The United States signed an international protocol to reduce air emissions of the pollutants that acidify lakes and streams, damage forests and cause smog.
The agreement, signed by 27 countries so far, creates the first comprehensive, multinational structure to simultaneously reduce the long range transport of the various pollutants that cause acid rain, smog and other serious air pollution problems.
The targeted pollutants include nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds and ammonia.
The agreement, which requires ratification by at least 16 countries, was signed on Dec. 1 in Gothenberg, Sweden.
Along with the United States, participants in the negotiations included Canada, the Russian Federation, the new independent states of the former Soviet Union, and countries of central, western and eastern Europe.
Additional information can be found on the agency Web Site at www.epa.gov/airlinks (look under "Protocol to the 1970 Convention").