Acid Rain, Ozone Pollution Threaten Eastern Forests

wafcdc at americanlands.org wafcdc at americanlands.org
Wed Mar 31 15:33:04 EST 1999


From: "wafcdc at americanlands.org" <wafcdc at americanlands.org>
Subject: Acid Rain, Ozone Pollution Threaten Eastern Forests

TO:	All Activists
FROM:	Steve Holmer
DATE:	March 31, 1999

SUBJECT:	Acid Rain, Ozone Pollution Threaten Eastern Forests

Eastern forests, particularly in high elevations, continue to decline as a
result of acid rain deposition and ozone pollution.  In some areas, over 35%
of the trees have been killed, streams cannot maintain native species, and
the problem is getting worse, not better, despite improvements to the Clean
Air Act in 1990.

These were some of the troubling findings at a recent conference "Acid Rain,
Ozone, and the Great Eastern Forests" held at Duke University March 27.
Sponsored by Appalachian Voices, the conference included presentations by
scientists and EPA officials.  

Along ridges of the Appalachian Mountains (from Maine to Georgia and
Alabama) trees of every major species are in decline.  Symptoms include very
slow growth, early leaf drop, snap-offs, root decay, discolored foliage and
premature death.  Ground-level ozone and acid rain are the likely culprits.
These pollutants acidify the soil and cause a deadly chain reaction.  The
nutrients are leached from the soil, toxic aluminum poisons the trees, and
the health of the forests declines.  The the weakened trees become much more
vulnerable to drought, frost and pest attacks.  The majority of these
pollutants are caused by coal-burning plants of the Ohio and Tennessee
Valleys upwind from the mountains. 

Also an increasing number of Eastern lakes and streams have become acidic
and support almost no life.  Additionally regional haze is clouding the
view, because of floating particles of sulfer dioxide emissions.  Ozone smog
also causes respitory problems, especially in children, asthmatics and the
elderly. 

Fortunately, there is something we can do about the problem.  Please write
your Representative and Senators and urge them to support the "Acid
Deposition and Ozone Control Act" (S.172/H.R. 25), sponsored by Rep.
Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) and Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Patrick
Moynihan (D-NY) which calls for power plants to make a 70% reduction in
nitrogen oxides and an additional 50% cut in sulfur dioxide.  These
emissions cause acid rain, ozone smog and haze.  Write to:  Your
Represenative, U.S. House of Represenatives, Washington, D.C. 20515 or Your
Senator, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510.

For more information contact Jennifer Tetterton, Appalachian Voices at
828/262- 1500 or jent at boone.net


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Steve Holmer
Campaign Coordinator

American Lands 
726 7th Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
202/547-9105
202/547-9213 fax
wafcdc at americanlands.org
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