What is Being Done in the Canada and the United States?

     In order to reduce levels of acid rain in Canada, Canada and the United States must work together.  As you have read in the previous pages, over 50 percent of the acid rain causing emission that result in acid rain in Canada come from the United States.  Therefore their efforts are essential.   

     So far the United States has done quite a bit to reduce their overall sulfur dioxide emissions.  They implemented the Clean Air Act in 1990, and in 1991, they signed the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement.  By 1996, the United States' emission had decreased by 27% lower than they were in 1980.  With these past improvements, the United States is aiming to reduce its emissions another 40% by 2010.  As a result of the decrease in emissions there has been a decrease in the levels of acid rain.  Between 1980 and 1990 records have shown that the sulfate in rain and snow had decreased by 61%.

     However, there is still alot left to be done.  Many of our Canadian lakes have shown signs of recovery, however, many haven't.  According to Environment Canada, of the 202 lakes studied between 1980 to 1990 33% have reduced levels of acidity, 56% haven't showed a changed and 11% have become more acidic.  Environment Canada also writes that the greatest improvements have been seen in the Sudbury area, where our lakes were severly damaged.  With the help of our community, we have successfully brought up fish levels and increased the population of fish-eating birds.

     In the past, we made an effort to reduce sulfur emissions, however, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions has become even more important.  If the level of nitrogen emissions doesn't improve, it could cancel the improvements observed by the reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions.  Reducing nitogen oxide levels is also essential to improving our air quality, as nitrogen oxide is the main component in smog.