United States Environmental Protection Agency Message For Adults Links Glossary Acid Rain Students Site


Home Games
The Tale of Lucy Lake

Problems and Solutions

Problems: The pollution that causes acid rain comes from power plants that make electricity. We use electricity for our lights, heat, air conditioning, microwaves, computers, TVs, and many other things we have in our homes. Some power plants burn fossil fuels like coal—a black material from the earth—to make electricity. When coal is burned it emits, or gives off, pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. This is the pollution that causes acid rain.

Pollution also comes from the cars we drive. People use cars to go to work, school, the supermarket, vacations, shopping, friend's houses, and other important places. The more gas people burn to drive, the more pollution in the air. Some cars make less pollution than other cars, but not everyone drives these kinds of cars.


One way to have less pollution is to use less electricity. If less electricity is used, then less coal is burned, so there will be less pollution.

Power plants can do things to make less pollution. When the coal is burned, the power plants can take out some of the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides so they don't go into the air. Power plants also can burn lower sulfur coal, or clean coal. This coal has less sulfur in it, so less sulfur dioxide goes into the air.

Now that you are an acid rain expert, which ideas do you think would work best to reduce the amount of pollution in the air around Lucy Lake:

  • Power plants could use cleaner coal.

  • Power plants could take out some of the pollution before it goes into the air.

  • People could use less electricity.

  • People could use more electricity.

  • People could turn off the lights when they are not in the room.

  • People could drive less, or use buses or trains instead of cars, to help keep the air clean.

  • People could drive more.

  • People could buy cars that put less pollution into the air.

  • People could keep buying cars that put a lot of pollution into the air.

<< Back to The Tale of Lucy Lake


EPA | Air & Radiation | Air Markets | EPA Student Center | Contact Us