Students will be able to examine and evaluate the possible solutions to the problem of acid rain.
Students will be able to examine and evaluate the evolution of the Clean Air Act
It was during the 1970’s that scientists began to observe an increase in acidity in many lakes and streams. Simultaneously, there was also research into problems associated with the transport of air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide. Scientists eventually saw the link between the two. They realized that many power plants used coal that contained high amounts of sulfur as fuel. It was this sulfur that was being transported via winds and dissolving in rainwater to produce acid rain. When it became apparent that acid rain was a global problem and not solely a local one, the federal government stepped in and started to implement legislation to reduce the emissions of the harmful gases that were the cause of acid rain. Thus leading to the evolution of The Clean Air Act.
Access to computers with the Internet, butcher paper, construction paper, pens and pencils.
1. Place students into groups of about three or four
2. Assign to each group a period of time and have them conduct research on the status of The Clean Air Act. Use the years given in the unit narrative as a guide.
1967: Air quality act
1970: Clean Air Act
1977: Clean Air Act Amendments
1988: New Source Review challenged in court
1990: Clean Air Act Amendments
2002: SO2 reductions (including the SO2 trading rights scheme and allowances)
3.Have the students use the internet and scientific article to generate their research. When completed students will give oral presentations of their findings as well as a written report.
4.Place the reports on a timeline made with butcher paper and hang it p in the classroom.
5. Have students evaluate the evolution of the Clean Air Act by asking them which events in their opinion had the most significant effect on the environment. This should lead to a class discussion about the SO2 trading rights scheme and its success in reducing emissions.