Completed Projects

Acid Mine Drainage Remediation

WRI 84 - Chloride Sorption to Acid Mine Drainage Solids

Project Title:  Chloride Sorption to Acid Mine Drainage Solids
Project No.: WRI-84
Principle Investigator:  Louis McDonald
Funding Source(s):
USGS - $46,462
Cost Share -$92,905
Total Funding Amount:  $139,367
Project Duration: 03/01/2006 - 02/28/2008

Project Description
There have been reports to suggest that chloride concentrations are increasing in mine water and surface waters affected by mining operations. Chloride concentrations above the in-stream limit of 250 ml/L would require treatment, but chloride is a particularly difficult ion to remove from aqueous solution. Although chloride would not be expected to sorb strongly to AMD solid surfaces, there is evidence to suggest that chloride may sorb to iron and aluminum AMD precipitates generated in the laboratory, and chloride has been found in natural AMD precipitates.

Project objectives are 1) to quantify chloride sorption to AMD solids as a Mn2+. Aluminum will be included because it often occurs in AMD, and 2) determine the extent to which chloride is part of the occluded water in AMD precipitates. These results will provide guidance as to what conditions, if any, are most favorable for chloride and sulfate removal and AMD.

Project Summary:
The average maximum amount of chloride removed from solution, under these experimental conditions was 0.046 mg per gram Fe(III) precipitated. A second year of funding to investigate AMD flocs as a removal technology for chloride was not requested. In our preliminary work with iron-sulfate flocs, using a chloride selective electrode for chloride determinations, the average chloride removal was 0.046 mg chloride per g iron precipitated, an amount considered too low for a practical treatment technology. In addition chloride removal was strongly inhibited by the presence of sulfate.

WRI 112 - Phase 2, Evaluation of Watershed Mitigation Success in the Little Coal River

Project Title: Phase 2, Evaluation of Watershed Mitigation Success in the Little Coal River Watershed
Project No.: WRI-112
Principle Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
Funding Source(s): WV DEP:
Funding Amount: $330,000.00
Project Duration: 12/1/2010 – 11/30/2013
Project Description
Large scale surface mining in central Appalachia has caused extensive alteration to headwater streams and produced elevated Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) levels downstream. As part of the Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) process, predictive tools are needed to objectively determine if a proposed mine is likely to produce downstream impacts depending on the geographic context of the mine. The specific objective of this proposal is to add a mitigation component by incorporating information from the Little Coal River and existing mitigation projects into the CIA modeling structure. This will allow resource managers to predict potential beneficial outcomes of future mitigation efforts and therefore provide a comprehensive assessment of a proposed mine permit I impact mitigation package.

Experimental Approach
The experimental approach will consist of three complementary tasks:
Task 1: Use results from the Little Coal River mitigation study to create a prototype model. The model will build off of the Watershed Characterization & Modeling System (WCMS) GIS-based infrastructure. The prototype model will be used to demonstrate how information on existing mitigation projects in the Little Coal River watershed can be cataloged into a spatially explicit analytical framework. The prototype model will also demonstrate how this information can be used to quantify "functional lift" associated with a given mitigation project.
Task 2: Compile additional existing data (most of which comes from coal companies) from restoration/mitigation projects throughout the entire Coal River watershed. This data will refine the prototype model and expand to a whole watershed scale. Researchers will quantify the range of benefits observed across existing mitigation projects in this region. Researchers will also catalog all projects within the spatial analytical framework and quantify the total functional benefits that can be attributed to on-the-ground mitigation actions. This will provide a baseline for projecting potential benefits of future mitigation projects in the watershed.
Task 3: Collect additional field data that can be used to validate the prototype model and produce a final model that is applicable to the entire Mountain Top Removal-Valley Fill region of West Virginia. In this task, researchers will implement a study design that combines pre construction monitoring along with intensive post-construction monitoring of mitigation projects throughout the study area. Such a study will enable the prediction of the functional benefits of a given mitigation project given the project's unique geographic context (e.g., headwater stream vs. larger mainstem; stream with good vs. poor water quality). This study will also provide a means for identifying the highest priorities for restoration in the study area, which can then be used to direct future mitigation actions.

Expected Results & Benefits
The research team has spent the last 10 years developing science-based technologies needed to guide restoration and permitting decisions in mined Appalachian watersheds. This technology has been successfully applied to Acid Mine Drainage impacted watersheds in northern WV and is perfectly suited for application to the MTR-VF mining region.

After completing this research, we expect to produce the following outcomes:
• A modeling prototype for the Little Coal River that will demonstrate our capability of projecting the likely functional benefits of existing and future mitigation projects.
• A spatially explicit database that includes all of the known mitigation projects in the Coal River watershed along with information on project details and functional benefits.
• A final validated model for the MTR-VF mining region, which when combined with our current project funded by USEPA will allow us to calculate the full ecological costs of a proposed mine development plan as well as the full economic benefits of an associated stream mitigation pIan.
• A list of specific areas within the region that are priorities for restoration that can be used to direct future mitigation planning.

WV 137 - Lambert Run Passive AMD Treatment System, Site #5

Project Title:    Lambert Run Passive AMD Treatment System, Site #5
Project Name: WV-137
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): WV DEP
Funding Amount: $146,333.36
Project Duration: 10/1/2006 – 9/30/2008

Project Description
The Lambert Run Restoration Project seeks to restore the water quality of this stream which has been degraded from past mining activities.  Twelve water sampling and monitoring visits to the watershed in 2003, during high, medium, and low flows, determined concentrations and loads of aluminum, iron and manganese exceeded water quality standards.  Partnerships were developed and a Watershed Plan was drafted and approved.

Sources of the severe water impairment were identified and passive treatment systems were designed to correct pH problems and remove metals from running water by oxidizing natural wetlands.  Passive treatment systems have been designed and installed in 5 locations to balance acidity and remove high concentrations of metals from water draining formerly mined areas.

Project Significance
Lambert Run has been listed as an impaired stream in West Virginia’s listing of 303(d) streams in 1996 and 1998.  In 2002, the West Fork River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was finalized and Lambert Run was earmarked for reductions in metals, primarily Iron, Aluminum and manganese.  Implementation of the proposed Plan will restore it to water quality standards.  This was the first watershed based plan in West Virginia to receive EPA approval with the goal being the eventual removal of the stream from the list of 303(d) impaired streams.

WV 139 - Lamberts Run Passive Treatment Installation Site #9

Project Title:    Lambert Run Passive AMD Treatment System, Site #9
Project Name: WV-139
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): WV DEP
Funding Amount: $149,605.24
Project Duration: 10/1/2007 – 9/30/2008

Project Description
The Lambert Run Restoration Project seeks to restore the water quality of this stream which has been degraded from past mining activities.  Twelve water sampling and monitoring visits to the watershed in 2003, during high, medium, and low flows, determined concentrations and loads of aluminum, iron and manganese exceeded water quality standards.  Partnerships were developed and a Watershed Plan was drafted and approved.

Sources of the severe water impairment were identified and passive treatment systems were designed to correct pH problems and remove metals from running water by oxidizing natural wetlands.  Passive treatment systems have been designed and installed in 5 locations to balance acidity and remove high concentrations of metals from water draining formerly mined areas.

Project Significance
Lambert Run has been listed as an impaired stream in West Virginia’s listing of 303(d) streams in 1996 and 1998.  In 2002, the West Fork River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was finalized and Lambert Run was earmarked for reductions in metals, primarily Iron, Aluminum and manganese.  Implementation of the proposed Plan will restore it to water quality standards.  This was the first watershed based plan in West Virginia to receive EPA approval with the goal being the eventual removal of the stream from the list of 303(d) impaired streams.

WV 153 - A Strategic Watershed Mitigation Plan for the Pigeon Creek Watershed Mingo County, WV

Project Title: A Strategic Watershed Mitigation Plan for the Pigeon Creek Watershed Mingo County, WV
Project Name: WV-153
Principle Investigator: Todd Petty
Funding Source(s): Consol of Kentucky
Funding Amount: $120,000
Project Duration: 08/29/2007 – 12/31/2008

Project Description
A century of neglect has resulted in high levels of degradation in the condition of watersheds and receiving waterbodies throughout the Tug Fork River drainage in southern West Virginia.  Pigeon Creek is an example of this problem where the overall quality of the Pigeon Creek mainstem in the area of Delbarton, WV is highly depressed.  The watershed has been mined for decades, including pre-law surface and deep mines, as well as extensive large scale surface mining and associated valley fills in more recent years.  In addition, the watershed is highly populated, with most of the buildable space along the river valley being fully developed.  These intensive development activities (mining and urbanization) have contributed to declines in water quality to the point that Pigeon Creek is viewed as a liability, rather than a community asset.

The goals of this project were to establish a rigorous, science-based process for developing watershed scale restoration plans for intensively mined watersheds of southern West Virginia.  In addition, when properly constructed, watershed restoration plans can serve as a framework for integrating resources from a diverse group of investors.  The specific objectives of this plan were to develop a GIS-based modeling and analysis framework; Quantify current watershed conditions; Identify dominant factors limiting ecological conditions; Identify general restoration needs and specific restoration opportunities; Construct a series of “ecological units” (EcoUnits) that can be used to estimate the ecological benefits of specific restoration actions; And to present a framework for including stream mitigation as a contributor to watershed scale restoration of the Pigeon Creek watershed.

Project Significance
The rationale for establishing these plans is that watershed scale approaches are the most efficient and cost-effective means of meeting goals for aquatic resource restoration and protection.

WRI 158 - Wolfden Run Continuous Monitoring Proposal

Project Title: Wolfden Run Continuous Monitoring Proposal
Project No.: WRI-158
Principle Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
Funding Source(s): Vindex Energy Corporation
Funding Amount: $80,307.82
Project Duration: 6/20/2012 – 6/19/2013

Project Description
This project will install and monitor approximately five (5) semi-permanent water quality/quantity stations throughout the watershed and one (1) additional station in a nearby stream to serve as reference. Each of the stations will contain equipment that will monitor flow, water temperature, pH, specific conductance, and turbidity. Based on recommendations from MD DNR, these instruments will take readings 3 times an hour or once every twenty minutes.

The locations of the continuous monitoring stations will be as follows:
• SW-3-Wolfden Run upstream of the east fork of Wolfden Run
• SW-6 - Upper reaches of Wolfden Run adjacent to the anticipated mining
• SW-9- Downstream of operations on the main stem of Wolfden Run
• SW-1 0- Lower reaches of West Wolfden Run
• SW-11 - Wolfden Run immediately below the anticipated mining
• Control Site - A reference site that will be monitored concurrently

These locations will be adjusted based on stream characteristics during the first monitoring event. Station SW-9 may be eliminated over time if it is determined that SW-11 has enough flow throughout the year to adequately monitor all parameters throughout the season.

The following tasks would be initiated as soon as the plan is approved: 1. Selection of monitoring stations; obtaining permits and permissions, and ensuring security; 2. installing water quality/quantity stations; 3. Monthly site visits to download data and calibrate/maintain equipment 4.Reporting

Project Summary:

Temperature did not exceed 20°C at any of the site locations throughout the two year study period. Overall, the lowest pH values were noted at site SW6 (Upper reaches of Wolfden Run adjacent to the anticipated mining) with a minimum value of 3.95 pH; other sites ranged within the 4.5 to 6.5 pH range. Increases in both specific conductivity and turbidity were noted following significant precipitation events. Low recorded values for specific conductivity were likely due to insufficient water. Isolated spikes in turbidity were likely due to debris (leaf litter) on the probe or nearby creek disturbance causing turbulent water.

WV 217 - Long Branch AMD Treatment Project

Project Title: Long Branch AMD Treatment Project
Project Name: WV 217
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): WV DEP
Funding Amount: $176,807.00
Project Duration: 10/28/2004 - 09/30/2006

Project Description
The Longbranch of Paint Creek project, located near Burnwell, WV consisted of constructing a 10,000 foot open limestone channel in an effort to combat the 160 tons of acid entering into ten mile fork each year.  The open limestone channel has been effective at removing the aluminum as well as neutralizing the acidity.  The Longbranch of Paint Creek drains into Ten Mile Fork before entering into the Paint Creek. The open limestone channel installed on Longbranch has also had a significant impact on the chemistry of Ten Mile Fork. The pH has increased by 11%; the acidity has decreased by 10% while the alkalinity has increased by 82%. The metal concentrations have also seen decreased of 50%, 60% and 13% for iron, aluminum, and manganese, respectively.

Project Significance
Lessening the impacts of water draining from coal mines has a positive impact on water quality downstream.

WV 218 - Oldaker Property AMD Project: Design and Installation of a Passive Treatment System

Project Title: Oldaker Property AMD Project: Design and Installation of a Passive Treatment System
Project Name: WV 218
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): WV DEP
Funding Amount: $144,00.00
Project Duration: 09/21/2005 - 09/30/2007

Project Description
The Lambert Run Restoration Project seeks to restore the water quality of this stream which has been degraded from past mining activities.  Twelve water sampling and monitoring visits to the watershed in 2003, during high, medium, and low flows, determined concentrations and loads of aluminum, iron and manganese exceeded water quality standards.  Partnerships were developed and a Watershed Plan was drafted and approved. 

Sources of the severe water impairment were identified and passive treatment systems were designed to correct pH problems and remove metals from running water by oxidizing natural wetlands.  Passive treatment systems have been designed and installed in 5 locations to balance acidity and remove high concentrations of metals from water draining formerly mined areas.

Project Significance
Lambert Run has been listed as an impaired stream in West Virginia’s listing of 303(d) streams in 1996 and 1998.  In 2002, the West Fork River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was finalized and Lambert Run was earmarked for reductions in metals, primarily Iron, Aluminum and manganese.  Implementation of the proposed Plan will restore it to water quality standards.  This was the first watershed based plan in West Virginia to receive EPA approval with the goal being the eventual removal of the stream from the list of 303(d) impaired streams.

 

WV 221 - Muzzleloader Club AMD Project: Design and Installation of a Passive Treatment System

Project Title: Muzzleloader Club AMD Project: Design and Installation of a Passive Treatment System
Project Name: WV 221
Principle Investigator: Richard Herd
Funding Source(s): WV DEP
Funding Amount: $106,663.00
Project Duration: 06/10/2005 - 09/30/2007

Project Description
The Lambert Run Restoration Project seeks to restore the water quality of this stream which has been degraded from past mining activities.  Twelve water sampling and monitoring visits to the watershed in 2003, during high, medium, and low flows, determined concentrations and loads of aluminum, iron and manganese exceeded water quality standards.  Partnerships were developed and a Watershed Plan was drafted and approved. 

Sources of the severe water impairment were identified and passive treatment systems were designed to correct pH problems and remove metals from running water by oxidizing natural wetlands.  Passive treatment systems have been designed and installed in 5 locations to balance acidity and remove high concentrations of metals from water draining formerly mined areas.

Project Significance
Lambert Run has been listed as an impaired stream in West Virginia’s listing of 303(d) streams in 1996 and 1998.  In 2002, the West Fork River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was finalized and Lambert Run was earmarked for reductions in metals, primarily Iron, Aluminum and manganese.  Implementation of the proposed Plan will restore it to water quality standards.  This was the first watershed based plan in West Virginia to receive EPA approval with the goal being the eventual removal of the stream from the list of 303(d) impaired streams.

WV 221s - Muzzleloader Club Project Sampling

Project Title: Muzzleloader Club Project Sampling
Project Name: WV 221s
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): Guardians of the West Fork Watershed Association
Funding Amount: $2,600
Project Duration: 02/20/2007 - 12/31/2008

Project Description
The Lambert Run Restoration Project seeks to restore the water quality of this stream which has been degraded from past mining activities.  Twelve water sampling and monitoring visits to the watershed in 2003, during high, medium, and low flows, determined concentrations and loads of aluminum, iron and manganese exceeded water quality standards.  Partnerships were developed and a Watershed Plan was drafted and approved.

Sources of the severe water impairment were identified and passive treatment systems were designed to correct pH problems and remove metals from running water by oxidizing natural wetlands.  Passive treatment systems have been designed and installed in 5 locations to balance acidity and remove high concentrations of metals from water draining formerly mined areas. 

Project Significance
Lambert Run has been listed as an impaired stream in West Virginia’s listing of 303(d) streams in 1996 and 1998.  In 2002, the West Fork River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was finalized and Lambert Run was earmarked for reductions in metals, primarily Iron, Aluminum and manganese.  Implementation of the proposed Plan will restore it to water quality standards.  This was the first watershed based plan in West Virginia to receive EPA approval with the goal being the eventual removal of the stream from the list of 303(d) impaired streams.

WV 229 - Passive Treatment Installation - Dream Mountain/Muddy Creek

Project Title: Passive Treatment Installation - Dream Mountain/Muddy Creek
Project Name: WV 229
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): USGS
Funding Amount: $288,390.00
Project Duration: 09/01/2005 - 09/30/2010

Project Description
The Dream Mountain Project is located on Muddy Creek which is a direct tributary into the Cheat River.  Muddy Creek discharges into the Cheat just northwest of Ruthbelle, in Preston County, WV, and is a major source of acidity and metals associated with the remnants of the coal mining process.  Abandoned coal mining operations from the early 1900’s, active mines and bond forfeited sites are scattered throughout the watershed.  These mine sites produce acid mine drainage (AMD) and excess metals which have caused the impairment of Muddy Creek and its inclusion on the State’s 303 (d) list of impaired streams.  The project area consists of approximately 5 to7 mine portals spread out over the eastern portion of the Dream Mountain Game Ranch.  The Dream Mountain facility is a private fenced game reserve that contains large White-tailed Deer, Buffalo, and Elk.  They offer paid hunts as well as stays in cabins that are on site.

This project consists of constructing steel slag leach beds in two freshwater tributaries, installing open limestone channels to convey the water from the portals, and constructing two wetlands for the metals to precipitate into.  The goals of this project are the approximate removal of 416,416 pounds per year of acid, 64,528 pounds per year of iron, 39,328 pounds per year of aluminum, and 4,016 pounds per year of manganese.  The system will also generate extra alkalinity to neutralize downstream sources of mine acid.  Construction of this project began in July of 2009 after difficulty in gaining landowner access after the property changed hands.  Completion is anticipated in early spring 2010.

