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:3/20/2017)... 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. ... DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese ... CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the two government ... and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. ... "Eating Well Made Simple," and 23andMe , the ... guide better food choices.  Zipongo can now provide customers ... food preferences, health goals and biometrics, but also genetic ... food choices. Zipongo,s personalized food decision support ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... , March 2, 2017 Summary ... better understand Merck KGaA and its partnering interests and ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/3605601/ Description The Partnering Deals and Alliance ... partnering activity of one of the world,s leading life ... prepared upon purchase to ensure inclusion of the most ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017   iSpecimen ®, the marketplace ... Pathology Service (DPS), a full-service anatomic pathology reference ... United States , has joined a program offered ... (DHIN) to make human biospecimens and associated data ... program, announced in 2015 as a collaboration between iSpecimen ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT announced a seed stage ... a start-up created by FACIT focused on developing ... combined with non-dilutive capital, achieves a targeted $3.0M ... enables Propellon to accelerate the nomination of a ... and/or entering a strategic partnership for clinical trials ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... Premier executive recruitment firm, Slone Partners, is proud ... Hunt Scanlon Media. , Hunt Scanlon Media is one of the most ... news source in the human capital sector. , “It is a great honor for ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... ... Benchworks CEO Thad L. Bench Sr. will participate in the ... Diego. The event is a gathering of executive leadership from companies in the pharmaceutical, ... will also participate in the forum. Participants will discuss the future of the life ...
Breaking Biology Technology: