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Acid Rain Legislation

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Acid Rain Legislation

Acid rain is a destructive force as a result of nature and man colliding.
It is formed through harmful industrial emissions combining with contents of the earth's atmosphere; a dangerous combination. This prompted governments throughout North America to take action. Many laws and regulations have been implemented, yet the question still remains, "Should tougher legislation be implemented to force industries to reduce acid rain emissions?"

To decide whether tougher legislation should be implemented, one must first understand the details of what exactly acid rain is. Acid rain is a result of mankind's carelessness. It travels a long one of the most efficient biogeochemical cycles on earth, the Hydrologic Cycle. This allows acid rain to distribute itself further away from it's source causing more than local problems.
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) is released by fossil fuels when they undergo combustion.
Power plants and other fossil fuel burning industrial areas release various forms of nitrous oxides (Nox). These two chemical compounds combine with the water in the atmosphere to form what is known as acid rain.

The main reason that has prompted legislation of industrial emissions from governments is because of the negative effects they can have on the environment. Acid rain is harmful to the environment because of it's low pH.
It can harm the biotic components of earth, and also the abiotic components.
It's high acidity degrades soil to the point where it cannot support any type of plant life. Trees in forests are killed over long-term exposure. When these trees are killed, an imbalance in the hydrologic cycle can occur. Without living trees to consume the precipitate, it must be consumed by the earth or any other plants. These will receive an excess of water, causing other problems in the hydrologic cycle. This in turn causes a chain reaction of death among our forests. Some regions are more susceptible to acid rain because they don't have enough Alkaline soil to "neutralize" the acid before it is able to destroy the rest of the soil or before it can run off into lakes or rivers. Aquatic environments can be greatly affected by soil runoff. Acidic soil may runoff into lakes and rivers due to erosion, causing acid rain to destroy more environment. Acid rain aquatic animals as well as aquatic plant life. When acid rain combines with water in major bodies of water, it not only destroys wildlife habitat, it destroys our drinking water. An aquatic ecosystem is very dependent on each and every aspect within itself. Once one species dies off, others that depend on it, will eventually begin to die off also.
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