Friday, November 3, 2006

A Mine's Still-Toxic Legacy

Article in the Washington Post -- A Mine's Still-Toxic Legacy, by David Fahrenthold:

Some of the most poisoned water in Maryland flows out of a hillside here, its color like Coca-Cola and its acidity in the same range as stomach juices.

The water runs through a culvert into Georges Creek, turning it the colors of the autumn leaves overhead. For four miles downstream, hardly anything is alive.

"Everything died. Everything died here in this stream," fishing guide Ken Pavol said one recent morning.

The source of the problem is an abandoned coal mine, one of more than 150 in Western Maryland that leak groundwater tainted with acid and dissolved metals. In August 2005, this particular trickle turned into a torrent stronger and far more caustic than it had been.


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