- Acid Rain Program
The Acid Rain Program is a market-based initiative taken by the
United States Environmental Protection Agencyin an effort to reduce overall atmospheric levels of sulfur dioxideand nitrogen oxides, which cause acid rain[http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/index.html] . The program is an implementation of emissions tradingthat primarily targets coal-burning power plants, allowing them to buy and sell emission permits (called "allowances") according to individual needs and costs.
Title IV of the 1990 Clean Air Act established the allowance market system we know today as the Acid Rain Program. Initially targeting only sulfur dioxide, Title IV set a decreasing cap on total SO2 emissions for each of the following several years, aiming to reduce overall emissions to 50% of 1980 levels. The program did not begin immediately, but was implemented in two stages: Phase I (beginning
January 1, 1995) and Phase II (starting January 1, 2000).
Overall, the Program's cap and trade program has been immensely successful in achieving its goals. Since the 1990s, SO2 emissions have dropped 40%, and according to the
Pacific Research Institute, acid rain levels have dropped 65% since 1976. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/03/MNMMTJUS1.DTL&hw=Cap+trade+Acid+Rain&sn=001&sc=1000 'Cap-and-trade' model eyed for cutting greenhouse gases / Method has proved successful in reducing emissions that produce acid rain pollution ] ] [ [http://www.2facts.com/RecordUrl.asp?article=/icof/search/i0702840.asp Facts On File News Services Databases ] ] Furthermore, the EPA estimates that by 2010, the overall costs of complying with the program for businesses and consumers will be $1 billion to $2 billion a year, only one fourth of what was originally predicted. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/03/MNMMTJUS1.DTL&hw=Cap+trade+Acid+Rain&sn=001&sc=1000 'Cap-and-trade' model eyed for cutting greenhouse gases / Method has proved successful in reducing emissions that produce acid rain pollution ] ]
Continuous emissions monitoring system
* [http://www.environmentaldefense.org/documents/2695_cleanairact.htm Clean Air Act timeline]
* [http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progsregs/arp/index.html US EPA Acid Rain Program homepage]
* [http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/index.html General acid rain information from the US EPA]
* [http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/arp/regs/title4.pdf Title IV, 1990 Clean Air Act]
* [http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progsregs/arp/laws.html Relevant laws and regulations]
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