Deposition of Air Pollutants to the Great Waters - First Report to Congress
Pollutants emitted into the atmosphere are transported various distances and can be deposited to aquatic ecosystems far removed from their original sources. Scientific studies show that atmospheric deposition is often an important factor in the degradation of water quality and the associated adverse health and ecological effects in studied waterbodies. In response to the mounting information indicating that air pollution contributes significantly to water pollution, Congress included section 112(m), referred to as the Great Waters Program, in the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990 (1990 Amendments). This report fulfills the Act's requirement for a Report to Congress 3 years after enactment. The purpose of the Great Waters program is to evaluate the atmospheric deposition of air pollutants to the Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, Chesapeake Bay, and coastal waters. The report to Congress is to include information on the contribution of atmospheric deposition to pollutant loadings, the environmental or public health effects of such pollution, the source or sources of such pollution, and a description of any regulatory revisions under applicable Federal laws that may be necessary to assure protection of human health and the environment. The scientific information currently available is summarized in this report, and recommended actions are described.