Acid Mine Drainage May be Cause of Dunkard Fish Kill

Washington, PA Observer-Reporter
15 September 2009

Pennsylvania and West Virginia environmental officials continue to investigate a large fish kill on Dunkard Creek in Greene County that began almost two weeks ago.

Helen Humphries, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said Tuesday that the cause of the kill has not been determined.

However, tests of water samples taken from the stream indicate very high levels of total dissolved solids in the water, including high levels of chlorides, which indicate possible contamination from acid mine drainage.

The agencies are now looking at active mine discharges in the watershed as a possible source of the pollution, she said.

A preliminary report prepared on the fish kill by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicates that Blacksville No. 2 Mine is a possible source.

Hundreds of fish and other aquatic life have been killed along about a 20-mile stretch of the creek which runs through West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Additional dead fish were found during the past weekend, Humphries said.