Acidic deposition, or acid rain as it is commonly known, occurs when
emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen
react in the atmosphere with water, oxygen, and oxidants to form acidic
compounds. These compounds are then deposited on the earth's surface in either dry
or particles) or wet form (rain, snow, or fog).
Prevailing winds transport the compounds, sometimes hundreds
of miles, across state and national borders before they are
deposited on the surface.
Acid rain can cause acidification of lakes and streams, with the
potential to harm aquatic life, and it can contribute to damage to
In addition, acid rain can accelerate the decay of paints and
building materials, including buildings, statues, and
sculptures that are part of our cultural heritage.
rain occurs in Florida, but the degree of acidity of the
state's rainfall is much less than that of the Northeast
U.S., where most of the ecological damage associated with acid
rain has been found. However,
Florida does have a number of lakes that are potentially
sensitive to acidification by rainfall.
The federal Clean Air Act limits the
emissions of acid-forming pollutants from electric power plants
by requiring that sulfur dioxide emissions (in tons) for a given
plant in a given calendar year be less than or equal the number
of allowances granted them by the EPA Clean Air Markets Division
for that year. Shortages must be covered by using banked
allowances, or significant fines will be imposed on the plant.
Allowances can be banked by saving prior year's allocations, and/or
purchase on the open market through the Chicago Board of
Emissions Monitoring Section performs
quality assurance activities on monitoring systems required by
the federal Acid Rain Program.
August 04, 2014