April, 1999In many rivers, streams, and lakes in the area, the water has become so polluted that plant and animal life can no longer survive in it.
Scientists in the United States have been closely monitoring New York's Adirondack Mountains for years out of concern that excessive amounts of acid rain are polluting the area and killing off native species.
The federal government is now preparing a report studying the levels of acid rain in the Adirondacks. The National Acidic Precipitation Assessment Program's report will say that acid rain
remains a problem not just in the Adirondacks, but as far away as Colorado as well.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat from New York, has proposed legislation geared toward reducing emissions of sulfur and nitrogen from the air. However, the bill has not been popular in Congress.
Environmentalists, especially in the state of New York, are heavily supporting the bill. They think that the new federal report will convince many that the bill is necessary.
Scientists too see the need for further environmental legislation. "It's been the near consensus of scientists that the Clean Air Act amendments haven't gone far enough," said Jack Cosby, a professor in the University of Virginia's Department of Environmental Science.
The utility companies are threatened by any attempts to curb pollution and acid rain
levels. The companies often produce large amounts of sulfur and nitrogen, which are the primary causes of acid rain.