Project Significance
This project will clean up additional pollution from Muddy Creek.  It is aimed at helping to remove Muddy Creek from the state’s 303(d) list of impaired watersheds.  Its successful completion will add 7 tenths of a mile of fishable water in Muddy Creek.

WV 231 - Implementation of the Watershed Based Plan for AMD Remediation in the Cheat River Watershed WV

Project Title:  Implementation of the Watershed Based Plan for AMD Remediation in the Cheat River Watershed WV
Project No.: WV 231
Principle Investigator: Richard Herd
Funding Source(s): Friends of the Cheat (FOC) Watershed Organization
Funding Amount: $288,390
Project Duration: 10/01/2006 - 09/30/2009

Project Description
The primary objective of the project is to strategically apply various acid mine drainage treatment technologies to restore water quality in 27 stream miles of the Muddy Creek basin within the Cheat River watershed.  Different treatment types will be evaluated in terms of costs and ecological benefits. It provides a more effective framework for restoring the maximum number of stream miles within watersheds from acid mine drainage impairment.  The National Mine Land Reclamation Center at the WV Water Research Center is an internationally recognized leader in the development of acid mine drainage treatment technologies.  

Project Significance
This initiative provides a unique opportunity to reduce a substantial acid load to the Cheat River and to develop a cost-effective restoration framework that could be transferable to other sub-watersheds within the Cheat and elsewhere throughout Appalachia.

WV 233 - Lower Cheat Watershed Passive Treatment Installation: Middle Fork of Greens Run, Morgan Run, and Pringle Run

Project Title: Lower Cheat Watershed Passive Treatment Installation: Middle Fork of Greens Run, Morgan Run, and Pringle Run
Project Name: WV 233
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): WVDEP
Funding Amount: $333,829.00
Cost-Share/Match:  $284,866.00
Total Funding Amount:  $618,695.00
Project Duration: 06/01/2005 - 5/31/2007

Project Description
The Lower Cheat Watershed Passive Treatment Project sought to remediate three sources of acid mine drainage in three different sub-watersheds of the Cheat River.  In order to implement this project, partnerships were developed and a Watershed Plan was drafted and approved.  Passive treatment systems were designed and installed to neutralize acidity and remove high concentrations of metals from water draining these formerly mined areas. 

Water sampling and monitoring visits to the three sub-watersheds were taken during high, medium, and low flows in order to determine the amount of acidity and metal concentrations that needed to be reduced.  All three discharges were found to be in exceedence of water quality standards for iron, aluminum, and manganese.  Passive treatment systems were designed to correct pH problems and remove metals from the mine discharges.  Various alkaline treatments were used to remediate these discharges, including limestone leach beds, steel slag leach beds, and open limestone channels, among others.

Project Significance
Greens Run, Pringle Run, and Morgan Run were listed as impaired streams in West Virginia’s listing of 303(d) streams in 1996 and 1998.  In 2001, the Cheat River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) document was finalized and all three of these sub-watersheds were earmarked for reductions in metals (primarily iron, aluminum and manganese), as well as acidity.  Implementation of the proposed Plan is helping to restore these sub-watersheds to water quality standards.  Completion of these passive treatment projects has also reduced the acid and metal loadings in the mainstem of the Cheat River, which will aid in the reestablishment of the Cheat River as a fishery and recreational destination. 

WV 244 - Technical Support of WVDEP Implementation of AML - Phase 2

Project Title: Technical Support of WVDEP Implementation of AML - Phase 2
Project Name: WV 244
Principle Investigator: Richard Herd
Funding Source(s): WV DEP
Funding Amount: $472,178.00
Project Duration: 05/01/2007 - 08/31/2008

Project Description
The WV Water Research Institute has provided technical support to the WV Department of Protection (WVDEP), Office of Abandoned Mine Land and Reclamation for implementation of the expanded Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program.  The technical assistance services provided to WVDEP included:

1. Development and application of a GIS-based restoration alternative decision support system to visually illustrate remediation alternative outcomes and costs.

2. Estimation of the economic benefits of water quality restoration accomplished under the AML program.  

3. Application of an EcoUnit (EU) concept to identify cold- and warm-water fishery restoration priorities.

4. AMD remediation designs (type, size, location) that target maximum recovery of productive fisheries.

5. Cost – Benefit analysis of alternative remediation designs.

6. Design of monitoring programs to quantify the ecological and economic benefits.

7. Data analysis, report writing, and presentations to the public

Project Significance
The implementation process developed by WVWRI provides WVDEP a scientifically sound, transparent and defensible process for prioritizing and implementing restoration actions that achieve the greatest ecological benefits per dollar invested in stream restoration.

WV 252 - Muddy Creek Passive Treatment Installation Phase 2

Project Title: Muddy Creek Passive Treatment Installation Phase 2
Project No.: WV-252
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Sources: WVDEP
Funding Amount: $115,521.00
Project Duration: 10/1/2008 – 9/30/2012

Project Description
The Upper Muddy Creek project, located in the Muddy Creek Watershed of the Cheat, is a source of acidity and metals associated with the legacy of coal mining practices. This is the second phase of a project aimed at restoring the upper portion of Muddy Creek as well as removing Muddy Creek from the 303d listing of impaired streams.

A passive treatment system was installed on this site in 2005. The planned treatment consisted of four limestone leach beds connected in series by open limestone channels. Upon construction, the mine drainage discharge moved as a result of disturbing the unconsolidated sediments that existed on site. As a result, leachbeds 1and 2 were combined and leachbed 3 had to be moved down slope to intercept the water. Due to these changes, the treatment performance was not as high as expected. This second phase will aid in treating the water by utilizing a freshwater source located on the property. Also, an existing wetland located at the outfall of the system will be improved / modified in an effort to further neutralize the mine drainage. Originally, this site produced 96 tons per year of acidity, 3.8 tons per year of iron, and 8.11 tons per year of aluminum. As of August of 2006, this project had reduced approximately 83% of the acid load (96 to 16.7 tpy), iron load by 95% (3.8 to .19 tpy), and the aluminum load by 70% (8.1 to 2.4 tpy). Upon completion of phase II of this project, we anticipate a higher reduction in iron, an increase in the reduction of aluminum to 90% as well as an expected neutral discharge.

Background
Although severely degraded by acid mine drainage near its mouth, the headwaters of Muddy Creek remain a high quality trout fishery. A pristine Muddy Creek flows nearly 9 miles from its source near Afton, WV in Eastern Preston county to the point where its crosses under the Brandonville Pike south of Centenary, WV. Just before crossing under the Brandonville Pike the stream encounters the acidic discharge from the project site on its north bank. Before the initial construction, the site consisted of three abandoned benches and their associated spoil piles. The majority of AMD from this site came from four discharging collapsed portals located on the second and third benches. Water from each portal flows over the top two benches and onto the lower bench, which is approximately 5 ft above the surface of Muddy Creek. The acid water flowed down the bench and into a wetland before discharging into the stream.

Muddy Creek is listed on the Section 303d list for pH. However, based on preconstruction sampling rounds, we have found that the site contributed approximately 191,120 pounds per year of acidity, 7,600 pounds per year of iron, and 16,220 pounds per year of aluminum. By installing phase II of this project, we anticipate a higher reduction in iron, an increase in the reduction of aluminum to 90% as well as an expected neutral discharge.
This is a construction project which will utilize passive treatment technology as a means to combat acid mine drainage emanating from the site. This technology will oxidize and precipitate metals while raising the pH of the mine water coming off the site.

This project will enhance what has already been installed. A freshwater source located on the northern end of the project area will be channeled down to an anticipated steel slag leach bed via open limestone channel. The effluent from the steel slag leach bed will mix with the existing system discharge and drain into a modified .5 acre wetland.

WV 261 - West Run Watershed Passive Treatment Installation: Morgantown Airport Phase I

Project Title: West Run Watershed Passive Treatment Installation: Morgantown Airport Phase I
Project No.: WV-261
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): WVDEP
Funding Amount: $43,509
Project Duration: 8/1/2011 – 9/30/2013

Project Description
West Run is a small tributary located just north and east of Morgantown, WV. The watershed has many abandoned mines located in the headwaters of this watershed. The first project aimed at addressing these discharges will be located on the northern end of the Morgantown Airport (Hart Field). There are two portals discharging variable amounts of AMD into the main stem of West Run. The two portals (one collapsed and one open) discharge into a flat area adjacent an access road then through a culvert and then proceeds down a 2,500 ft channel where it discharges into West Run. The West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI) has been collecting water quality data at this site since October 2007. The portals are approximately located at 39º 38’ 20” N and 79º 54’ 37” W. Table 1 displays the mean of the collected water quality data obtained by WVWRI.

Proposed treatment for this project consists of collecting the effluent from the portals and conveying them via an open limestone channel into a series of flushing beds designed to neutralize the acidity as well as collect the precipitated metals. Additionally, a steel slag bed will generate alkalinity which in turn will aid in neutralizing the effluent. The goals of this project are the approximate removal of 185,760 pounds per year of acidity, 23,354 pounds per year of iron, 15,473 pounds per year of aluminum, and 6,381 pounds per year of manganese.

Background
West Run, located in the Monongahela River watershed, is located north and east of Morgantown, in Monongalia County, West Virginia. Abandoned coal mining operations date back to the 1930’s and are scattered throughout the watershed. These abandoned mine sites produce acid mine drainage (AMD). These sources of acid and metals have caused the impairment of West Run and its inclusion on the state’s 303(d) list. Figure 1 is a portion of the 7.5’ Morgantown North quad that details the project site as well as part of the receiving tributary.

The TMDL for West Run lists allowable loads of 11,752 pounds per year of aluminum, 22,279 pounds per year of iron, and 7,921 pounds per year of manganese. The proposed project site contributes 12,353 pounds of aluminum per year, 23,045 pounds per year of iron, and 4,764 pounds per year of manganese. These loadings were tabulated using the end of channel at airport samples versus the actual portal samples. This was due to the number of samples collected at both locations; WVWRI was unable to collect as many samples at the portal location as a result of security restrictions, there has only been one sample collected at the portals whereas there were 11 samples collected at the end of channel site. It should be of note that the system is designed to handle the portal loadings which should more than account for the loadings at the end of the airport channel sample. This system has an anticipated reduction of 18,439 pounds per year of iron, 9,883 pounds per year of aluminum, and 3,811 pounds per year of manganese.

The goal of this reclamation project on West Run is the removal of approximately 80% of the contaminants. This constitutes 18,439 pounds per year of iron, 9,883 pounds per year of aluminum, and 3,811 pounds per year of manganese.

Project Summary:

All applicable permits necessary for construction to start have been obtained. Based on the engineered-design for the system, contractor bids have been received and the potential contractor has been identified. Mitigation funds from the expansion of the Morgantown Airport are being used to provide the matching funds for phase 2 of this project (passive treatment system construction). The National Mine Land Reclamation Center (NMLRC) is also currently working with the West Run Watershed Association to apply for WCAP funds. These funds will be put toward construction and post-construction monitoring costs as part of phase 2. Phase 1 project objectives have been achieved.

WV 262 - Lambert's Site 6 Guinn Portal

Project Title: Lambert’s Site 6 Guinn Portal
Project No.: WV-262
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): WVDEP
Funding Amount: $150,000.00
Project Duration: 8/1/2009 - 9/30/2012

Project Description
The Guinn Portal site on Lambert Run, in Harrison County, WV is located on County Road 19/7. The site consists of a draining, open portal and an old air shaft. The portal discharges approximately 194 gallons per minute and is a major source of metals associated with a legacy of coal mining practices. This project is another in a series of projects aimed at removing Lambert Run (WV MW-16) from the state’s 303(d) list of impaired watersheds. The proposed project area for the Guinn Portal consists of the areas adjacent to two open portals. Proposed treatment for this project will entail the construction of channels to direct the water, waterfalls to provide oxidation, and wetlands/settling ponds to collect the metals in the effluent. The goals of this project are the removal of 34,144 lbs/year of acidity, 560 lbs/year of aluminum, 12,800 lbs/year of iron, and 1,775 lbs/year of manganese.

Background
Lambert Run, located in the West Fork watershed, is located northwest of Clarksburg in Harrison County, West Virginia. Abandoned coal mining operations date back to the 1900s and occur throughout the length of Lambert Run. These abandoned mine sites produce both Acid and Alkaline Mine Drainage. This particular site produces alkaline water. These sources of impairment have caused the degradation of Lambert Run and its inclusion on the state’s 303(d) list. Figure 1 is a portion of the 7.5’ Clarksburg quadrangle that details the project as well as the receiving tributary. 
The TMDL for abandoned mine lands in Lambert Run lists allowable loads of 1,573 lbs/year of aluminum, 2,794 lbs/year of iron, and 3,368 lbs/year of manganese. Currently, the Guinn Portal site contributes acidity loads of 42,680 lbs/year, iron loads of 12,804 lbs/year, aluminum loads of 700 lbs/year, and manganese loads of 2,219 lbs/year. The goals of this project are the removal of 34,144 lbs/year of acidity, 560 lbs/year of aluminum, 12,800 lbs/year of iron, and 1,775 lbs/year of manganese. 

This is a construction project that will utilize passive treatment technology as a means to combat alkaline mine drainage emanating from an abandoned mine portal. Passive treatment technology will be used to oxidize the effluent which will cause metal precipitation.

WV 264 - North Fork Greens Run Dinkenberger Road Phase 2

Project Title: North Fork Greens Run Dinkenberger Road Phase II
Project No.: WV-264
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): WVDEP
Funding Amount: $150,00.00
Project Duration: 10/1/2008 – 9/30/2012

Project Description
The Dinkenberger Road project on North Fork of Greens Run, in Preston County, WV is located 20 feet off of Dinkenberger Road. The site consists of one draining underground Upper Freeport mine portal into a small pool, where the water then discharged over the hill and into a ditch along Dinkenberger Rd. The water then flowed through a culvert under Dinkenberger Rd., through the woods, and then into the North Fork of Greens Run. The portal discharges approximately 9 gallons per minute and is a major source of acidity and metals associated with a legacy of coal mining practices. This project is another in a series of projects aimed at removing Greens Run (WV MC-16) from the state’s 303(d) list of impaired watersheds. The current project area for the Dinkenberger Road site consists of a mine portal, a covered limestone leach bed (to keep out organic debris), and an open limestone channel. Current water chemistry at the Dinkenberger Road site has acidity concentrations of 1,283 mg/L, Fe concentrations of 262 mg/L, Al concentrations of 100.4 mg/L, and Mn concentrations of 21.3 mg/L. This project will take advantage of the existing passive treatment system and enhance it by adding additional leach beds and a steel slag leach bed. The goal of this project is to remove 80% of the acidity and metal concentrations that emanate from the Dinkenberger Road site.

Background
Greens Run, located in the Cheat River watershed, is located north of Kingwood in Preston County, West Virginia. Abandoned coal mining operations date back to the 1930s and are concentrated in the headwaters of Greens Run. These abandoned mine sites produce Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). These sources of impairment have caused the degradation of Greens Run and its inclusion on the state’s 303(d) list. Figure 1 is a portion of the 7.5’ Kingwood and Valley Point quadrangles that detail the project as well as the receiving tributary.

Site History
A remediation project was previously constructed for this site in 2003. The AMD was collected in a pool at the mouth of the portal (this pool was pre-existing, but was upgraded by adding a small dike to the downstream side). Water from the pool discharged into a limestone leachbed along a bench approximately 20 feet above Dinkenberger Rd. Discharge from the leach bed flowed down a limestone rip-rapped channel and through a culvert under Dinkenberger Rd. A small limestone splash basin at the culvert exit diffused the erosive force of the flow and helped redirect the water into an 860-foot open limestone channel. This channel ran parallel to Dinkenberger Rd. and discharged into a small stream just before its confluence with the North Fork of Greens Run. The limestone leach bed and the open limestone channel in this passive treatment system achieved some acid reduction for several months after installation. The leachbed was treating approximately 6.8 tons of acid load per year while the open limestone channel treated approximately 9.5 tons per year. The limestone leach bed and the open limestone channel were removing 20% and 28% of the acid load respectively. In 2005, a major storm caused a large amount of organic debris to fall into the leachbed. In turn, this caused plugging of the leachbed and the mine water began to bypass this part of the treatment system. In 2006, the leachbed was wrapped with a fabric cover to prevent further clogging. Since 2006, the water chemistry at the Dinkenberger site has improved over the pre-construction chemistry. The treatment system is currently reducing 24% of the acidity, 15% of the Fe and 4% of the Al.

The TMDL for abandoned mine lands in Greens Run lists allowable loads of 4,445 lbs/year of aluminum, 10,594 lbs/year of iron, and 5,957 lbs/year of manganese. Currently, the Dinkenberger Road site contributes acidity loads of 41,774 lbs/year, iron loads of 8,531 lbs/year, aluminum loads of 3,256 lbs/year, and manganese loads of 694 lbs/year. The goals of this project are the removal of 33,419 lbs/year of acidity, 2,605 lbs/year of aluminum, 6,825 lbs/year of iron, and 555 lbs/year of manganese.
This is a construction project that will utilize passive treatment technology as a means to combat acid mine drainage emanating from an abandoned mine portal. Passive treatment technology will be used to neutralize the acidity as well as oxidize the effluent mine water and precipitate the metals from the drainage.

The goal of this reclamation is to remove Greens Run from the 303(d) list of impaired waters. This constitutes removal of 41,774 lbs/year of acidity, 3,256 lbs/year of aluminum, 6,825 lbs/year of iron, and 555 lbs/year of manganese. These reductions are based on spreadsheets developed by the NMLRC as well as AMD Treat.

The proposed project plan will utilize the existing leachbed and will incorporate additional leachbeds and open limestone channels on the southern side of County Route 7/10. In addition to the new leachbeds, an impoundment with a steel slag leach bed will be built to collect and utilize the water coming from an adjacent tributary. Figure 2 is a conceptual design of the system to be constructed at the North Fork Greens Run Dinkenberger Road site.

