It worked for something nobody anticipated," said lead author Keith Eshleman, a professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Appalachian Laboratory. "The original idea was to reduce nitrogen oxide concentrations in the atmosphere because that would reduce acidity of precipitation and decrease ozone in the atmosphere. The other result was that water quality has improved, a side benefit that was unanticipated."

Air pollution that falls on the land (known atmospheric deposition) is one of the biggest sources of pollution to the forested area that impacts the Chesapeake Bay--sixty percent of the watershed. Nitrogen accumulation has significant consequences for air quality, human health, and the health of aquatic ecosystems. When excess nitrogen enters the streams and waterways, it can cause algae blooms that significantly impact water quality and marine life.

"In our most pristine and most heavily forested basins, nitrogen deposition is a primary driver of pollution," said Eshleman. "Where we are located in the Mid Atlantic, we've historically had some of the highest rates of deposition, and received some of the greatest reductions owing to the Clean Air Act."


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Pelsinsky
apelsinsky@umces.edu
410-330-1389
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Clean living is a luxury wild animals cant afford, study suggests
2. How tiny organisms make a big impact on clean water
3. Red cedar tree study shows that Clean Air Act is reducing pollution, improving forests
4. American Chemical Society podcast: Cotton is an eco-friendly way to clean up oil spills
5. Coping with the global scarcity of clean water
6. Georgia State University research finds Clean Air Act increased Atlanta rainfall
7. Zeal to ensure clean leafy greens takes bite out of riverside habitat in California
8. Solar-powered nanofilters pump in antibiotics to clean contaminated water
9. Progress in introducing cleaner cook stoves for billions of people worldwide
10. Federal Government Organization achieves cleaner and faster Clinical Study Data using Tablet PCs from TabletKiosk
11. A milestone for new carbon-dioxide capture/clean coal technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Clean Air Act has led to improved water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 ... Manned Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other ... provider visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the ... this market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in ... acquired DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and hardware ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is ... partnership with VoicePass. By working together, ... experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different ... engines increases both security and usability. ... excitement about this new partnership. "This ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... -- Elevay is currently known as the ... high net worth professionals seeking travel for work   ... there is still no substitute for a face-to-face meeting. ... deal with a firm handshake. This is why wealthy ... citizenship via investment programs like those offered by the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation of ... company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), ... portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment ... represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing the ... cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Lawrence, MA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... the Peel Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research ... test platform of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , ... secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley ... up automation and to advance its drug development efforts, ... new facility. "SVB has been an incredible ... the services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: