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Biological Stream Impairments in Mining-Impacted Watersheds PowerPoint Presentation
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Biological Stream Impairments in Mining-Impacted Watersheds

Biological Stream Impairments in Mining-Impacted Watersheds

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Biological Stream Impairments in Mining-Impacted Watersheds

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  1. Biological Stream Impairments in Mining-Impacted Watersheds PROJECT DESCRIPTION Many communities in mining-impacted watersheds lack sewer or water system access; straight-piping is a common result of these conditions. This practice has a negative impact on human health in the region but may also contribute to degradation of stream health in these already-stressed watersheds. Mountain-top removal and other mining practices in these watersheds also contribute to the problem. These impacts are well documented and are addressed by regulations and several state and federal agencies. Of these two problems, straight-piping is the easiest to fix, yet it persists because of local geography/geology, economics, the current regulatory framework, and public distrust of industry. In many areas of the world, a movement towards sustainable development in mining is taking place; allowing mining companies to solve these local problems could help bring this principle to Central Appalachia. No research has been done in the Central Appalachian region to examine the effects of straight-piping on benthic macro-invertebrate communities as an indicator of overall stream health. This project includes two major facets: a GIS analysis of the Central Appalachian region to search for indicators of problem areas, as well as a field campaign to sample creeks with identified straight-piping scenarios. The aim of the project is to determine if straight-piping has a quantifiable impact on stream health, and if so, to make the case to allow mining dollars to fund package plant projects. SAMPLING REGIMEN SCENARIOS OF INTEREST Mining with straight-piping Mining without straight piping Straight-piping without mining No mining or straight piping Parameters pH Conductivity Temperature Dissolved Oxygen Coliforms E. coli Metals Benthic Macro-invertebrates Method YSI Multimeter Colilert Method ICP Analysis Contracted to Consultant