Scientists, Politics, and Environmental Policymaking: The U.S.-Canadian Acid Rain Debate

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The culmination of separate and bilateral acid rain policies in Canada and the United States was marked in March 1991 by the signing of the Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United State on Air Quality (commonly referred to as the Air Quality Accord). The signing promised cleaner air and a healthier environment for both Americans and Canadians, as well as "a new era of environmental cooperation between the United States and Canada" (Progress Report 1994: 5). These words of optimism are in stark contrast to the long and difficult process needed to bring about the agreement to reduce cross-border pollution. Both Canada and the United States experienced contentious policy debates within their own nations as well as a very long and often acrimonious debate across their respective borders.

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