Acid rain

Acid rain is precipitation containing harmful amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids. These
acids are formed primarily by nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides released into the
atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. These acids fall to the Earth either as wet
precipitation (rain, snow, or fog) or dry precipitation (gas and particulates). Some are
carried by the wind, sometimes hundreds of miles. In the environment, acid rain
damages trees and causes soils and water bodies to acidify, making the water
unsuitable for some fish and other wildlife. It also speeds the decay of buildings,
statues, and sculptures that are part of our national heritage. Acid rain has damaged
Massachusetts lakes, ponds, rivers, and soils, leading to damaged wildlife and forests.