Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's blog. See the original post here. Acid rain. Dangerous DDT. Toxic leaded gas fumes. Rampant air pollution. These environmental challenges once seemed impossible to meet, and they put our nation’s air, water, and land at risk — not to mention our families’ health. The dangers they posed were real, but you probably haven’t heard about them in a while. There’s a good reason for that. We put smart policies in place to fix them. So this Earth Day , here’s a reminder of a few of the environmental challenges our nation has conquered with EPA leading the way, and where we’re headed next. Acid Rain Watch on YouTube Caused by air pollution mixing with water vapor in the atmosphere, acid rain was once poisoning our rivers and lakes, killing fish, forests, and wildlife, and even eroding our buildings. The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act gave EPA the authority to regulate sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, the pollutants causing acid rain , from power plants. The EPA developed the first market-based cap-and-trade pollution reduction program, and guess what — it worked. Despite the doomsday warnings from some in the power industry that the regulations would cause electricity prices to spike and lead to blackouts, over the last 25 years, acid rain levels are down 60 percent — while electricity prices have stayed stable, and the lights have stayed on. Thanks to hard work by EPA, states, and industry, our nation has put policies in place to solve the problem over the long haul. read more

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Acid Rain, Toxic Leaded Gas, and Widespread Air Pollution? Not Anymore. Thanks to EPA.