US Coal Plant Pollution Down
"What we're seeing in these satellite observations represents a major environmental accomplishment,"
- Bryan Bloomer, an Environmental Protection Agency scientist
Breathe easier, sulfur dioxide pollution from coal plants in the eastern United States dropped by nearly half compared to 2005 levels, reported a team of researchers in Geophysical Research Letters.
The researchers attributed the drop to the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Interstate Rule. The rule passed in 2005 and called for major reductions in sulfur dioxide pollution.
Sulfur dioxide is a major contributor to acid rain and can cause serious respiratory problems in people, according to the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry. Fossil fuel power plants accunt for 73 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions in the US, according to the EPA.