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Review supports EPA science on effects of mountaintop mining

Published On: 10/11/2010

Independent review supports EPA science on effects of mountaintop mining on aquatic ecosytems.

 
On September 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA)
independent Science Advisory Board (SAB) released their first draft
review of EPA's research into the water quality impacts of valley
fills associated with mountaintop mining. In their draft review, the
SAB supports EPA's scientific research and agrees with EPA's
conclusion that valley fills are associated with increased levels of
conductivity in downstream waters, which threatens stream life in surface waters.

The SAB reviewed EPA's draft report "A Field-Based Aquatic Life
Benchmark for Conductivity in Central Appalachian
Streams
", which uses field data to derive an aquatic life benchmark for
conductivity. The benchmark is intended to protect 95 percent of
aquatic species in streams in the Appalachian region influenced by
mountaintop mining and valley fills. Based on that science, EPA
released guidance in April designed to minimize irreversible water
quality impacts caused by mountaintop mining.






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