Conference, May 2-3, 2001, Washington D.C.
Acid Rain: Are the Problems Solved?

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert Chairs House Science Committee Hearing on Acid Rain

Rep. John Sweeney Expresses His Concerns About The Acid Rain Problem

Washington, D.C. Concluding a 2-day conference today in Washington, D.C., scientists and policymakers agreed that more must be done to address the problem of acid rain. The conference, organized by the Center for Environmental Information, brought together a wide range of stakeholders from 25 states and Canada, and covered an overview of the impacts of acid rain as well as policy discussions on how to best address the problem.

Senators Clinton and Schumer called for stronger emission cuts and a bipartisan effort to address the acid rain problem.

Rep John Sweeney emphasized the importance of addressing the problem as a national issue.

Rep. Boehlert chaired a hearing of the House Science Committee that took place in conjunction with the conference. Dr. Charles Driscoll of Syracuse University, who provided testimony at the hearing, reported the results of acid rain research published last month in the journal BioScience. According to Dr. Driscoll, sulfuric and nitric acid have acidified North American soils, lakes, and streams, stressing or killing terrestrial and aquatic plants and animals. "Despite marked reductions in sulfur deposition, present regulatory standards are insufficient for protection and recovery of sensitive ecosystems," said Driscoll.

Dr. James Galloway of the University of Virginia, told the conference, "It is critical that scientists and policymakers alike take seriously the 10-fold increase in nitrogen emissions that has occurred over the past century. We now know that each nitrogen molecule not only contributes to acid rain, but also adds to ground-level ozone, over-fertilization of ecosystems and climate change."

John Kinsman of the Edison Electric Institute noted that the electric utility industry is only part of the source of emissions that cause acid rain, but is the only one that is regulated to prevent these emissions. Despite the fact that electricity production is up, emissions from utilities have decreased.

The conference was co-sponsored by 54 federal and state agencies, national associations, organizations, companies, and research institutions. They include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Edison Electric Institute, American Gas Association, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, American Fisheries Society, Ecological Society of America, American Lung Association, Resources for the Future, Adirondack Council, Environmental Defense, World Resources Institute, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada.

For further information about the program, co-sponsors and registration or to receive a conference brochure contact the Center for Environmental Information at (585) 262-2870 or email

For more information:

CEI and Acid Rain
For years the Center for Environmental Information has been playing a key role in the collection and distribution of informaton about acid rain. To learn more about the history of CEI and the Acid Rain Clearing House click here.

CEI, 55 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY 14604
(585) 262-2870 email

For problems or questions regarding this website contact the webmaster.
Last revised 3/10/2002.