Air Pollution

What is an airshed?

An airshed is an area of land over which airborne pollutants can travel to enter a specific body of water. Airsheds can be very large. The Chesapeake Bay’s airshed is 570,000 square miles, stretching west to Ohio and north to Canada.

What produces air pollution?

There are four sources of air pollution in the Chesapeake Bay region. Stationary sources include power plants or manufacturing facilities. Mobile sources include cars, trucks and off-road vehicles; boats; airplanes; gas-powered lawn tools; and construction equipment. Agricultural sources include farm operations that emit gases, chemicals or particulate matter. Natural sources include lightning and dust storms.

How do airborne pollutants move?

Wind and weather can carry airborne pollutants over short or long distances.

How does air pollution affect Chesapeake Bay health?

Air pollution released into the Chesapeake Bay’s airshed will eventually fall back to the earth’s surface, where it could wind up in our rivers and streams. Airborne nitrogen, for example, is one of the largest sources of pollution affecting the Bay. Just over one-third of the nitrogen polluting the Bay comes from the air.

What is atmospheric deposition?

Atmospheric deposition is the process through which air pollution settles onto land or water.

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