WV 265 - Pace Property

Project Title: Pace Property
Project No.: WV-265
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s):
WVDEP - $150,000.00
Matching/Cost Share - $191,997.00
Total Funding Amount: $341,997.00
Project Duration: 10/1/2008 – 9/30/2012

Project Description
The Pace property, on Pringle Run, in Preston County, WV is located off of Route 26. The site consists of one draining underground Upper Freeport mine portal, as well as another portal approximately 50 feet from the draining portal that only discharges during high flow periods. The portal discharges approximately 165 gallons per minute and is a major source of acidity and metals associated with a legacy of coal mining practices. This project is the first in a series of projects aimed at removing Pringle Run (WV MC-27) from the state’s 303(d) list of impaired watersheds. The current project area for the Pase site consists of one mine portal, a limestone leach bed, a vertical flow reactor, an anoxic limestone drain (ALD), and an open limestone channel. Current water chemistry at the Pase site has acidity concentrations of 401 mg/L, Fe concentrations of 3.3 mg/L, Al concentrations of 39.9 mg/L, and Mn concentrations of 3.1 mg/L. The proposed Phase II of this project is to exhume the ALD and use the limestone to construct an open limestone channel on the west side of Route 26. A vertical flow pond will be constructed in the old footprint of the ALD to further treat the discharge water. The limestone leachbed at the top of the project will also be improved by adding new limestone. The goal of this project is to further lower the acidity and metal concentrations in the mainstem of Pringle Run.

Background
Pringle Run, located in the Cheat River watershed, is located southwest of Kingwood in Preston County, West Virginia. Abandoned coal mining operations date back to the 1930s and are distributed throughout Pringle Run. These abandoned mine sites produce Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). These sources of impairment have caused the degradation of Pringle Run and its inclusion on the state’s 303(d) list. Figure 1 is a portion of the 7.5’ Kingwood quadrangle that details the project site as well as the receiving tributary.

In April 2002, WVDEP Office of Water Resources and the National Mine Land Reclamation Center (NMLRC) were approached by Charles Pase, a local landowner, to inspect some acid water discharging from his property along Rt. 26 near Jessop, WV. During that visit, an open portal was discovered along an abandoned highwall on the west side of the property, approximately 300 ft east of Rt. 26. In June 2002, flow measurements and water chemistry samples were taken and treatment options were discussed. Water quality results showed that the mine discharge was very acidic (223-571 mg/L acidity) with Fe concentrations of 3 mg/L, Al concentrations of 15 mg/L, and Mn concentrations of 2 mg/L.

A remediation project was constructed for this site in October 2004. The original project consisted of a vertical flow reactor into which the raw mine water flowed. The water was then piped into an ALD. From the ALD, the water passed through a Gabian rock basket filled with limestone and then into a retention pond to enable the settling of metal precipitates. Due to low reductions in acid load, the project was renovated in 2006. A limestone leach bed was added above the vertical flow reactor to treat the raw mine water before it entered the rest of the system. New organic matter was also added to the vertical flow reactor and rapid flushing valves were added to the ALD to prevent plugging by metal precipitates. However, in spite of these improvements, the system continued to show less acidity load reductions than planned. Currently, the system is treating 66% of the acid load in the discharge water.

The TMDL for abandoned mine lands in Pringle Run lists allowable loads of 6,441 lbs/year of aluminum, 13,594 lbs/year of iron, and 8,721 lbs/year of manganese. Currently, the Pase property contributes acidity loads of 41,633 lbs/year, iron loads of 552 lbs/year, aluminum loads of 6,688 lbs/year, and manganese loads of 510 lbs/year. The goals of this project are the removal of 33,306 lbs/year of acidity, 5,350 lbs/year of aluminum, 442 lbs/year of iron, and 408 lbs/year of manganese.

This is a construction project that will utilize active and passive treatment technology as a means to combat acid mine drainage emanating from an abandoned mine portal. Passive treatment technology will be used to neutralize the acidity as well as oxidize the effluent mine water and precipitate the metals from the drainage.

WV 289 - Bennett Run Mitigation Project

Project Title: Bennett Run Mitigation Project
Project No: WV-289
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source: Marshall Miller and Associates, Inc.
Funding Amount: $32,942.15
Project Duration: 5/2/2011 – 9/30/2013

Project Description:
Bennett Run, located in Harrison County, West Virginia has long been a source of pollution and was recently reclaimed under a WVDEP AML project. There are approximately 8 known discharges in the watershed that have a detrimental impact to Little Tenmile Creek. Treating the sources located adjacent to this tributary through the use of passive treatment could improve not only Bennett Run (2722 feet), but also an additional 6900 feet of Little Tenmile Creek for a total anticipated lift to approximately 9,622 feet of stream.

The discharges located adjacent to Bennett Run produce alkaline mine drainage. Alkaline mine drainage can be characterized as having a high pH and excess alkalinity as well as varying amounts of iron, aluminum, and manganese. The treatment for this alkaline discharge will be a two phase approach; the first phase will be to aerate the effluent thus causing the metals in solution to oxidize and precipitate. The second phase will be to provide enough detention time for those metals to settle out of solution. This can be done with the use of aeration channels/beds and wetlands/retention ponds. In addition the establishment of wet lands will be considered to offset the temporal losses to wetlands on the mine property.

Background
This project has been proposed by Marshall Miller and Associates on behalf of one of their clients to mitigate for the temporal losses associated with the installation of 2 facilities in Harrison County, West Virginia.

In 2008, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Abandoned Mine Land Section reclaimed the areas surrounding Bennett Run. This project deemed the Robey Mine Highwall Refuse and Mine Drainage, included the installation of wetseals underdrains, and open limestone channels designed to convey the mine drainage away from the highwalls and to Bennett Run. This project will improve on the previous work by treating the discharges.

WV 291 - Smooth Rock Lick of the Upper Buckhannon: Smooth Rock Lick #1 and #2 Phase II Passive Treatment Installation

Aeration weir at Lambert Run Site 7.

Aeration weir at Lambert Run Site 7.

More information coming soon...

WV 303 - OSM ADTI Support FY2011: Treatment, InSitu, and Natural Attenuation

Project Title: OSM ADTI Support FY2011: Treatment, InSitu, and Natural Attenuation
Project Name: WV-303
Principle Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
Funding Source(s): OSM
Funding Amount: $200,000
Project Duration: 10/1/2011 – 9/30/2012

Project Description

Treatment of High TDS Water
Bench-scale studies will be initiated to further the development of removing total dissolved solids (TDS), mostly sulfate, from mine discharge waters using dielectric constant lowering in anticipation of eventual discharge limits. Initial results have indicated success in removing sulfate: but, the method is not efficient enough to lower TDS to proposed low levels. However, given that sulfate precipitates, notably gypsum, are a primary foulant of reverse osmosis, the method could provide preliminary polishing for use of that technology. The additives can be gaseous or liquid. Isopropanol lowers both the sulfate and calcium concentrations from coal mine discharges.

In Situ Field-Scale Treatment of Selenium-Bearing Spoil Units
Developing an at-source control method for selenium is of critical importance to the mining industry, regulatory agencies and the public. No other proven method exists. Theoretically encapsulation would work but the lack of suitable barrier materials in the southern coalfields (the spoil is largely sandstone) makes this technique problematic in application. Other than encapsulation, there is no method for accomplishing at-source selenium control. Based on laboratory results from West Virginia University, 30 test cells were installed at Hobet Mining during Spring 2010. Certain cells have functioned well, others less well. This year’s work will attempt to determine the cause of the poorly performing cells, redesign the cells, and refill non-performing cells with an improved design.

Attenuation of Major Pollutants in Valley Fills in Southern WV
Mountain top mining began in West Virginia in the late 1960s as a way to extract multiple seams of coal from difficult terrain. Associated with this practice are constructed valley fills where excess spoil materials are deposited. These fills are typically placed in the heads of hollows where headwater streams are formed. There is little documented research to indicate the specific ion compositions of these discharges, how they relate to the mine’s geology and how those ionic compositions change over time. Together, these ions: Ca, Na, Mg, SO4, HCO3 and Cl constitute total dissolved solids (TDS). Recent regulatory challenges include compliance with selenium, (TDS) and its surrogate, electrical conductivity. Characterization of these chemical profiles is particularly important in light of West Virginia’s new narrative water quality standard.

WV 309 - Lambert Run Site 7 Passive Treatment

Project Tile: Lambert Run Passive Treatment System: Site 7 Lambert Run
Project No.: WV-309
Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s):
WVDEP: $384,933
Cost Share/Match: $256,622
Total Funding Amount: $641,555
Project Duration: 9/1/2011 – 6/30/2015

Project Description
Lambert Run Site 7, located in Harrison County, WV has 3 wet-sealed portals that drain into an 0.7 acre impoundment. The three portals discharge approximately 500 to 3,000 gallons per minute of iron laden water into the main stem of Lambert Run. This project is another in a series of projects aimed at removing Lambert Run (WV MW-16) from the state's 303(d) list of impaired watersheds. Proposed treatment for this site entails enlarging the 0.7 acre wetland, constructing a modified wet seal on the northern portal that will allow aeration and oxidation of the effluent, installing baffling in the enlarged impoundment, and creating approximately 5.5 acres of wetland immediately downstream of the site. The goals of this project are the removal of 97,808 pounds per year of acidity and 29,999 pounds per year of iron.

Aeration weir at Lambert Run Site 7.

Aeration weir at Lambert Run Site 7.

Project Summary
The National Mine Land Reclamation Center (NMLRC) and Guardians of the West Fork Watershed Group recently completed an acid mine drainage treatment project on the Lambert Run tributary to the West Fork River in Harrison County, West Virginia. The “Site 7” AMD abatement project is highlighted by five individual wetland cells totaling nearly four acres. Construction was completed by Pretzel Contracting and engineering services were rendered by the Thrasher Group. Funding was provided by the WVDEP and federal Office of Surface Mines. To date, six AMD remediation projects have been constructed on Lambert Run; these projects have removed hundreds of tons of metals and acidity from the watershed. Optimistically, Lambert Run will become only the second stream listed for mine drainage impairment to be removed from the WV 303(d) list of impaired streams.

WV 310 - Swamp Run Passive Treatment Installation #1

Project Name: Left Fork of Buckhannon River Passive Treatment Installation Swamp Run Project #1
Project No.: WV 310
Principle Investigator:Jason Fillhart
Co-PI(s):Melissa O'Neal Funding Source(s): West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection - OSMRE
Funding Amount: $760,900
Funding Duration: 7/1/14 – 10/13/16

Project Description:
Swamp Run, a small tributary located south of Alton in Upshur County, West Virginia, is a tributary to the Buckhannon River. The proposed site consists of a large ferric iron deposit with approximately 6 seeps emanating from capped spoil above the deposit. The seeps enter into Swamp Run and then into the Buckhannon River approximately 1.2 miles downstream. The NMLRC, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Water and Waste Management (WVDEP-DWWM), and the BRWA have cooperatively collected water quality data from this site since June of 1998.

Proposed treatment for this project consists of collecting the seeps once they are below the iron deposit and conveying them via an open limestone channel into a large flushing limestone bed designed to neutralize the remaining acidity and flush the precipitated metals. A settling pond immediately downstream of the flushing bed will collect the precipitated metals.

Project Conclusion Summary:

This project was scheduled to conclude in July of 2016. However, various factors including the remoteness of the project site and unfavorable weather led to the project being extended into October. Therefore, the NMLRC has conducted three rounds of post-construction samples and the initial results are quite promising. There are significant reductions in metal concentrations from the inflow to the outflow of the project; additionally, pH has increased from roughly 2.8 s.u. to 5.5 and above. Further sampling will be conducted to continually monitor the efficiency of the treatment system. There were many challenges associated with this project but overall it should be considered a success. Initial results show improvements in water quality entering Swamp Run which should in turn, improve water quality in the Buckhannon River.

WV 311 - Roaring Creek, Mars Portals/Kittle Headwaters

Project Title: Roaring Creek, Mars Portals/Kittle Headwaters
Project No.: WV-311
Principle Investigators: Brady Gutta
Funding Source(s): WVDEP $189,517.00 Other $126,345.00
Total Funding Amount: $315,862.00
Project Duration: 9/1/2012 – 9/30/2015

Project Description
The Mars Portals site on Roaring Creek, in Randolph County, WV is located west of Coalton near County Road 53. The site consists of a draining, open portal (Mars Portal 1), a collapsed portal (Mars Portal 2), and a portal that was reclaimed by WV AML with a wet seal (Northernmost portal). Mars Portal 1 discharges approximately 152 gallons per minute (gpm), Mars Portal 2 discharges 100 gpm, and the Northernmost Portal discharges 130 gpm. These sources are a major source of acidity and metals associated with a legacy of coal mining practices.

This project is the first in a series of projects aimed at removing Roaring Creek (WV_ MT-42) from the state’s 303(d) list of impaired watersheds. The proposed project area for the Mars Portals/Northernmost Portal consists of the two Mars portals and the wet-sealed Northernmost Portal. Proposed treatment for this project will entail the construction of channels to direct the water, limestone leachbeds to provide treatment, and wetlands/settling ponds to collect the metals in the effluent. Table 1 details concentrations of various pollutants found in each of the three sources, as well as discharge amounts from each source. The goal of this project is to reduce the acidity and metal concentrations in the headwaters of Kittle Hollow, as well as the mainstem of Roaring Creek.

Background
Roaring Creek, located in the Tygart Valley River watershed, is located west-southwest of Elkins, WV in Randolph County, WV. Abandoned coal mining operations date back to the 1930s and occur mainly within the Kittle Hollow subdrainage of Roaring Creek. These abandoned mine sites produce Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). These sources of impairment have caused the degradation of the lower section of Roaring Creek (below Coalton, WV) and its inclusion on the state’s 303(d) list.

The TMDL for abandoned mine lands for Roaring Creek lists allowable loads of 45,553 lbs/year of aluminum, 43,045 lbs/year of iron, and 32,942 lbs/year of manganese. Currently, the Mars Portals and Northernmost Portal contribute acidity loads of 277,440 lbs/year, iron loads of 101,140 lbs/year, aluminum loads of 68,480 lbs/year, and manganese loads of 8,200 lbs/year. The goals of this project are the removal of 221,952 lbs/year of acidity, 80,912 lbs/year of iron, 54,784 lbs/year of aluminum, and 6,560 lbs/year of manganese.

This is a construction project that will utilize passive treatment technology as a means to combat acid mine drainage emanating from two abandoned mine portals and one wet-sealed portal. Passive treatment technology will be used to neutralize the acidity as well as oxidize the effluent mine water and precipitate the metals from the drainage.

Summary

The Roaring Creek-Mars Portals Passive treatment project and the Roaring Creek Portal 5 project in Randolph County were discontinued in April of 2015. The former project partner organization disbanded and at the time there was lack of commitment from the landowner. Recently there has been renewed interest in these projects from various groups in the area. These projects will hopefully be reintroduced in the near future.

WV 321 - Aluminum Removal - Field Trials at WVDEP Special Reclamation Sites

Project Title: Aluminum Removal - Field Trials at WVDEP Special Reclamation Sites
Project No.: WV - 321
Principal Investigator: Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, Director
Funding Source: WV Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP)
Funding Source(s):
WVDEP: $44,543
Cost-Share: $0
Total Project Funding: $43,543
Project Duration: 01/01/13 – 12/31/13

Project Description
Three site locations have been identified by West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Office of Special Reclamation (WVDEP OSR) for the field trials: Z&F Development Company, Valley Mining Company, and Stewartown Coal Company. All site locations are in Monongalia County, West Virginia. While acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment systems have been constructed at these sites, aluminum discharges have intermittently been above the anticipated aluminum discharge limits that will be tied to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for these facilities. The current treatment system at the Z&F Development Company site consists of hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) feeding and a series of baffled ponds. Addition of calcium oxide (quick lime) and a series of settling ponds with curtain baffles make up the treatment system at the Valley Mining Company site. Mine discharge treatment at Stewartown Coal Company consists of four baffled ponds. The West Virginia Water Research Institute will construct four aluminum filtration units for each of the AML reclamation sites.

Project Significance
This research will identify cost-effective and efficient filtration method(s) to reduce surface discharge aluminum levels from abandoned mine land reclamation sites to meet anticipated permit requirements. As part of its mandate to protect the health and safety of citizens and property, the WVDEP OSR will be required to obtain NPDES permits for water discharges from special abandoned mine land (AML) reclamation sites throughout West Virginia. Treatment technologies such as ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and microfiltration membrane systems are used for the removal of aluminum from various industrial wastewaters; however, most of these options are not feasible for implementation in the coal mining industry.

WV 327 - West Run Passive Treatment Airport Portal Phase II

Project Name: West Run Passive Treatment Airport Portal Phase II
Project No.: WV 327
Principle Investigator: Jennifer Hause & Jason Fillhart
Funding Source(s): West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Funding Amount: $441,141
Funding Duration: 9/1/12 – 9/30/15

Project Description:
West Run is a small tributary located in the West Run watershed just north and east of Morgantown and drains into the Monongahela River. The headwaters of the watershed contain numerous abandoned coal mines that date back to the 1930’s. AMD from these mines directly impacts water quality of the headwaters and thus the receiving streams. Overall, mining has impaired roughly seven miles of the West Run mainstem and six miles of West Run’s tributaries resulting in the inclusion of West Run on the state’s 303(d) list of impaired and threatened waters.

A watershed based plan (WBP) for West Run was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2011. The WBP identified water quality issues related to AMD. A WBP is required to apply for nonpoint source 319(h) funding; often used to combat AMD by way of passive abatement projects. The WBP acknowledges at least 12 passive treatment projects necessary to restore water quality in West Run.

The National Mine Land Reclamation Center received funding for the design and installation of a passive treatment system within the West Run watershed to collect and treat AMD from mine portals located on Morgantown Airport property (referred to as Morgantown Airport Portals). The project has been funded in two Phases: Phase I dedicated to the design of the passive treatment system; and Phase II dedicated to the installation and post-construction monitoring of the passive treatment system.

WV 347 - Sandy Creek Dosing: A Watershed Scale Approach to AMD Remediation

Project Name: Sandy Creek Dosing: A Watershed Scale Approach to AMD Remediation
Project No.: WV 347
Principle Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz, Ph.D.
Funding Source(s): West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Office of Surface Mining
Funding Amount: $500,000
Funding Duration: 10/1/15 – 11/30/16

Project Description:
Sandy Creek is a subwatershed in the lower section of the Tygart Valley River basin. The Sandy Creek subwatershed drains over 90.3 square miles and flows into Tygart Lake (WVDEP 2003a). As per the 1982 Tygart Valley River Subbasin Abandoned Mine Drainage Assessment, Sandy Creek was identified as contributing 49.5 percent of the total acid load to the Tygart between Philippi, WV and the mouth at Fairmont, WV. Water quality data collected during the assessment found 9,325 lbs/day of acid being discharged into Tygart Reservoir from Sandy Creek (WVDEP 1987).

A study completed by the National Mine Land Reclamation Center (NMLRC) for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Office of Special Reclamation (OSR) demonstrated significant cost savings and projected increased environmental benefit by applying in-stream lime dosers at strategic locations within the stream system rather than using lime dosers to treat individual sources (Ziemkiewicz 2006). By utilizing portable dosers and placing them at strategic locations within the Sandy Creek watersheds, the West Virginia Water Research Institute proposes to identify optimal locations for permanent installation of in-stream dosers. Water quality samples will be collected on a weekly basis at locations upstream of the dosers and at tributary mouths to monitor water quality conditions in response to the dosers.

WV 350 - Lambert Run Passive Treatment System Upgrade

Project Name: Lambert Run Passive Treatment System Upgrade
Project No.: WV 350
Principle Investigator: Melissa O'Neal
Co-Investigator: Jason Fillhart
Funding Source(s): West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Funding Amount: $130,117
Funding Duration: 7/1/15 – 6/30/16

Project Description:
This project will utilize excess funds from WV-309 – Lambert Run Site #7 for maintenance and upgrades on Lambert Run Site #8; initially completed in 2006. The passive AMD treatment system has failing berms and wetland cells that need attention in order to achieve peak performance. The NMLRC has partnered with the Guardians of the West Fork Watershed Group to complete the project.

Agriculture Forestry

WRI 82 - In-Stream Turbidity and Suspended Sediment Changes Following Improvements to a Forest Road and Harvesting

Project Title:  In-Stream Turbidity and Suspended Sediment Changes Following Improvements to a Forest Road and Harvesting
Project No.: WRI 82
Principle Investigator: Jingxin Wang
Funding Source(s): USGS
Funding Amount:  $29,496.00
Match/Cost Share: $60,278.000
Total Funding Amount: $89,774.00
Project Duration: 03/01/2006 - 02/28/2007

Project Description

This project examines the effects of forest road construction and logging on water quality.  Because privately owned forest lands make up more than 80 percent of forests in West Virginia, demands for wood extraction are increasing, and the most productive sites in West Virginia are on highly erodible soils, it is important to understand how typical road construction practices used in forestry operations will affect suspended sediment and turbidity levels.

A forest road was pioneered through a watershed in summer 2002. It was left in poor condition from fall 2002 through mid-summer 2003. In mid-summer its condition was improved through the installation of more and better water control features and sediment traps, seeding of the fill slopes and cut banks, and graveling of the driving surface after water quality problems were found and reported.  In the spring and summer of 2005, approximately 58 percent of the roaded watershed area was harvested by a combination of conventional harvesting and cable yarding.  Water samples were collected with automatic samplers near the mouths of the roaded watershed and a nearby undisturbed watershed.  Samples have been analyzed for turbidity and for total suspended sediment and mineral suspended sediment.  

This study continues sampling turbidity and suspended sediment in the established study following improvements to the forest road and harvesting.  The goal of the study was to document the results after five years.  It continued the stream water sampling phase of the study, to evaluate: 1) the length of time required for turbidity and suspended sediment to decline to conditions more like those before road construction, 2) if storms with certain characteristics or antecedent flow conditions are most associated with elevated turbidity and suspended sediment conditions, even if more average storms/flows no longer have elevated sediment, 3) if recovery is linear, exponential, or it levels off at some point in time, and 4) if turbidity and suspended sediment show additional increases following the 2005 harvesting due to the combination of increased streamflow (from reduced evapotranspiration) and sediment additions from streamside disturbance from felled and uprooted trees.

WV 191 - Reforestation and Enhanced CO2 Sequestration of Surface Mined Land in WV and AMD Treatment Design and Installation

Project Title:  Reforestation and Enhanced CO2 Sequestration of Surface Mined Land in WV and AMD Treatment Design and Installation
Project No.: WV 191
Principle Investigator: Jeff Skousen
Funding Source(s): EPRI
Funding Amount:  $154, 461.00
Project Duration: 05/16/2003 - 06/30/2006

Project Description
Returning surface mined land to a productive forest must consider factors such as soil depth, soil physical and chemical properties, soil compaction, ground cover competition, tree species selection, and tree planting techniques.  The objective of this research was to evaluate tree survival and growth in weathered brown sandstone and in unweathered gray sandstone.  11 hardwood species were commercially planted.  After three growing seasons, tree survival was 86% on gray sandstone and 74% on brown sandstone, and 78% on non-compacted areas and 79% on compacted.  Many surface mined areas originally reclaimed for pasture and hay land post-mining land uses in Appalachia are being converted to forestland. 

The forests of eastern North America were once home to the American chestnut which produced rot-resistant wood for construction and nuts for food.  A disease caused by a fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica, spread through the US forests, and by 1950, 4 billion trees had perished and an important wildlife and timber tree was lost.  Reestablishing chestnut trees on reclaimed surface mines has recently gained attention and several studies have been undertaken to measure survival and growth of trees on these disturbed sites.  

Performance of Passive Treatment Systems for Acid Mine Drainage

State and federal reclamation programs, mining operators, and citizen-based watershed organizations have constructed hundreds of passive systems in the eastern United States over the past 20 years to provide reliable, low cost, low maintenance mine water treatment in remote locations.  In 2000, we evaluated 116 systems comprised of eight system types in eight states. We revisited 14 of these sites in 2004 to confirm results from the earlier study.  Each system was monitored for influent and effluent flow, pH, net acidity, and metal concentrations.  Performance was normalized among types by calculating acid load removed, and also by converting construction cost, projected service life, and metric tonnes of acid load treated into cost per tonne of acid treated.  Most passive systems were effective for >5 yrs, yet there was wide variation in performance within each system type.

Project Significance
If loose mine soils are conducive to chestnut and hardwood growth, then establishment and dispersal from planted islands of blight-resistant hybrids throughout the range of the Appalachian coal region would aid in the goal of restoring the chestnut and sequestering a large volume of carbon.

Brownfields/Economic Development

BF 19 - West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative

Project Title: West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative
Project No.: BF-19
Principle Investigator: Patrick Kirby
Funding Source(s): Benedum Foundation
Funding Amount: $202,000.00
Project Duration: 6/1/2011 - 9/30/2013
Project Description: The West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative (WVRC) is an initiative funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation designed to use a team approach to tackle obstacles involved in redeveloping brownfields. The WVRC seeks to integrate the many services and expertise that exist in West Virginia so that state and nonprofit programs are more effective and successful in the communities they serve.

The WVRC works closely with specific projects and communities through a targeted collaborative effort facilitated by Brownfields Redevelopment Teams (BRTs). These teams are composed of area experts, most of whom are faculty members at one of West Virginia’s institutes of higher education. Teams are assembled by the WVRC and matched with specific projects that can benefit from their expertise and capture the maximum economic, environmental, and social benefit from the remediation and adaptive re-use of brownfields and other strategically located properties.

The WVRC is developing several tools to be used by future BRTs, including:
    • A predictable flow of the redevelopment process;
    • A model of the collaborative, team approach to catalyze success in redevelopment projects;
    • A network of area experts interested in working with communities on real-world projects; and
    • A list of resources and contacts for communities across West Virginia.

Website: wvredevelopment.org

Project Description: All of the projects that have had continued engagement from their BRTs, both during and after the initial grant period, have seen the impact of this work. All of these groups are thinking collaboratively about not only the projects funded by the WVRC but also other projects in their communities.

As indicated in the survey responses from communities referenced above, communities served by the WVRC have a better understanding of the redevelopment process and a higher capacity for brownfield redevelopment. They have a broader awareness of the resources that are available on projects and on how to engage stakeholders effectively. Many of the communities have reported that their BRT members have stayed involved with the project, even after the initial grant funding was expended.

As a result of the WVRC program, 14 communities are working on the redevelopment of 15 brownfield sites that have achieved significant milestones that would not have otherwise been achieved. Additionally, the WVRC continues to develop and foster partnerships with other service providers, often connecting agency or faculty experts that would not otherwise have been engaged in specific communities. This allows communities as well as resource providers to better achieve their missions, as Collaborators are able to connect with projects that might otherwise have slipped through the cracks.

BF 23 - FOCUS WV FY12

Project Title: FOCUS WV FY2012
Project No.: BF-23
Principle Investigator: Patrick Kirby
Funding Source(s): Benedum Foundation
Funding Amount: $250,000.00
Project Duration: 7/1/2011 - 6/30/2013

Project Description
The West Virginia Brownfields Revitalization Mini Grant Project (FOCUS WV Program) will create the opportunity communities and local governments need to jump-start brownfield projects in West Virginia through community development, education, and entrepreneurship.

The project will address abandoned and/or underutilized properties situated in areas of strategic community interest and economic revitalization that have not been developed due to real or perceived environmental barriers. This project will be especially helpful for those sites that have not received adequate redevelopment attention because of their small scale.

The Brownfields Revitalization Mini-Grant Projects are designed to achieve the following four objectives:
• Encourage brownfields redevelopment in West Virginia.
• Enable communities to market and/or reposition challenging, but strategic sites.
• Enhance communities’ ability to foster planned economic development.
• Build the capacity of the community to develop and implement a redevelopment vision.

One lesson learned from the FOCUS Program is the challenge of targeting larger post-industrial brownfield sites for redevelopment. These sites are often the most challenging to revitalize and the FOCUS WV Program will be tailored to offer support specifically for these types of brownfield sites. The West Virginia Brownfields FOCUS WV Program is designed to facilitate the revitalization process through two separate phases described below. The project will involve local community leaders in all 55 West Virginia counties, private development interests, and broad-based community groups with interest in economic revitalization.

The FOCUS WV grant program is designed in two one-year grant cycles: FOCUS Stage I and FOCUS Stage II. Stage I funding is valued at up to $5,000 and designed to help communities conduct site assessment, community capacity building through stakeholder identification, and revitalization planning. Stage II funding is valued at up to $12,000 and is available only for successful FOCUS Stage I grantees. This funding is designed to build upon the successes of the Stage I grant through site planning and design and market analysis.

Project Summary:

The FOCUS Grant program directly assisted 10 brownfield redevelopment projects across 10 communities through 14 FOCUS Stage I and FOCUS+ grants. The direct impact resulted in the clean-up of blighted properties, clean-up of long-standing environmental contaminated properties, economic development in small communities, and momentum and hope through the achievement of milestones on the path to project success. To date, these 10 FOCUS WV projects have leveraged $456, 183 in additional project support ($378,785 grant funding, $77,398 in-kind support) and have $603,300 in grant money currently applied for. A FOCUS Handbook as been developed to distribute and the model for a FOCUS WV Showcase has been developed to bring together and highlight FOCUS projects for an audience of project stakeholders, community members, state and federal program representatives, public and private foundations, as well as potential developers, investors, and other project funders.

BF 28 - BAD (Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated) Buildings to Bucks Program

Project Title: BAD (Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated) Buildings to Bucks Program
Project No.: BF-28
Principal Investigator: Patrick Kirby
Funding Souce(s): Claude W. Benedum Foundation
Funding Amount: $97,000
Project Duration: January 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014
Project Description: The BAD Buildings to Bucks Program will create and implement Brownfields, Abandoned, and Dilapidated Building Redevelopment Plans to accelerate local government efforts to stabilize communities, reduce and remove blighted property, and prepare neighborhoods for revitalization. BAD Building Redevelopment Plans contain a prioritized blighted property inventory, reuse options for high priority sites, and recommended actions for local governments.

Strategies:

    • Use the existing BAD Building Toolkit originally developed by the WV Community Development Hub and modified as a community implementation model by the NBAC. The Toolkit will also be updated to include West Virginia specific best practices and state/local ordinances and building codes.
    • Evaluate existing and potential building codes and ordinances in use, "on the books", and allowed under state law in communities across West Virginia.
    • Gain broad local political support and build local capacity by promoting a citizen driven Abandoned/Dilapidated Buildings Program model.
    • Offer communities a step-by-step model (and provide technical support) to create and prioritize Abandoned/Dilapidated Building Inventories.
    • Unitize a Decision Enhancer Tool to help communities prioritize properties and create site reuse plans.
Website: www.wvbadbuildings.org

Project Summary: The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center solicited applications for the BAD Buildings program from across the state. Of the applications received, eight were selected to receive a BAD Buildings Technical Assistance grant valued at $10,000 of technical assistance and programmatic expertise. Those communities were:
    • Weston
    • Wheeling
    • Fairmont
    • Middleway
    • Point Pleasant
    • Ronceverte
    • Kenova
    • Shinnston

The BAD Buildings Toolkit has been reviewed and enhanced with additional tools and funding resources. The new version of the Toolkit will be made publicly available as an interactive website designed specifically for communities working through the BAD Buildings Program or generally interested in the issue of abandoned/dilapidated buildings. This website will include a ‘tools’ section organized by issue, such as ‘how to manage a problem property’ and ‘how to mobilize my community to action’. Each of these issues sections will include tools and resources specific to that particular issue as well as instructional guides (print and video) on how to use and implement these tools. For example, the NBAC has developed a ‘Friendly Letter Template’ for BAD Buildings communities that need to begin communication with properties owners. In addition, we have developed a script for volunteers willing to send these letters or call property owners. This script will guide the volunteer on the conversation – what kinds of questions to ask, what kind of information to gather, and how to explain the BAD Buildings Team to the property owner with the goal of starting a dialogue and turning the property owner into a cooperative partner.

The NBAC has collected West Virginia building codes and municipal ordinances from 28 cities and 9 counties from across the state. These codes and ordinance are being used by the BAD Buildings Program as well as by our partner, the West Virginia University Land Use and Sustainable Law Clinic, as they work to implement the Legal Education and Assistance on Abandoned Buildings Program (WV LEAP) which will provide case studies and education primers on legal tools and solutions for communities working to address their abandoned buildings. In addition, the NBAC is using this collected research as examples and references as we further develop and refine the West Virginia BAD Buildings Toolkit and website.

Short term impacts in BAD Buildings Communities have been significant. Teams have recruited and trained local volunteers on the issues surrounding abandoned/dilapidated buildings and have engaged these volunteers in meaningful ways to begin addressing this problem. These volunteer Teams have begun identifying and working to solve specific problem properties as well as larger community issues. For example, the Fairmont BAD Buildings Team determined that a major hurdle was a lack of community cohesion. Their solution has been to determine if forming Neighborhood Associations is a viable option for these neighborhoods and are currently working to lay the foundation for these organizations. The Weston Team has reported several property owners demolishing and cleaning up their properties when previously they had been unresponsive to City requests. The Team believes this is because of the renewed attention to these problem properties and the push from local citizens to see improvement.

BF 29 - West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative: Main Street Edition

Project Title: WV Redevelopment Collaborative: Main Street Edition
Project No.: BF-29
Principal Investigator: Patrick Kirby
Funding Source(s): Claude W. Benedum Foundation
Funding Amount: $94,000
Project Duration: January 1, 2013 – January 30, 2014

Project Description
Many of the “obstacles” in a redevelopment project are based on three assumptions:
1) Lack of funding availability;
2) Perceived issues with working with regulatory agencies or service providers; and
3) That the “facts” are facts and thus the problems are clearly defined.

The Redevelopment Collaborative Process clarifies those three assumptions by:
1) Defining the project, which allows for specific resources to be identified and eliminates the myth of “no money”;
2) Bringing the regulators/resource providers to the table, creating a relationship which improves communication and subsequently removes the perception of regulatory “issues”; and
3) Verifying the project, which often leads to correcting the “facts”.

Once these clarifications of the project, problem, and funding have been made, a decision to move forward with the project can occur more quickly based on better information. Once the decision to move forward occurs, the momentum coupled with the project facts allow the project to move through the redevelopment process in a predictable and efficient manner.

The WV Redevelopment Collaborative (WVRC) has established and is testing the predictable, efficient, and collaborative process for redevelopment illustrated below. The Redevelopment Model developed and promoted by the WVRC is not new. However, providing communities with such a predictable flow of redevelopment steps (and services along those steps) is a new approach.

From the creation to the implementation of this model – as well as the companion tool which identifies available services and resources at each step – the WVRC has stressed the importance and effectiveness of working collaboratively. The model was first drafted by staff at NBAC based on their experience in communities working on brownfields projects over the course of the Center’s first six years providing technical assistance. The WVRC was formed, and ultimately created a draft of this process, in response to the NBAC’s recognition that agencies and programs tend to operate individually, with no organization or agency fully aware of the gamut of services offered by others. In short, working individually and separately, agencies were missing opportunities or needs faced by communities on specific projects. Recognizing this, the Center invited representatives from a broad spectrum of agencies to gather at a summit to critique and edit this draft process, offering the benefit of their own unique experiences. Service providers from more than 15 organizations represented as diverse a set of interests as the needs of communities, including representatives from state agencies like the WV Development Office and the WV Department of Environmental Protection, private banking institutions like Wesbanco, Inc., and federal programs like the US Department of Agriculture - Rural Development program.

In the course of one day, these representatives participated in processes designed to encourage discussion and input that have shaped and modified this model. Service providers were asked to serve as experts on their respective subject areas as related to specific hypothetical project examples. In the process, the service providers learned how other programs interact with a project but were still able to focus on the best time in the project to provide their resources. Often the communities working on specific projects are unsure of the best time to engage specific service providers or programs, which often leads to missed windows of opportunity for assistance/grant deadlines and ultimately project delays. By inviting service provider feedback on the redevelopment process specific to individual services and programs, the NBAC has developed a clear and comprehensive set of tools now being shared with all of our communities working on redevelopment projects. These tools provide communities with a clear guide to not only the process but also the programs available along the way, helping communities overcome their perceived issues with or unfamiliarity with available programs and funding. Ultimately, this will lead to more effective redevelopment on all fronts, as communities will not have to guess how to proceed with their projects, and service providers will have to field fewer questions about programs outside of their service or expertise areas. As communities learn what programs fit where and when, they will be able to ask the right questions to the right people, moving more efficiently through the redevelopment process.

Over the past year, the WVRC has worked with communities, service providers, and academic experts to implement this model, encouraging all stakeholders to work collaboratively at each step of the process. A key part of this implementation is the use of structured engagement activities. For the first and second rounds of the WVRC, we have created and facilitated activities designed to help multi-disciplinary teams interact and identify the issues and opportunities on specific brownfields sites. These events are by invitation or request only: the WVRC is not holding hands to pull communities or service providers along; a level of capacity and commitment to working collaboratively is required for success. The service providers and experts are already looking for ways to engage with communities, and communities have already identified priority projects.

Once a site is identified by community stakeholders (Step 1), teams of experts are assembled and convened at a single event to encourage those teams to work collaboratively and to think about community redevelopment issues in a new way, regardless of which step in the process the project has reached. These teams are then asked to create redevelopment plans for specific projects, and team members are asked to commit to specific action steps with deliverables and deadlines. Teams are asked to compete against other redevelopment projects at the same event, with only some projects receiving funding. By introducing an element of competition as a driving force, the WVRC helps communities learn that while their project is important, it is competing for resources from other important projects. The competitive aspect of the structured events help illustrate to communities the importance of being able to “sell” their projects, as well as the need to be prepared for when the request for “shovel ready” projects comes along in other contexts. While the first meeting is intense, it sets the stage for project accomplishment instead of simply a rehashing of project problems. Through relatively minimal funding per project, the community becomes accountable for moving the project forward and the collaborators become accountable to fulfilling identified tasks.

This method of collaborative and structured engagement differs from community development models implemented by other programs in several key ways. First, unlike some models, plans are not developed and then passed along to other experts or service providers, ultimately destined to be placed on a shelf in a community without the capacity or the collective energy or momentum to implement its recommendations. Instead, the plans are developed with key input from community liaisons and project champions based on practical and realistic expectations and capacity of team members to achieve the goals of the plan. The goal is not what general resources may apply to this project or others like it, but how do we work together to solve the problems associated with this specific project and our individual strengths and expertise.

Second, the redevelopment plans are expected to follow the redevelopment process outlined above, and BRT members – including faculty experts, agency representatives, and community stakeholders – are expected to create specific work plans with tasks assigned to team members, which ultimately facilitates greater success. Experts and community representatives do not gather to merely complete an exercise on what ‘could be’ in their community; they are expected to outline and commit to a realistic and achievable work plan that can be implemented only by team members working collaboratively. While travel expenses are sometimes necessary to encourage experts to connect with a community initially and to commit to working with them in the long-term, the self-interest of fulfilling their agency/organizational/programmatic mission and/or research interests lead to relationships with the project that ultimately benefit the experts as well.

The final difference in this model compared to other, broader community development models is its focus on specific projects and sites rather than on communities-at-large. The WVRC model focuses on specific brownfields redevelopment projects as quantifiable and solvable problems within the broader context of a community-wide revitalization effort. This focus on specific projects enables stakeholders to identify achievable action steps that will lead to success on those projects. Our goal is not to train communities or provide coaching on the broad and somewhat theoretical ideas of community development work. The goal is instead to illustrate the path to success on specific projects, success that can ultimately be replicated on other projects using the same collaborative model, as the community and ‘expert’ team members build their confidence and capacity based on project success. The creation of these relationships is mutually beneficial: the communities gain a broader understanding of the redevelopment process and their capacity to implement it successfully, and service providers increase their impact and efficiency in communities through specific projects, improving the public perception of their programs and ultimately reaching a broader constituency.

All of these differences in the Collaborative Model can ultimately be captured in the difference of role that the WVRC plays in contrast to other development programs or models. The WVRC does not serve in either of the more traditional roles as a service provider – i.e., serving as a connector, bringing communities and service providers or experts together; or as a specific provider of a service in isolation from or in parallel to other services provided by other agencies. The WVRC Collaborator does not simply recommend providers to communities and communities to providers, nor does she serve as a project manager on each specific brownfields project in the way staff in other programs might. Instead, the WVRC Coordinator facilitates the collaboration between communities and service providers, ensuring that they are not only connected but are also actively collaborating to better implement their services, leading to broader project success more efficiently and effectively.

Website: www.wvredevelopment.org

BF 32 - Land Stewardship Support Program (LSSP)

Project Title: Land Stewardship Support Program (LSSP)
Project No.: BF - 32
Principal Investigator: Patrick Kirby
Funding Source: Claude W. Benedum Foundation
Funding: Total Funding: $147,000
Project Duration: 7/1/13 – 6/30/14

Project Description:

The Land Stewardship Support Program (LSSP) will provide tools and support for of the West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation (WVLSC), as established through HB 2590, the West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation Act, in the 2013 West Virginia Legislative Session. The WVLSC is a collaborative effort among the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to provide West Virginia and its citizens a statewide, nonpartisan community and economic development nonprofit corporation partnered with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP). The Corporation will leverage redevelopable real estate for economic development and job creation and serve as a ‘one stop shop’ for environmental sites by housing three crucial programs: the Voluntary Land Stewardship Program, State Land Bank Program, and State Certified Sites Program.

The relationship between the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC) and the WVLSC will build upon the successful relationship that the NBAC currently has with the WVDEP. The NBAC will provide technical assistance and support to the WVLSC through its new technical assistance program, the LSSP. As the WVLSC is developing and formalizing its structure into a new nonprofit entity, the NBAC will provide guidance and recommendations for organizational and programmatic procedures and processes.

Project Significance:
The support provided to the West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation will benefit communities throughout West Virginia by helping the Corporation capitalize on the State’s previously used industrial sites for future economic development. All West Virginia citizens will benefit from the economic development opportunities as well as the environmental protection of remediated sites with institutional and engineering controls that are part of the remedy for the contaminated site. Local units of government will also benefit from increased local land values and minimized potential public health risks and liabilities associated with potentially contaminated sites in their communities.


Project Summary:

Through the LSSP, the NBAC facilitated the formation of the WVLSC non-profit corporation with a fully functioning Board of Directors and the structure to implement the three legislatively prescribed programs: the Voluntary Land Stewardship Program, the State Certified Sites Program, and the West Virginia Land Bank. The NBAC worked with the Board of Directors to file Articles of Incorporation and other relevant paperwork to formally establish the WVLSC as a non-profit corporation registered at both the state and federal levels.

In addition to this formal paperwork, the NBAC worked with the Office of the Governor to facilitate the appointment of a Board of Directors, and helped to facilitate quarterly meetings of the Board of Directors since February of 2014. At these meetings, the Board of Director established organizational bylaws, administrative policies, and strategic goals for the startup of the organization, which the NBAC helped to implement. The WVLSC is in the process of establishing a bank account to receive funds (via grants and contracts) and the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors is also in the process of planning for WVLSC staffing.

During the grant period, the NBAC provided the Board of Directors with criteria, guidelines, and an application process for the Site Certification Program. These recommendations were reviewed and adopted by the Board of Directors, and the NBAC continues to use those guidelines to promote the program and identify potential candidates for certification.

BF 34 - Site Ready Program

Project Name: Site Ready Program
Project No.: BF 34
Principle Investigator: Patrick Kirby
Funding Source(s): Benedum Foundation
Funding Amount: $378,000
Funding Duration: 3/15/14 – 3/1/17

Project Description:
The Site Ready Program is a regional effort to accelerate the redevelopment of former industrial sites in the Ohio River Valley and capitalize on current and future opportunities for brownfields redevelopment in decaying river towns presented by the development of the Marcellus Shale play along the Ohio River.

The Program is a collaboration of two successful revitalization efforts that have a common link to the Ohio River and a shared goal of redeveloping brownfield sites and revitalizing their respective Ohio River towns. The North Side Industrial Development Corporation (NSIDC) in Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle (BDC) serve four counties (Allegheny, Beaver, Brooke, and Hancock) which are collectively at the center of the industrial redevelopment in the region. Through the Site Ready Program, NBAC will leverage our past success in brownfields redevelopment with the economic development experience of the NSIDC and the BDC to reposition strategic brownfields sites along the Ohio River.

BF 36 - FAST Track

Project Name: FAST Track
Project No.: BF 36
Principle Investigator: Patrick Kirby
Funding Source(s): Benedum Foundation
Funding Amount: $170,000
Funding Duration: 6/15/14 – 6/30/16

Project Description:
The West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative Financial Analysis and Strategies Teams (WVRC FASTs) Track will build upon the momentum of redevelopment planning in the first rounds of the Collaborative to develop project funding strategies to accelerate existing Collaborative sites into successful redevelopment.

The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC) will focus on providing financial education and expertise to existing Redevelopment Collaborative projects. Through new FASTs for each project, communities will learn to identify, evaluate and implement private and public funding opportunities for redevelopment projects. FASTs composed of experts in project financing will guide local stakeholders through the process of assembling a finance strategy, using the Collaborative-funded project as an illustration of how funding mechanisms work so that local stakeholders can implement these strategies independently on future projects.

Project Summary:

Projects that participated in WVRC FAST Track have seen additional progress in their redevelopment process. Several projects have leveraged significant funds, and all projects have expanded their knowledge and understanding of the needs for financing and marketing strategies. Those projects looking for developers or new owners are much closer to that reality, and those looking for the final pieces of funding are within thousands of dollars, rather than hundreds of thousands, with plans to close those final gaps. It is anticipated that many of those gaps will be completely closed in the next six months, and that several sites will be sold or under new development in the next year. Projects have also been exposed to new methods and tools for marketing their sites, including Brownfield Listing, impact investing, and crowdfunding.

Through the selection of these projects and award of project funds, the WVRC identified new and creative ways to capture project information and the work of the teams. This has traditionally been difficult to document comprehensively, as WVRC staff cannot be present with all teams at all times. Using resources identified through staff research, we were able to capture those conversations, especially at structured engagement events, to have better information on project plans moving forward. We will continue to use these tools in future projects and programs.

Through the full process of the program, we learned of many additional resources and tools for community and project financing. These tools will be especially useful for projects with high capacity or that are further along in the redevelopment process. Those tools will be incorporated into our work across the organization.

BF 42 - BAD Buildings to Bucks 2.0

Project Name: BAD Buildings to Bucks 2.0
Project No.: BF 42
Principle Investigator: Patrick Kirby
Funding Source(s): Benedum Foundation
Funding Amount: $100,000
Funding Duration: 9/15/14-9/30/16

Project Description:
The Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated (BAD) Buildings Program is a statewide initiative developed by the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC), which provides technical assistance and site analysis tools to develop and enhance abandoned/dilapidated buildings programs in West Virginia communities. The program addresses barriers to identifying, prioritizing, and redeveloping BAD buildings. The NBAC is a program of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University.

Abandoned and dilapidated buildings are a common sight in West Virginia communities. The NBAC developed the BAD Buildings Program in response to frequent requests from its partners to provide tools and resources to help West Virginia communities address their BAD Buildings.

Failure to address BAD Buildings imposes severe social and economic costs on neighborhoods. BAD Buildings negatively impact communities through increased costs due to fire risks and crime as well as the costs of reduced tax revenue from depressed property values. BAD Buildings also act as a drain on local infrastructure, such as road, sidewalk, and utility maintenance, and increase costs by requiring public services such as police and fire protection. In addition, these properties demoralize communities; pose environmental, health, and safety hazards; and provide an attractive nuisance for illegal activities, including drug use. BAD Buildings slow local economic development by reducing available commercial and industrial properties as well as making a community much less attractive to entrepreneurs and developers.

Project Summary:

Short-term impacts in BAD Buildings communities have been significant. Seven teams have recruited and trained local volunteers on the issues surrounding abandoned/dilapidated buildings and have engaged these volunteers in meaningful ways to address community blight. Community surveys have been conducted, BAD Buildings inventories have been created and prioritized, and reuse strategies have begun being implemented. Short- and long-term community capacity and education has been identified as a major impact by BAD Buildings communities.

The NBAC is now seeing the long-term impacts of the BAD Buildings program. Addressing community blight is a long-term, ongoing process that requires continued diligence and coordination between property owners, citizens, and local government. Overcoming the challenges and barriers to removing or rehabilitating blighted structures itself is a significant achievement for West Virginia’s communities.

Many communities, both BAD Buildings technical assistance recipients and those that have undertaken the model independently, are seeing significant impacts. Local initiatives have included new ordinances, adoption of the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) or WV State Building Code, creation of vacant/uninhabitable buildings registries, hiring of Certified Code Enforcement Officials, authorization of on-site citations, and even creation of Development Authorities (Shinnston and Salem) and Urban Renewal Authorities (Wellsburg and Weston).

Communities across the state have comprehensive inventories of blighted properties as well as a prioritization process to help determine how to address these problem properties. This includes communities that have never requested assistance from the NBAC; rather, they have taken the BAD Buildings model and implemented it on their own. Communities across the state are using their BAD Buildings Inventories to target high priority properties and neighborhoods for removal of blight and revitalization efforts.

BF 49 - Just Transition Fund

Project Name: Just Transition Fund
Project No.: BF 49
Principle Investigator: Patrick Kirby
Funding Source(s): Appalachian Funders Network
Funding Amount: $22,500
Funding Duration: 6/1/15 – 5/31/16

Project Description:
The Just Transition Fund grant is used to connect the economic opportunities of projects such as the Integrated Mine Reclamation Pilot to the local priorities to craft a competitive, forward-thinking Power+ Implementation Grant application focused on the economic transition of textbook coalfield communities tied together by Corridor G. The Integrated Mine Reclamation opportunity, now known as Refresh Appalachia, offers the chance to go from being the state that keeps the lights on, to the state that keeps the lights on AND puts food on the table. The vast natural resources in the coalfields (beyond coal) provide a fertile economic environment for a combination of agroforestry, renewable energy, and intensive agricultural production. Specifically, the POWER + Implementation grant created a scalable pilot reclamation program that revitalizes the local economy, provides locally grown foods, and restores the land in a self-sustaining system. The project has developed sites that currently employ people in agroforestry and intensive agriculture on post-mining sites. This model addresses the regional economic shift that requires a diversified economy that capitalizes on energy autonomy and a robust regional food system, not only creating jobs but also an emergent West Virginia economy.

Project Summary:

These funds allowed the project staff to have conversations with a wide variety of partners to better understand the challenges, needs, and opportunities for the project. These funds helped to develop specific site and business plans describing how POWER funds would be spent, and the expected revenue model from our social enterprise. Without this funding, the Coalfield Development Corporation’s proposal to US EDA & ARC would not have been competitive. The site and business planning support provided by the JTF has already been leveraged for additional funding through other foundations and competitive grants.

These funds also helped support adjacent coalfield communities to participate in the Coal Reliant Communities Challenge (through travel funding). Without the JTF grant, those communities would not have been able to attend the required workshop to participate.

The JTF funds also allowed the Coalfield Development Corporation, with the support of the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center, to develop a second POWER application (a POWER Plus Grant) with a pre-application approved in early summer of 2016 and a planned submission of a final application in July of 2016. To date, the $22,500 Just Transition Fund grant has helped to leverage almost $800,000 in federal funding, as well as additional private dollars, to support the transition of coalfield communities into more sustainable, economically viable places.

Conferences & Events

WRI 59 - WV Water Conference 2004

Project Title: WV Water Conference 2004
Project No.: WRI 59
Principle Investigator: Tamara Vandivort
Funding Source(s):
USGS 104b $11,168.00
Match/Cost Share: $18,331.00
Total Funding Amount: $29,499
Project Duration: 10/28/04 - 10/29/04

Project Description
The third annual West Virginia Water Conference had a theme of Emerging Water Issues... Science and Solutions.  The goal of the conference was to recognize West Virginia’s water issues and to identify how technology, policy, and education can be harnessed so that the full value of this critical resource is realized.  The event, sponsored by the WV Water Research Institute and the US Geological Survey, was held at the Stonewall Jackson Resort in Roanoke, WV.

The plenary session featured David Hardesty, President of West Virginia University, Paul Ziemkiewicz, Director of the WV Water Research Institute and Joyce McConnell, Dean of the WVU Law School.  Topics for the sessions during the first day of the two day conference included; source water protection, wastewater treatment, coal slurry impoundments, protecting our public water supplies and a round-table discussion Next steps: What will it take to protect West Virginia’s water resources.  The second day of the conference featured water research efforts.  Topics included Finding solutions, hydrology, mapping, mine pools, surface water gaging, agriculture, mercury and land-use planning.

Project Significance
Sharing the results of Water Research Institute Research as well as providing a forum for others to share their research is core to the mission of the West Virginia Water Research Institute.

WRI 69 - WV Water Conference 2005

Project Title: WV Water Conference 2005
Project No.: WRI 69
Principle Investigator: Tamara Vandivort
Funding Source(s):
USGS 104b $14,844.00
Match/Cost Share: $31,141.00
Total Funding Amount: $45,985
Project Duration: 03/15/05 - 02/28/06

Project Description
The West Virginia Water Research Institute and Environmental Research Center at West Virginia University, Canaan Valley Institute, US EPA Office of Research and Development, US Geological Survey, and the US EPA Region III sponsored the 2005 WV Water Conference Revitalizing Communities through Integrated Restoration: Linking Social, Economic, and Natural Assets, Answering Questions About Growing an Integrated Restoration Industry in the Highlands.

The ultimate goal of the Conference was to encourage and empower the growth of a thriving restoration industry in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands. The Conference had three purposes to achieve this goal:

1. Identify and assess the social, economic, and ecologic benefits of restoration,

2. Identify existing funding programs that support restoration and assess future funding opportunities, and

3. Identify challenges associated with creating a thriving restoration industry in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands, and suggest solutions to these challenges.

Project Significance
Sharing the results of Water Research Institute Research as well as providing a forum for others to share their research is core to the mission of the West Virginia Water Research Institute.

WRI 79 - WV Water Conference 2006

Project Title:  WV Water Conference 2006
Project No.:  WRI 79
Principle Investigator:  Tamara Vandivort
Funding Source(s):  USGS 104b
Total Funding Amount: 
$15,565
Project Duration:
  03/01/06 - 02/28/07

Project Description

Ensuring water resources for West Virginia’s future was the theme of the 2006 WV Water Conference held at the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, WV.  What drives water policy in West Virginia?  How are research findings and technology translated into policy?  How do watershed associations organize to address their concerns?  These are some of the questions addressed at the fifth annual state water conference.  The conference was sponsored by the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University, the U.S. Geological Survey, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and the National Environmental Education & Training Center. 

