delware environmental institute

Acid rain: UD's long-term monitoring shows 60 percent reduction in acidity of Delaware rain

Acid rain: UD's long-term monitoring shows 60 percent reduction in acidity of Delaware rain

Several decades ago, precipitation in Delaware was among the most acidic in the country. Pollutants in the air reacted with rainwater to sprinkle sulfuric, nitric and carbonic acids onto the ground below, affecting crops and ecosystems statewide.

The scientific consensus is that pollution controls enacted through the Clean Air Act Amendments in the 1990s and other measures have helped decrease the acidity of rain by approximately 60 percent to less harmful levels, as reflected in data gathered nationwide and by UD researchers in Lewes, Del., as part of a longstanding study.