Girl Planting seeds

Stream pollution from mountaintop mining doesn't stay put in the water

Since the 1980s, a sprawling mountaintop removal mining complex in southern West Virginia has been leaching pollutants—such as selenium—into nearby streams at levels deemed unsafe for aquatic life.  Now, even though the mine is closed, researchers have also found high concentrations of selenium in stream insects when they fly out of the water and the spiders that eat them along the banks, an indication that the contaminant moves from water to land as it makes its way up the food chain. The study shows how "a lot of stream contaminants get out of the water and defy gravity," said co-author Emily Bernhardt, a biologist at Duke University who has been studying the impacts of mountaintop mining on the region for 10 years.  Read more.....

 

Back

 
 
close (X)