The objectives of the Conference included:

1) expanding the awareness of water issues in the state;

2) providing attendees with an awareness of on-going water research;

3) providing attendees with an awareness of on-going legislation underway to protect the State’s water resources;

4) networking of the State’s water stakeholders;

5) identifying water resource issues and sharing them with the West Virginia Advisory Committee

Project Significance
Sharing the results of Water Research Institute Research as well as providing a forum for others to share their research is core to the mission of the West Virginia Water Research Institute.

WRI 203 - WV Water Conference 2015

Project Name: 2015 Water Conference
Project No.: WRI 203
Principle Investigator: Tamara Vandivort
Funding Source(s): USGS 104b
Funding Amount: $26,322
Funding Duration: 3/1/15 – 2/29/16

Project Description:
For this year’s Water Conference we have joined with the Virginia Water Resources Research Center to co-host the “2015 Water Resources Conference of the Virginias”. The Conference will take place October 5 & 6, 2015 at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, WV. The theme for this year’s Conference is “Water – Energy – Agriculture”.

This two-state event combines exceptional educational presentations with outstanding opportunities for university faculty and students, policy makers, industry, environmental consultants, state and federal agencies, watershed groups and the public to share the latest information, technologies and research relating to West Virginia’s and Virginia’s water resources. This Conference provides excellent networking opportunities as well as a productive forum to discuss pertinent water-based issues.

Project Update:

The 2015 Water Resources Conference of the Virginias was held October 5 & 6, 2015 at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, WV. The event was successful with approximately 109 attending the two day Conference that focused on the latest research related to water resources in West Virginia and Virginia.

2015 Water Resources Conference of the Virginias website: www.wrcvirginias.org

Ecology

WV 240 - Functional Values of Streams/Wetlands on Mined Land

Project Title: Functional Values of Streams/Wetlands on Mined Land
Project No.: WV 240
Principle Investigator: Todd Petty
Funding Source(s): US DOI/OSM
Funding Amount: $99,997.00
Project Duration: 09/30/2007 - 09/29/2008

Project Description
The over-riding objective of this project was to provide a comprehensive assessment of ecological functions of aquatic habitats on reclaimed surface mines in southern West Virginia.  The specific objectives were to 1) compare and contrast the functional value of reference headwater streams and of post-reclamation aquatic features, 2) determine whether ecological functions are adequately replaced after mining and reclamation, and 3) develop recommendations for surface mine reclamation and direction for future studies.

We studied aquatic ecosystem functions at five reclaimed mine perimeter channel sites and five paired native headwater channel sites in southern West Virginia.  Both ecosystem structure and function measures were taken at study locations.  All parameters were measured seasonally from May 2006-April 2008.  Reclaimed mine sites varied in age from 3 years post mining up to approximately 20 years post mining.  We used a variety of statistical approaches to test for structural and functional differences between reclaimed mine and native stream channels. 

This represents the first comprehensive study to quantify ecological structures and functions associated with aquatic habitats on reclaimed mines.  Our results clearly show that elevated conductivity and TDS concentrations are the dominant factor limiting ecological functions on reclaimed mines and must be the target of progressive reclamation and mitigation practices.  Finally, our results were used to produce a table of “functional ratios” that allow objective comparison of ecological functions on reclaimed mines with native catchments.

Project Significance
The results from our research can be used to identify strengths and short-comings of current surface mine reclamation processes as they relate to aquatic ecosystem functions.  This information can then be used to determine which ecological functions can be effectively recovered through improved reclamation processes and which functions need to be recovered through off-site mitigation actions.  Finally, this information can be used to determine which functions can only be maintained through protection of undisturbed headwater catchments.  The specific results of our study are directly applicable to large scale surface mine reclamation in the central Appalachian region.  Nevertheless, we believe that the general approach we have used may be applicable nationwide.

Gas Well Development

BF 26 - Post Mine Site ID for Industrial Development

Project Title: Post Mine Site Identification for Industrial Development (Research Support Program for the WV Division of Energy - Phase II)
Project No.: BF-26
Principle Investigator: Patrick Kirby
Funding Source(s): WV Division of Energy
Funding Amount: $27,375.00
Project Duration: 4/1/2012 - 12/31/2012

Project Description

Background
Coal mining has been a long standing industry across much of West Virginia. Historically, at the conclusion of surface mining activities, these properties often remained unused offering little value for future use. The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC) is augmenting West Virginia Division of Energy resources to effectively determine the potential sites for future economic development on post mine sites. The project will utilize input of NBAC specialists with expertise in the area of brownfields redevelopment, geographic information system (GIS) analysis, and site selection analysis to identify post mine sites of at least 200 acres located within a 100 mile radius of Kanawha, Marshall, and Wood Counties.

Benefits
Properties previously surface mined, now considered brownfields, are seen as possible avenues to the creation of new, sustainable economic development opportunities, especially in the area of alternative energy generation and natural gas extraction. Unused or underutilized surface mined sites reused for industrial activity will effectively decrease the amount of greenfield deforestation, create local economic opportunities in areas where employment opportunities may have decreased, potentially reduce operating costs for companies, and minimalize environmental impacts on communities among other benefits.

Scope
In order for economic development opportunities to be realized on surface mined properties within a 100-mile radius of Kanawha, Marshall, and Wood Counties in West Virginia, the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC) will collect and evaluate critical geographic data sets, listed below, to ensure the identification of the highest potential economic development opportunities and sites.

Scope of Work
Over a period of up to one (1) year from the effective date of this agreement,
the NBAC will provide services on the following tasks:

    1. Obtain and/or derive geographic dataset of all currently permitted post mine sites within 100-mile radius of Kanawha, Marshall, and Wood Counties in West Virginia.
    2. From permitted post-mine site datasets, determine which sites have 200 acres of developable land and identify the coal company and land owners associated with each tract. 
    A Developable acreage will be derived by taking into account factors such as slope, Floodplains, utility setbacks, wetlands, and other relevant information.
    3. Determine which sites are within ten (10) miles of a four-lane highway or highways.
    4. Obtain geographic "Access" road dataset, if available. If not available, will further discuss feasibility of collecting data set depending on number of sites selected due to other site selection criteria.
    5. Obtain the status of water, gas, and electric utilities for each site. If site does not have utility infrastructure, closest infrastructure will be identified and provided.
    6. Identify and provide other data sets related to economic development potential such as distance to power plants, transmission lines, and other energy related facilities.
    7. Provide data gap analysis of relevant site characteristics, evaluate methods/resources for data gap in formation assemblage, and collect/obtain data for inclusion in site characteristic data sets.
    8. Coordinate with WVDE to make geographic data compatible/available.
    9. Complete Final Report to summarize all data and present results.

    ETD 10 - Assessing Environmental Impacts of Gas Well Drilling

    Project Title: Assessing Environmental Impacts of Horizontal Gas Well Drilling Operations
    Project No.: ETD-10
    Principle Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
    Funding Source(s): WVDEP
    Total Funding Amount: $578,701.43
    Project Duration: 5/9/2012 – 12/31/2012

    Project Summary

    World energy consumption continues to grow at an unprecedented rate with a heavy reliance on fossil energy. With its vast reserves of fossil fuels and the availability of advanced, environmentally-responsible technology, West Virginia is positioned to be a leader in supplying the country with clean energy. As pressure for increased fossil fuel production increases, the proximity of communities to exploration and extraction operations decreases, increasing the chances of human exposures to potential hazards and pollution. Environmental challenges surrounding the use and consumption of fossil energy must be addressed and economically viable solutions identified.

    With recent increased activity tapping the gas reserves of the Devonian Shale, public concern over the potential impacts of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has also increased. Although hydraulic fracturing is not a new technique to release deep deposits of natural gas, the rate of which it has been used recently (particularly for the Marcellus Shale) has greatly escalated bringing with it elevated concerns of environmental impacts. In order for development to proceed in a way that grows our economy and protects our environment, we need to identify the environmental and health risks associated with tapping this vast resource and establish ways in which the regulatory agencies can develop and effective and predictable regulatory scheme allowing Industry to operate using approved techniques.

    On December 14, 2011, the West Virginia Legislature (Code of State Regulations §22-6A) enacted the Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act. The act directed the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to conduct several studies in order to collect information and report back its findings and recommendations. In summary the act required a report that addresses the human health issues related to:

    · Light and noise

    · Air emissions

    · Impoundment safety

    · Water and waste streams

    The scope of the study began with initial well development and ended with the initiation of gas production. In support of these legislative mandates, the WVDEP solicited a team of researchers from WVU to conduct these studies. Led by the WVWRI, the WVU researchers studied horizontal gas well development activity impacts on air and water quality, generated light and noise, and structural integrity and safety of the pits and impoundments retaining fluids from well development. The studies included literature reviews followed by direct field monitoring.

    Final Reports

    ETD 12 - Environmental Friendly Drilling Program

    Project Name: Environmental Friendly Drilling Program
    Project No.: ETD 12
    Principle Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz, Ph.D., Director
    Project Manager: Jennifer Hause
    Funding Source(s):
    Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems Program - The Technology Intergration Program & U.S. Geological Survey
    Funding Amount: $100,000
    Funding Duration: 4/1/14 – 3/31/15

    Project Description:
    This field-based research effort is an integrated approach to examine the effects of large-scale horizontal drilling on surrounding air and water resources (surface and groundwater). Researchers will identify a planned horizontal well site to monitor the air, surface waters and groundwater within a predetermined distance from the gas wellhead. Samples to be collected from the well site will include well cuttings and precipitate from filters during drilling of the horizontal section of the well, and produced water. All samples will be analyzed for naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM). Additional samples will be collected and analyzed from surface and near-surface waters. An air monitoring system will be designed and employed to determine the amount of dust and ultra-fines produced and released into the environment in the vicinity of the well. Sampling techniques to be utilized will be those developed during a recent West Virginia University (WVU) field study requested and funded by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP). Analyses will be performed on key parameters determined in this previous study as being the most critical to human and environmental risk.

    Objectives:
    The objectives of this study are to (1) compare air quality results to the impact of other industrialized activities and to current environmental standards and health benchmarks; (2) document the physical and chemical characteristics of flowback and produced water and solid waste streams associated with the development of a horizontal shale gas well; (3) compare water quality results to current environmental standards; and (4) evaluate impacts of horizontal gas well activities on nearby groundwater.

    GEO 28 - Risk Guidelines for Mineral and Energy Extraction Near Impounding Structures

    Project Title: Risk Guidelines for Mineral and Energy Extraction Near Impounding Structures and Surface Bodies of Water
    Project No.:  GEO - 28
    Principal Investigator:  John D. Quaranta, Ph.D., P.E. Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Funding Source:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)                            
    USACE:  $285,00.03 
    Cost-Share: $0
    Total Project Funding:  $285,000.03
    Project Duration:  10/30/12 – 12/31/13

    Project Description         
    The objective of this work is to assemble an expert panel of individuals to review, assess, and provide interim guidance information related to mineral extraction planned near USACE dams and reservoirs.   The first part of the study proposes that an expert panel of individuals review, assess, and provide interim guidance information related to mineral extraction planned near USACE dams and reservoirs.  In the second part of the study researchers will develop a solution approach for determining risk levels of mineral extraction within a range of depths and distances. This will be achieved through a review of regulations, engineering performance data, case histories, analytical methods, and a comparison of solution approaches. Risk factors, probabilistic analysis, and modeling a varying range of conditions, depths, and distances will be employed. On-the-ground field investigations of existing dams and reservoirs is also proposed to assess actual or proposed effects of mining operations.

    Project Significance           
    The expected outcome of this research will be the identification of risk factors calculated using event tree analysis, or other appropriate methods, which define risk within boundary offset zones at reservoirs and dams.  This research is based on coupling findings from the mining subsidence and dam safety engineering professions to determine approaches for determining risk.  This research differs from previous work by authors including:  Kendorski, 1993, Babcok and Hooker, 1977, and Skelly and Loy, 1976 as these researchers focused on mining affecting subsurface seepage for protecting the miners’ safety; not specifically evaluating the risk of condition (i.e. seepage) changes failure to reservoirs and structures (i.e. dam and appurtenances).

    WRI 164 - Upper Ohio River Basin Quest (3RQ)

    Project Title: Upper Ohio Basin QUEST
    Project No.: WRI-164
    Principle Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
    Funding Source(s): Colcom Foundation
    Funding Amount: $669,990.00
    Project Duration: 6/2012 - 12/2015

    Project Description                                                                                                                                                                                       The Three Rivers QUEST program is an expansion of West Virginia Water Research Institute’s Mon River QUEST, a program successfully launched in 2009 to study water quality in the Monongahela River Basin. Partnering with Duquesne University, Wheeling Jesuit University, and the Iron Furnace Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the expanded Three Rivers QUEST will geographically cover the Upper Ohio River Basin. 

    Bi-weekly water quality monitoring by researcher partners will include sampling at the mouths of major tributaries and at various points along the mainstem of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. Water samples are analyzed at state certified laboratories for multiple parameters. In addition to the sampling and in-depth lab analysis done by the research partners, volunteer-based watershed groups will be engaged to do citizen field monitoring of the headwater streams of the Rivers’ tributaries. A convenient and easy to use data management tool has been developed to allow watershed groups the ability to enter data into a secure and robust database. Resultant water quality data, collected by both research partners and volunteer-based watershed, groups are readily available for the public, agencies and industry via the program website, www.3riversquest.org. An interactive map allows those interested to visualize the water quality at different times and locations.

    WV 33 - Treatment of High TDS Water from Marcellus Shale Gas Fracking Operations

    Project Title:  Treatment of High TDS Water from Marcellus Shale Gas Fracking Operations
    Project No.:  WV – 33
    Principal Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz, PhD, Director, West Virginia Water Research Institute
    Co-Principal Investigator: Tom He, PhD, Geochemist, West Virginia Water Research Institute
    Funding Source: PPG Industries Foundation
    Total Funding: $20,000
    Project Duration: 01/01/13 – 08/31/13

    Project Description
    Total dissolved solids (TDS) control has become a big issue in the energy business with the use of hydro-fracturing for natural gas recovery in shales and new discharge regulations for the coal industry. High TDS in fracing water is one of the limiting factors for the recycle and beneficial reuse of the water. Economic and regulatory limitations on the disposal of high TDS fracing water provide incentives for developing efficient treatment technologies.

    The objectives of this study are to:
    • Investigate modified Solvay process as a treatment technology for high TDS in frac water;
    • Determine key parameters controlling the TDS removal through laboratory bench studies;
    • Identify the optimum range of key parameters for effective and efficient TDS treatment;
    • Evaluate the treatment efficiency and economics of the proposed treatment technology in comparison with other available technologies.

    In this study, researchers investigate the use of a salting out effect to treat hydrofracture flowback more economically. The approach is to use a modification of the Solvay process, a commercial industrial process invented to produce sodium carbonate (soda ash) for salting out total dissolved solids (TDS). That process uses a sodium chloride solution (seawater), limestone (CaCO3) and ammonia as reagents with the recovery of most of the ammonia and isolation of solid soda ash. Using ammonia addition and recovery, and CO2 bubbling and solids recovery following the modified Solvay process, TDS reduction is achieved through removal of cations (Na+, Ca2+) and anions (Cl-, SO42-) from the returned frac water (RFW).

    Project Significance
    The major benefits of the proposed investigation lie in the potential contribution to economic savings to the oil and gas industry and environmental benefits to the local environment.
    Treatment of frac water will enhance recycle and reuse of the RFW, and reduce the fresh water usage and improve the efficiency of water usage for fracing operations. These may produce substantial cost savings in terms of less fresh water usage and less disposal cost of RFW.
    Successful development of this technology will reduce the environmental stress related to return fracing water storage, transportation, accidental release and disposal, as well as stress on local infrastructure. Another environmental benefit of this technology is that it has potential to be a way of CO2 sequestration from power plants.
    Additionally, this technology may be adapted for high TDS water treatment from other industries, such as high TDS treatment in mining water.

    WV 239 - Impacts to Watersheds from Shale Development

    Project Title: Impacts to Small Watersheds from Shale Development
    Project No.: WV-239
    Principle Investigator: Leslie Hopkinson
    Funding Source(s): DOE-URS
    Funding Amount: $101,012.00
    Project Duration: 1/1/2012 – 12/31/2012

    Project Description
    In cooperation with the WVWRI, the WVU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will conduct research to assess the environmental impacts of drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale. A monitoring plan will be designed and sampling will be completed to assess the impact of drilling on the physical, chemical, and ecological characteristics of surface water, focusing on perennial streams. Flow, water quality parameters, physical attributes (bed grain size, longitudinal slope, etc.), and ecological parameters (aquatic habitat, embeddedness, etc.) will be collected. Monitoring data will be analyzed to determine if shale gas drilling practices have a significant impact on stream water quality, quantity, ecological indices, or physical characteristics. The main objective of this research is to build the scientific understanding and assessment tools necessary to develop the confidence that key domestic oil and gas resources can be produced safely and in an environmentally sustainable way.

    Infrastructure

    WV 219 - Coal Slurry Impoundment Monitoring

    Project Title: Coal Slurry Impoundment Monitoring
    Project Name: WV 219
    Principle Investigator: John Quaranta
    Funding Source(s): NTTC/WJU
    Funding Amount: $167,995.94
    Project Duration: 12/19/2005 - 5/31/2007

    Project Description
    Following the breakthrough and release of coal slurry in Martin County, Kentucky on October 11, 2000 the United States Congress requested the National Research Council (NRC) to examine ways to reduce these types of accidents.  The NRC completed their study titled “Coal Waste Impoundments, Risks, Responses, and Alternatives,” which identified numerous areas of concern and the committee presented recommendations for improving the design, operation, and safety of coal slurry impoundments.  This research addresses the National Research Council’s report specific to research on the development, implementation, and evaluation of state-of-practice electronic instrumentation for monitoring parameters within the embankment, slurry pool, and toe area of an operating West Virginia coal refuse impoundment.

