What can or should the government do about pH levels in our air, water, and soil? Earth Science

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bandmanjoe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

pH refers to the level of activity of H+ ions in a solution, or the level of activity of OH- ions in solution, classifying substances as acids or bases.  It is a scale of 0 to 14, 0 representing the most acidic, where you have lots of H+, 14 representing most basic, where there are high concentrations of OH-.  The neutral point would be 7, where water is located.

It depends on who you ask.  What is it you would like our government to do about the pH levels of our air, water, and soil?  That would depend on what the levels are at the present point in time, and what is the source contributing to the problem, if there is one.  For example, factory pollutants contributed greatly to the acid rain production by emitting sulfur dioxide particles as emissions.  Federal legislation required factories to have filters and smokestack scrubbers to help cut down on the levels of sulfur dioxide particles sent into the atmosphere.  That would have a direct impact on acid rain, the pH in surface runoff and groundwater.  It would also have an impact on pH in the soil itself.

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