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UNH gets $400,000 for acid rain research

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    Freddy Martinez

    Researchers at UNH received $400,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to continue monitoring lake acidity in the Northeast. This is the last installment of a five-year, $1.1 million grant that evaluates the effectiveness of the Clean Air Act Amendments instated in 1990.

    Acid rain research can help answer questions about the impact of this form of pollution on water quality and forest health, said UNH Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs John Aber.

    Congress passed the amendments in hopes of reducing acidic deposition to lakes and streams by regulating sulfur and nitrogen emissions, mainly from coal-burning power plants. Acid Rain, or acidic inputs, is the result of these emissions and the cause of dying fish, and fishless lakes.

    Researchers have found that the number of acidic lakes that existed 20 years ago is more than double the number that exists today.

    Steve Kahl, an environmental chemist and professor at UNH, has been working on this project. He said that although they have seen improvements, there is still a long way to go.

    By Chantel McCabe

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