    The scientific accomplishments of this research include comprehensive discussions and documentation of the engineering design, fabrication, assembly, and field construction and commissioning of a prototype automatic wireless data collection system for monitoring impoundment performance (weather data, piezometric water levels, pH, Specific Conductance, and Oxidation Reduction Potential).  The project successfully accomplished the project objectives and brought on-line the completed wireless data acquisition system that can function primarily without assistance to collect data that is relevant to coal slurry impoundment stability and safety.

    Project Significance
    This project will continue to collect data over the next year and provide the information to the impoundment design engineers and the West Virginia University Coal Impoundment Research program.  This project has provided key insight into remote monitoring system needs and limitations as applied to coal slurry impoundments.  Future efforts would include collaboration with instrumentation vendors for commercialization of complete monitoring packages to support MSHA’s visual inspection requirements.

    Mining

    WRI 46 - Assessing Extent and Longevity of Degradation Following Coal Mining in WV

    Project Title:  Assessing Extent and Longevity of Degradation Following Coal Mining in WV
    Project No.: WRI-46
    Principal Investigators: Paul Ziemkiewicz, Ph.D., Director, West Virginia Water Research Institute, West Virginia University
    Funding Source(s):
    USGS - $23,542
    Cost-Share -$48,728
    Total Funding Amount:  $72,270
    Project Duration: 3/31/2004 – Final Report

    Project Description
    Coal mining has been a significant cause of long-term harm to streams in the Appalachians. However a recent study at West Virginia University has shown that many of these acid impacted streams may be improved over time through the natural reduction in acid generation of the mine sources.

    The purpose of this study was to compare two watersheds of similar size and geology, one of which was affected by acid mine drainage due to surface mining and the other of which was unmined. The goal was to compare water chemistry and benthic macroinvertibrate life to determine how much, if any, natural amelioration of acid mine drainage has occurred in the mined watershed over time.

    Samples were collected from both sites on May 23, 2003. Flow data and pH were field measured at both sites. Samples collected were lab-analyzed for pH, acidity, alkalinity, sulfates, TDS, TSS, iron, aluminum, manganese and magnesium. Benthic macroinvertibrates were collected in an identical manner at both sites. Three replicate sub-samples were collected at separate riffles along the same stretch of stream.

    Based on analysis of water samples collected on the unimpacted stream, chemistry had not changed much over the 25 year period. Comparing chemistry results to USDA Forest Service data collected on the mining-impacted stream 20-25 years prior showed, the acidity had decreased by 68%, iron, aluminum, manganese and magnesium had decreased by 85%, 62,5%, 65% and 52.8% respectively. The pH improved from 2.96 to 3.4. Acid load in the stream decreased by 60%. Based on these data, amelioration of an acid impacted stream does occur over time.

    The biologic condition of the streams were determined by using the Stream Condition Index (SCI) methodology. All organisms recovered were identified and counted. The final SCI scores of 93.5 for the unimpacted stream and 15.3 for the mining impacted stream demonstrate a wide difference in the quality of the two streams as reflected by their benthic macroinvertibrate assemblages. The scores indicate that any natural amelioration of the biologic component of the stream that may have taken place was minimal.

    WRI 47- Establishing Biological and Water Quality Criteria for Water Resource Management in a Mining Impacted Watershed

    Project Title: Establishing Biological and Water Quality Criteria for Water Resource Management in a Mining Impacted Watershed
    Project No.:  WRI-47
    Principal Investigator(s):  J. Todd Petty, Ph.D., Associate Professor, West Virginia University Division of Forestry
    Funding:
     USGS -$36,746
    Cost-Share - $110,531
    Total Project Funding:  $147,277
    Project Duration:  4/15/2002 – /28/2006

    Project Description
    The objectives of this study were to quantify temporal variability in dissolved metals and other solutes within the lower Cheat River watershed and to quantify relationships between water chemistry, water quality variability, and specific levels of ecological impairment. This project sampled and analyzed water chemistry and invertebrate data from 34 tributaries of the lower Cheat River in West Virginia. The analysis quantified the degree of water quality variability in streams draining an intensively mined landscape.

    Project Significance
    The type of information produced from this study is critical when determining how best to design restoration programs in acid mine drainage impacted watersheds. Results from this study have been used to guide decisions regarding a water quality trading program for the lower Cheat River basin. Specific relationships between water chemistry and ecological condition can be used to quantify the amount of ecological recovery that can be expected from a given restoration / management scenario. The relationships also provide a tool to project the rate and extent of watershed recovery for the Cheat River watershed following a series of restoration actions. Results from this study were also used to obtain additional research funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

    WRI 48 - Impact of Longwall Mining on Headwater Streams in Northern West Virginia

    Project Title:  Impact of Longwall Mining on Headwater Streams in Northern West Virginia
    Project No.: WRI-48
    Principal Investigator(s): Benjamin M. Stout III, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Wheeling Jesuit University
    Funding:
    USGS -$17,568
    Cost-Share - $31,753
    Total Project Funding:  $49,321
    Project Duration: 8/30/2004 – Final Report

    Project Description
    The purpose of this study was to measure the extent of longwall mining impacts on headwater streams in northern West Virginia and address the question: do streams recover? This report encompasses two years of field research and compliments the report of June 30, 2003 entitled: Impact of longwall mining on headwater streams in northern West Virginia (Stout, 2003). Physical, chemical, and biological measurements were collected and General Linear Models Analysis of Variance was used to compare average longwall mined versus reference streams.

    Aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in reference streams are ubiquitous across the region, rich in diversity, long-lived, and dependent on the surrounding terrestrial ecosystem for energy and nutrients. Longwall mining resulted in a net loss of approximately one-half of all headwater streams in Marshall County, West Virginia. Streams were particularly impacted near the source, and most re-emerged downstream. Macorinvertebrate abundance appeared to recover to reference conditions in the lower reaches of longwall mined streams. However, neither diversity or longevity of the macroinvertebrate community recovered along the stream gradient. here was no indication that the physical, chemical, or biological impacts of longwall mined streams recover over time.

    WRI 83 - Evaluation of the Environmental Hazard of Selenium in Coal-Associated Rocks of the Southern West Virginia Coal Basin

    Project Title:  Evaluation of the Environmental Hazard of Selenium in Coal-Associated Rocks of the Southern West Virginia Coal Basin
    Project No. :  WRI-83
    Principal Investigator: Ronald Smart
    Funding:
    USGS - $31,892
    Cost Share - $63,880
    Total Project Funding:  $95,772
    Project Duration:

    Project Description
    In a typical mountain top removal/valley fill coal mining operation the overburden and interburden material associatated with the coal is placed into adjacent valleys containing streams. A recent study undertaken by the U.S. EPA characterized and compared the conditions in 1) streams that were not mined, 2) streams in mined areas with valley fills, and 3) streams in mined areas without valley fills in the Appalachian coal fields of southern WV. There were 213 stream samples analyzed for selenium in that study which resulted in 66 violations of the 5 ppb water quality criterion to protect aquatic life. This study develops a rapid ultrasonic water-extraction procedure to determine which portion of the coal-associated rocks contains the most selenium as well as which rock material is the most easily extracted. In addition to the total selenium extracted, its oxidation state (selenite and selenate) will also be determined since the bioaccumulation and toxicity of selenium are related to the oxidation state. The stratigraphic distribution of selenium within a 900 foot core sample was determined and the lithigraphic/mineralogic affinities with whole-rock selenium, selenium mobilization, and selenium speciation were also established.

    WRI 50 - Strategies for Cooling Electric Generating Facilities Utilizing Mine Water

    Project Titlte:   Strategies for Cooling Electric Generating Facilities  Utilizing Mine Water
    Project No.:  WRI-50
    Principal Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz, Ph.D., Director, West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University
    Funding Source: US DOE/METC
    Total Funding Amount:  $179,615
    Project Duration: 10/30/2003 – 12/31/2004

    Project Description
    Thermal electric power generation requires large volumes of water. There are three main uses for this water: cooling water, boiler feed, and flue gas desulfurization (emission scrubbing). The cooling cycle condenses steam at the end of the turbine cycle and requires, by far, the greatest volume of water. Earlier studies conducted by West Virginia University identified large potential water resources in flooded, abandoned coal mines in the Pittsburgh Coal Basin. This study evaluated the technical and economic potential of the Pittsburgh Coal Basin water source to supply new power plants with cooling water.

    We found that the use of net alkaline mine water would, under current economic conditions, be competitive with a river-source in a comparable size water cooling system. On the other hand, utilization of net acidic water would be higher in operating cost than the river system by 12 percent. This analysis did not account for any environmental benefits that would accrue due to the treatment of acid mine drainage, which in many locations is an existing public liability. In summary, mine water utilization for power plant cooling was considered a strong option for meeting water needs of new plant in selected areas.

    Analysis of the thermal and water handling requirements for a 600 megawatt power plant indicated that Type B, earth coupled cooling, would not be feasible. It was determined that Type B cooling would be possible, under the right conditions, for thermal power plants of 200 megawatts or less. Project Significance: The objectives of this work included identifying cost saving alternatives to the current coal fired power plant cooling process. Non-traditional water sources such as coal mine discharges have the potential to reduce the capital cost of acquiring the cooling water while at the same
    time improving the efficiency of the cooling process due to the constant water temperatures associated with deep mine discharges. In addition, the potential use of the underground mines themselves as a wide area heat sink were evaluated for feasibility.

    WRI 154 - Geomorphic Design to Improve Flood Control and Water Quality on Mountaintop Mines

    Project Title: Geomorphic Design to Improve Flood Control and Water Quality on Mountaintop Mines
    Project No.: WRI – 154
    Principle Investigator: Leslie Hopkinson
    Funding Source(s): USGS, 104b Program
    Funding Amount: $73,523.49
    Project Duration: 3/1/2012 – 2/28/2013

    Project Description
    State and Federal regulations have been designed to control environmental impacts associated with mountaintop mining and valley fill construction. These regulations have resulted in geotechnically stable designs of valley fills with runoff management; however, there are environmental concerns that include the loss of headwater stream length, increased flooding risk, and degraded water quality. One promising innovative technique to lessen impacts involves fluvial geomorphic landform design. While proven successful in semi-arid regions, this approach has not been utilized in West Virginia surface mining reclamation.

    In 2010, WVU Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Water Research Institute began to investigate the application of fluvial geomorphic design principles to valley fill construction and mountain top mine reclamation in West Virginia. A critical challenge identified through this work included the lack of design parameters calibrated from field studies specific to the state. Therefore, there is a need to develop and publish geomorphic design parameters for West Virginia in areas of high mining activity. This work will obtain field data needed to calibrate conceptual geomorphic designs for West Virginia valley fills. Specific objectives include: i) obtaining and quantifying characteristics of mature landforms in West Virginia; and ii) calibrating a conceptual geomorphic valley fill design using data specific to Central Appalachia.
    Data needed to complete fluvial geomorphic design in WV will be gathered in headwater systems. Gathered data will include: drainage density; slope profile shape, vegetation zones, channel characteristics (stream order, sinuosity, Rosgen Classification, bankfull width, average bankfull depth, width/depth ratio, cross-sectional area, longitudinal slope, “A” channel length, and bed particle size distribution), ridge to head of channel distance, baseflow discharge, and subridge angle. This analysis will be completed through both field work and GIS analysis and will result in a range of design parameters. These data will be used to calibrate a conceptual geomorphic design created through preliminary research. The default design criteria will be updated with site specific information that describes the southern coal fields. The conceptual design will be regenerated, and pair-wise comparisons will be completed between the original and calibrated designs.

    Through this project, we will provide evidence that the coal industry can design and reclaim future mines with reduced environmental impact, improved flood control, and improved water quality. Specifically, the work will result in a database of land profile information that can be utilized for future geomorphic designs.

    WV 191 - Reforestation and Enhanced CO2 Sequestration of Surface Mined Land in WV and AMD Treatment Design and Installation

    Project Title:  Reforestation and Enhanced CO2 Sequestration of Surface Mined Land in WV and AMD Treatment Design and Installation
    Project No.: WV 191
    Principle Investigator: Jeff Skousen
    Funding Source(s): EPRI
    Funding Amount:  $154, 461.00
    Project Duration: 05/16/2003 - 06/30/2006

    Project Description
    Returning surface mined land to a productive forest must consider factors such as soil depth, soil physical and chemical properties, soil compaction, ground cover competition, tree species selection, and tree planting techniques.  The objective of this research was to evaluate tree survival and growth in weathered brown sandstone and in unweathered gray sandstone.  11 hardwood species were commercially planted.  After three growing seasons, tree survival was 86% on gray sandstone and 74% on brown sandstone, and 78% on non-compacted areas and 79% on compacted.  Many surface mined areas originally reclaimed for pasture and hay land post-mining land uses in Appalachia are being converted to forestland. 

    The forests of eastern North America were once home to the American chestnut which produced rot-resistant wood for construction and nuts for food.  A disease caused by a fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica, spread through the US forests, and by 1950, 4 billion trees had perished and an important wildlife and timber tree was lost.  Reestablishing chestnut trees on reclaimed surface mines has recently gained attention and several studies have been undertaken to measure survival and growth of trees on these disturbed sites.  

    Performance of Passive Treatment Systems for Acid Mine Drainage

    State and federal reclamation programs, mining operators, and citizen-based watershed organizations have constructed hundreds of passive systems in the eastern United States over the past 20 years to provide reliable, low cost, low maintenance mine water treatment in remote locations.  In 2000, we evaluated 116 systems comprised of eight system types in eight states. We revisited 14 of these sites in 2004 to confirm results from the earlier study.  Each system was monitored for influent and effluent flow, pH, net acidity, and metal concentrations.  Performance was normalized among types by calculating acid load removed, and also by converting construction cost, projected service life, and metric tonnes of acid load treated into cost per tonne of acid treated.  Most passive systems were effective for >5 yrs, yet there was wide variation in performance within each system type.

    Project Significance
    If loose mine soils are conducive to chestnut and hardwood growth, then establishment and dispersal from planted islands of blight-resistant hybrids throughout the range of the Appalachian coal region would aid in the goal of restoring the chestnut and sequestering a large volume of carbon.

    WV 244 - Technical Support of WVDEP Implementation of AML - Phase 2

    Project Title: Technical Support of WVDEP Implementation of AML - Phase 2
    Project Name: WV 244
    Principle Investigator: Richard Herd
    Funding Source(s): WV DEP
    Funding Amount: $472,178.00
    Project Duration: 05/01/2007 - 08/31/2008

    Project Description
    The WV Water Research Institute has provided technical support to the WV Department of Protection (WVDEP), Office of Abandoned Mine Land and Reclamation for implementation of the expanded Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program.  The technical assistance services provided to WVDEP included:

    1. Development and application of a GIS-based restoration alternative decision support system to visually illustrate remediation alternative outcomes and costs.

    2. Estimation of the economic benefits of water quality restoration accomplished under the AML program.  

    3. Application of an EcoUnit (EU) concept to identify cold- and warm-water fishery restoration priorities.

    4. AMD remediation designs (type, size, location) that target maximum recovery of productive fisheries.

    5. Cost – Benefit analysis of alternative remediation designs.

    6. Design of monitoring programs to quantify the ecological and economic benefits.

    7. Data analysis, report writing, and presentations to the public

    Project Significance
    The implementation process developed by WVWRI provides WVDEP a scientifically sound, transparent and defensible process for prioritizing and implementing restoration actions that achieve the greatest ecological benefits per dollar invested in stream restoration.

    WV 306 - ARIES

    Project Title: Aries
    Project No.: WV-306
    Principle Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
    Funding Source(s): Coal Industry via VA Tech
    Funding Amount: $341,116.00
    Project Duration: 7/1/2011 – TBD

    Project website: www.energy.vt.edu/aries/

    WV 307 - Using Coal Combustion Products for Reclamation in Korea

    Project Title: Using Coal Combustion Products for Reclamation in Korea
    Project No.: WV-307
    Principle Investigator: Jeff Skousen
    Funding Source(s): Mireco: $27,274.00;
    Cost Share/Match: $126,261.00
    Total Funding Amount: $153,535.00
    Project Duration: 3/1/2011 – 2/28/2013

    Project Description
    Recent studies with Korean coal combustion products have shown properties that make it suitable for mixing with overburden materials during reclamation. Due to the alkaline nature of these products, they can be used for cost-effective remediation of acidic conditions in the overburden materials and enhance revegetation. However, there is a lack of information available in Korea to develop guidelines for reclamation and remediation in mine area with coal combustion products (CCP). For this reason, this study will overview the case studies of remediation in coal mine area with CCP in developed countries and propose an appropriate guideline for remediation and reclamation of coal mine area with CCP.

    Objectives

    • Overview the case studies or remediation and reclamation of coal mine with CCP abroad.
    • Propose guidelines for remediation of mine waste with CCP.

    Strategy
    Representative technologies used in developed countries including USA, EU, and Japan, etc., for remediation and reclamation in coal mine area with coal combustion products will be reviewed. Environmental conditions of remediation sites, advantages and disadvantages of applied technologies, and varied characteristics of CCP will be compared across countries. Finally, appropriate guidelines will be proposed to Korea for remediation and reclamation in coal mine areas with CCP. Three phases for conducting this research is summarized as below:

    • PHASE I - OVERVIEW THE CASE STUDIES OF REMEDIATION IN MINE AREA WITH COAL COMBUSTION PRODUCTS
    • PHASE 2 - COMPARISION OF DEVELOPED TECHNOLOGIES FOR MINE RECLAMATION WITH COAL COMBUSTION PRODUCTS
    • PHASE 3 - PROPOSE GUIDELINES FOR USAGE OF COAL COMBUSTION PRODUCTS IN MINE RECLAMATION IN KOREA

    GEO 27 - MISTTI: Research & Development for the Mine of the Future

    Project Title: MISTTI: Research & Development for the Mine of the Future
    Project No.: GEO-27
    Principle Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
    Funding Source(s): Wheeling Jesuit University
    Funding Amount: $130,142.30
    Project Duration: 10/22/2010 – 9/29/2012

    Project Description
    This proposal is a collaborative effort between three West Virginia University departments: West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Department of Geology and Geography. The proposal addresses research and development into the broad area of mine safety by targeting the following tasks: Safety and Health Technologies in Mountain Top Mining, Mine Safety Impoundment Inspection and Verification Tool, and Addressing Risk from Mining Blowouts, Breakout, and Flooding. The following paragraphs describe the research proposed.

