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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Water Quality Issues

Lately, I have been focusing a large amount of my time (volunteer time currently) helping out the Plateau Action Network (Fayetteville's local watershed group). We recently had our Watershed-Based Plan approved by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP), which then passes the plan on to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With an approved watershed-based plan we can actively seek out state and federal funding (grant proposals and specific programs) more easily. Currently, I'm working on a 319 (h) grant proposal, which stems from the Non-point Pollution Management segment of the Clean Water Act. We have several water quality issues that occur from Abandoned Mine Drainage, and fecal coliform bacteria from failing septic tanks and agricultural runoff. Below are some pictures from an abandoned mine site, known as the Summerlee site. In the past the area was actively mined and also used as a Gob pile, a place where other mining companies dumped there unused coal by-product (coal slurry and refuse). In 2007, two passive limestone beds were installed to buffer the runoff from the gob pile (Phase 1). Currently, we are seeking funding for Phase 2 (319 (h) proposal), which will be the installation of a bioreactor (roughly 1.3 million dollars).

Passive Limestone Cell

The unpleasant side of abandoned mine drainage.


Amanda said...

Great post Levi! The last picture was just so sad, keep up the strong work!

Levitator said...

Thanks Amanda. It takes a lot of work to get good work done.