Reductions in acid deposition have the potential to improve the condition of Maryland surface waters, particularly in small streams most susceptible to acidification. Maryland's Department of Natural Resources has long recognized acid deposition as an important regional concern. In 1987, the Maryland Synoptic Stream Chemistry Survey found that approximately one-third of all headwater streams in the state were sensitive to acid deposition or were already acidic as a result of deposition. The Maryland Biological Stream Survey continues to examine the current status of stream acidification as well as its effects on aquatic life. To evaluate the current extent of acid deposition in Maryland, this study examines three interrelated components: air pollution emissions reductions, regional deposition in comparison with critical loads estimates, and stream response. The purpose of this study is to evaluate changes in stream chemistry following implementation of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.
This project was funded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Power Plant Research Program (PPRP). The study was conducted by MDNR, Pennsylvania State University and Versar, Inc. The results were presented at the annual spring meeting of the American Geophysical Union in May of 1998 under the title 'Projected Impacts of Acid Deposition Following Phase I of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments'.