Pollution Offsets

For air pollutants of regional concern, such as the acid-forming gases of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrous oxides (NOx), air quality depends more upon the net amount of a pollutant emitted within a region than on the specific quantity coming from an individual source. For pollutants of global concern, such as those that contribute to global warming, including methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), and other gases, the global emissions matter more than the local emissions. Within watersheds, key pollutants such as biological oxygen demand (BOD) or total phosphorus (TP) affect overall water quality. A unique approach to limiting the net quantities of specific pollutants in air and water is discussed in this article.

A variety of pollution control technologies exist for reducing the amount of pollutants ...

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