    Safety and Health Technologies in Mountain Top Mining
    To meet the needs of an ever-changing coal industry, research into ways to improve the health and safety of mountaintop mining is needed. The project team will meet these needs through the design and implementation of the Mine of the Future. The project team will achieve these goals in two phases. Phase I of this Task will include gathering of data and a literature review. Phase II (dependent on future funding) will include the implementation of the Mine of the Future. The challenge and the objective of this task is to explore alternative mining methods for mountain top reserves that will deliver safer mining conditions for workers by minimizing exposure to hazardous site conditions, as well as superior overall coal extraction performance. We envision the short-term outcome of this research will assess alternatives to mountain top mining. Long-term outcomes will include recommendations that may be implemented in mountaintop mining to create a safer working environment for miners and aid the coal industry in meeting all regulatory mandates. These outcomes will be determined through the use of the Mine of the Future model.

    Mine Safety Impoundment Inspection and Verification Tool
    The purpose of this research is to develop a technology that will provide mine impoundment inspectors and regulatory agencies with improved field inspection methodology, accurate inspection records, verification of documentation methods, and a historical record keeping system that can assist in dam inspection and can lead to improved mine impoundment safety. The proposed technology will include existing computer software and hardware components that incorporate an inspection format based on existing MSHA Inspection guidance documents. The research proposed herein is for development of a rugged computer based tool intended to be used by field inspectors and regulators while inspecting hydraulic dams and mine tailings impoundments. This research would also support the Mine of the Future by providing a more efficient and convenient way to inspect dams and impoundments, thus increasing the safety of the work environment near these dams/impoundments.

    Addressing Risk from Mining Blowouts, Breakout, and Flooding
    This task will undertake to predict potential flooded mine breakout locations and map such locations on a priority-based scale. The focus will be on (a) future new discharges now filling after mine closure, and (b) historic discharges in urban and suburban areas which have been diverted or sealed in an "out of sight, out of mind" condition. From experience, these discharges are a widespread and lurking hazard not only to worker safety, but also to property and surface water quality. An example of the type of catastrophic blowout such mines can cause was observed in Washington Township, PA, in January 2005 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2005). This Task will attempt to locate the current status of mine pools and their discharges in such urban and suburban areas of the Pittsburgh coal basin. This research will address the problem of unwanted mine pool discharges by determining locations where blowout, breakout, and/or flooding may occur. This research will support the Mine of the Future model by lowering the risk of unwanted mine flooding through the use of GIS mapping. By decreasing the chance of unwanted water entry into active mines, the mining environment will be safer for all mine workers

    GEO 28 - Risk Guidelines for Mineral and Energy Extraction Near Impounding Structures and Surface Bodies of Water

    Project Title: Risk Guidelines for Mineral and Energy Extraction Near Impounding Structures and Surface Bodies of Water
    Project No.: GEO - 28
    Principal Investigator: John D. Quaranta, Ph.D., P.E. Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Funding Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
    USACE: $285,00.03
    Cost-Share: $0
    Total Project Funding: $285,000.03
    Project Duration: 10/30/12 – 12/31/13

    Project Description
    The objective of this work is to assemble an expert panel of individuals to review, assess, and provide interim guidance information related to mineral extraction planned near USACE dams and reservoirs. The first part of the study proposes that an expert panel of individuals review, assess, and provide interim guidance information related to mineral extraction planned near USACE dams and reservoirs. In the second part of the study researchers will develop a solution approach for determining risk levels of mineral extraction within a range of depths and distances. This will be achieved through a review of regulations, engineering performance data, case histories, analytical methods, and a comparison of solution approaches. Risk factors, probabilistic analysis, and modeling a varying range of conditions, depths, and distances will be employed. On-the-ground field investigations of existing dams and reservoirs is also proposed to assess actual or proposed effects of mining operations.

    Project Significance
    The expected outcome of this research will be the identification of risk factors calculated using event tree analysis, or other appropriate methods, which define risk within boundary offset zones at reservoirs and dams. This research is based on coupling findings from the mining subsidence and dam safety engineering professions to determine approaches for determining risk. This research differs from previous work by authors including: Kendorski, 1993, Babcok and Hooker, 1977, and Skelly and Loy, 1976 as these researchers focused on mining affecting subsurface seepage for protecting the miners’ safety; not specifically evaluating the risk of condition (i.e. seepage) changes failure to reservoirs and structures (i.e. dam and appurtenances).

    Policy

    WRI 81 - Systematic Determination of Water Resource Data and Information Management Needs in WV

    Project Title: Systematic Determination of Water Resource Data and Information Management Needs in WV
    Project No: WRI 81
    Principal Investigator: Tamara Vandivort
    Funding Source: USGS 104b
    Funding Amount: $10,332.00
    Cost Share/Match:  $21,033.00
    Total Funding Amount:  $31,365.00
    Project Duration:  03/01/2006 - 02/28/2007

    Project Description
    This project views the entire state of West Virginia as a critical region.  The first problem the program addresses is that of insufficient and unevenly distributed water resource monitoring data available to support effective water resource assessment and management.  The second associated problem is the inaccessibility of existing data stemming from the diversity of agencies and methods used to collect, store, and analyze water resource data and information.  These problems have been identified by recent research by the WV WRI in fulfillment of the WV Water Resource Protection Act.

    The results of this project will include a statewide evaluation of existing water quantity and quality monitoring data sources; a participatory and credible, interagency spatial analysis of critical monitoring data gaps prioritized by importance to state agencies such as the Department of Health, USGS, the Dept of Agriculture and other principal users.  The final project report will supplement the WVDEP Water Resource Protection Act final report to the WV Legislature in December of 2006, part of an on-going comprehensive effort to evaluate state water resource balances.

    While current water resource management efforts in the state are largely segregated into quality and quantity categories, water resource quality and quantity issues cannot be managed independent of one another.  This project improves the state’s water data collection, integration, and analysis efforts.  Potential research in each of these areas is limited by lack of monitoring data.  A credible interagency and participatory process was employed to inform the state legislature about priority water resource data needs.  All information and data collected was mapped using Geographical Information System (GIS).

    WV 237 - Development and Implementation of a Water Quality Bank & Trade Program for the Potomac River Watershed, WV

    Project Title: Development and Implementation of a Water Quality Bank & Trade Program for the Potomac River Watershed, WV
    Project Name: WV 237
    Principle Investigator: Richard Herd
    Funding Source(s): USDA
    Funding Amount: $527,071.00
    Project Duration: 08/16/2006 - 08/15/2009

    Project Description

    Excess nutrients entering the Potomac River are creating significant downstream water quality problems.  Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), West Virginia is required to address the downstream problems in the Potomac River Watershed – a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.  West Virginia has committed to reducing the amount of phosphorus entering the Potomac River by 33% and nitrogen by 35%.  Programs such as nutrient trading are being implemented to help meet the nutrient reduction requirements that EPA will impose by December, 2010.

    Water Quality Trading is an innovative approach to efficiently achieve water quality goals.  Trading is based on the fact that various nutrient sources in a watershed can face very different costs to control the same pollutant.  Trading programs allow facilities facing high pollution control costs to meet their regulatory obligations by purchasing environmentally equivalent (or superior) pollution reductions from other sources with lower pollution reduction costs, thus achieving water quality improvement at a lower overall cost. 

    This project developed a methodology for calculating potential nutrient reduction credits resulting from various agricultural practices applied in West Virginia.  These calculations have been integrated into West Virginia’s online water quality trading platform called NutrientNet. 

    NutrientNet uses six steps to calculate Nitrogen and Phosphorus Credits involving Ratios, Factors and Baselines.  This Credit Calculation program helps suppliers and buyers of nutrient credits define the product more clearly.  It ensures that real and verifiable pollution load reductions are established.

    Project Significance
    Reducing nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay has been identified as a priority by Bay states and the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Nutrient trading programs have proven to be a cost-effective means to achieve this goal.  Voluntary incentive-based programs such as nutrient trading reduces the need for less flexible and mandatory regulations to control these sources of pollution.

    Remediation Technology

    WV 238 - IN‐situ Mitigation of Iron in a Net‐alkaline Environment

    Project Title: INsitu Mitigation of Iron in a Net‐alkaline Environment
    Project Name: WV 238
    Principle Investigator: Richard Herd
    Funding Source(s): US DOI/OSMRE
    Funding Amount: $100,00.00
    Project Duration: 09/30/2006 - 06/30/2008

    Project Description
    This study investigates the hydrodynamics of flow in the T&T / Ruthbelle mine complex, in Preston County West Virginia.  This complex consists of three mines: T&T #2, T&T #3, and Ruthbelle. On April 25 1994 a blowout at the T&T #2 pit mouth resulted in environmental impacts to Muddy Creek and the Cheat River.  A subsequent Consent Decree led to a hydrologic study of the mine complex and the injection of 80,845 tons of limestone sand as an in situ treatment.

    The study also evaluates the efficacy of in situ use of hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizing agent.  This requires that the flow to be treated be concentrated in one or just a few mine entries.  Two holes were drilled into the mine.  The upstream hole was for hydrogen peroxide injection and the downstream hole was for sampling of the mine water. 

    Field measurements of pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP), and dissolved oxygen (DO) all responded to the addition of hydrogen peroxide.  Field titration of the raw mine water using pH, DO and ORP were conducted to establish the ferrous oxidation end point.  This injection rate was varied periodically and the effect of these different rates were measured at the sampling well.  Water samples were also taken and measured for total, dissolved and ferrous iron.

    Project Significance
    This project allowed costs and flows to be determined as well as application rates for hydrogen peroxide.  It allowed for more accurate estimations of application rates and the appropriate allowances for sludge storage and limestone sand injection.

    Sustainable Energy

    WV 232 - Development and Demonstration of a Modeling Framework for Assessing the Efficacy of Using Mine Water for Thermoelectric Power Generation

    Project Title:  Development and Demonstration of a Modeling Framework for Assessing the Efficacy of Using Mine Water for Thermoelectric Power Generation
    Project No: WV 232
    Principal Investigator: Richard Herd
    Funding Source: USDOE/NETL
    Funding Amount: $338,250.00
    Project Duration:  03/27/2006 - 04/01/2008

    Project Description
    This project developed a model for assessing the efficacy of using abandoned mine water for power generation.  The project builds upon the research conducted by WVWRI that evaluated the availability and cost-effectiveness of using mine pool water from the Pittsburgh coal seal in northern WV and SW Pa. as well as the potential environmental impacts resulting from mine pool flooding in the Monongahela, Pittsburgh, Irwin and Ohio geologic basins.  The model was developed concurrently with design and construction of the 300 megawatt Beech Hollow Power Project waste coal to energy plant in Robinson Township, Washington County, Pa approximately 12 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.  The plant is projected to use between 2,000-3,000 gallons per minute.

    The project objective is to provide a framework that energy developers can use to assess mine water availability, its cost, and the technical and regulatory aspects and environmental benefits of such use.  In the United States thermoelectric generation is second only to agriculture in terms of total water use. Increasing demand for adequate, reliable and economical electrical energy is placing increasing demand on freshwater resources potentially resulting in water use conflicts with other water users.  This framework will facilitate the use of mine water for power generation and other large industrial users thereby reducing demand on freshwater resources while abating mine discharges the primary cause of water quality impairment throughout the region.

    Project Significance
    The project will help address two societal issues: The increasing demand for power generation and its effect on freshwater resources and the potential environmental impacts that can result from mine pool breakouts.  Utilizing an impaired resource such as polluted mine pool water is a win-win for both the economy and environment.

    WV 251 - Year 3: Biomass Production at Alton

    Project Title: Year 3 – Biomass Production at Alton (Project 10011097)
    Project No.: WV-251
    Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
    Funding Source(s): WVDEP
    Funding Amount: $42,073
    Project Duration: 2/1/2009 – 6/30/2012

    Project Description
    This proposal expands on a current project funded by WVDEP, Office of Land Restoration entitled “Switchgrass Planting for Fuel Production on Reclaimed Mine Land” whose objective is to evaluate the production, costs and technology of producing pellet and/or cellulosic biofuel from switchgrass grown on mine land. This study will further evaluate the performance of additional biomass crops grown on previously mined land that has been reclaimed to cool season grasses. Two additional varieties of switchgrass and two varieties of Miscanthus were planted, managed and evaluated for survival, performance and yield, soil effects, and regional adaptability. The approximately 400 acre Alton site, located in Upshur County has been chosen for this study.

    West Virginia has tens of thousands of acres of marginally productive, reclaimed coal mined lands. While these lands were successfully reclaimed to the standards of the day the existing cover of cool season grasses and legumes does not realize the productive potential of this resource. These reclaimed mine lands present an opportunity for sustainable energy production. In his 2007 State of the State message, Governor Joe Manchin III encouraged West Virginians to develop secure sources of transportation fuels that would lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Moreover, the current administration has also made known its commitment to the development of alternate energy sources and associated “green jobs” that include expansion of the use of carbon-neutral biomass. This project responds to the movement to clean alternative energy by demonstrating the efficient production of biomass, a potential bio- and solid fuel feedstock on previously mined and currently unproductive land. 

    While it is recognized that fossil fuels will continue to serve the majority of West Virginia’s and the Nation’s energy needs, biomass will help in a carbon-constrained environment by producing energy from sunlight and atmospheric carbon dioxide while sequestering additional carbon dioxide in below-ground organic matter thereby improving soil quality.

    Mined lands offer a unique opportunity since West Virginia has little, uncommitted agricultural land. And, much of that land is in the eastern panhandle, is already under crop production or is in the process of conversion to urban land uses. This project will demonstrate whether different forms of biomass can sustain ‘green’ energy production on formerly mined coal properties and create economic opportunity for surrounding communities. In addition to the National Mine Land Reclamation Center The West Virginia Water Research Institute houses one of the State’s Brownfields Assistance Centers. This project will coordinate with the Center to explore and develop Brownfields development opportunities relative to biomass production.

    In the national context, the growth of the corn-based ethanol industry has placed added pressure on conventional crop lands and there is every indication that rising agricultural commodity prices will create an opportunity for West Virginia. Compared to traditional crops, biomass is a low-value crop, requires several years to establish and therefore it is unlikely that it can compete with corn and soybeans on conventional agriculture lands. More likely, biomass production would be pushed to marginal agricultural land in the prairies where production will be limited by drought, cold, short growing seasons and distance from markets. Biomass production is favored by a long, warm and wet growing season. West Virginia possesses these characteristics and is central to a large portion of the U.S. energy market. This project seeks to demonstrate that different types of biomass can be efficiently produced on reclaimed mined lands in West Virginia.

    WV 284 - Arundo Test Plots - Renewable Energy Plantings on Reclaimed Mine Land

    Project Title: Arundo Test Plots - Renewable Energy Plantings on Reclaimed Mined Land
    Project No.: WV-284
    Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
    Funding Source(s): Marshall University, $79,397.15
    Match/Cost Share: $81,301.54
    Total Funding Amount: $160,698.69
    Project Duration: 8/1/2010 – 9/30/2012

    Project Description
    West Virginia has tens of thousands of acres of marginally productive, reclaimed coal mined lands. While these lands were successfully reclaimed to the standards of the day, the existing cover of cool season grasses and legumes does not realize the productive potential of this resource. These reclaimed mine lands present an opportunity for sustainable bioenergy production. In his 2007 State of the State message, Governor Joe Manchin III encouraged West Virginians to develop alternate sources of energy that would lessen our dependence on foreign oil. This proposed project responds to one element of that plan: to demonstrate the efficient production of Arundo donax, a bioenergy feedstock on previously mined land.

    While it is recognized that fossil fuels will continue to serve the majority of West Virginia's and the Nation's energy needs, biomass will help in a carbon-constrained environment by producing fuel from sunlight and atmospheric carbon dioxide while sequestering additional carbon dioxide in below-ground organic matter.

    Mined lands offer a unique opportunity since West Virginia has little, uncommitted agricultural land. And, much of that land, in the eastern panhandle, is already under crop production or is in the process of conversion to urban land uses. This project will demonstrate whether Arundo donax can sustain 'green' energy production on formerly mined coal properties and create economic opportunity for surrounding communities. Currently the National Mine Land Reclamation Center (NMLRC) is working with the WVDEP, Division of Land Restoration on several WV projects to demonstrate the efficacy of producing sustainable switchgrass and Miscanthus production on mined lands. These bioenergy demonstration projects comport with this proposal that, if funded, will also allow evaluation of Arundo donax as a potential bioenergy crop for WV mined lands. In addition, the outcome of this project will integrate nicely with another ongoing WV Water Research Institute project funded by USEP A Brownfields Program to develop a framework including the opportunities for and costs of development of "Sustainable Energy Parks" on mined lands.

    In the national context, the growth of the com-based ethanol industry has placed added pressure on conventional crop lands and there is every indication that rising agricultural commodity prices will create an opportunity for West Virginia. Compared to corn or soybeans, bioenergy crops such as Arundo, switchgrass and Miscanthus are currently considered low value and it is unlikely that they can compete with com and soybeans on conventional agriculture lands. More likely, bioenergy production would be pushed to marginal agricultural land in the prairies where production will be limited by drought, cold, short growing seasons and distance from markets. Bioenergy production is favored by a long, warm and wet growing season. West Virginia possesses these characteristics and is central to the U.S. energy market. If we can demonstrate that bioenergy crops can be efficiently produced on reclaimed mined lands in West Virginia, we will be able to exploit one of the few underutilized agricultural land bases in the country and become a center for bioenergy production.

    WV 332 - Selenium Control in CCB Facilities

    Project Title: Selenium Control in CCB Facilities
    Project No.: WV – 332
    Principal Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz, Ph.D., Director
    Co-Principal Investigator: Tom He, Ph.D., Geochemist
    Funding Source: Mepco, LLC.
    Funding: Total Funding (Year 1): $48,475
    Project Duration: 6/1/13 – 5/31/15

    Project Description
    The objective of this project is to develop low cost processes for limiting the environmental exposure and ultimately, treatment liabilities of CCBs (coal combustion byproducts), most notably fly ash and FGD cake. The project is structured as three tasks: 1) Materials characterization, 2) Ex situ treatment and 3) In situ treatment. Year one activities for this research will focus on materials characterization and ex situ selenium treatment. Ex situ treatment refers to treatment of already generated selenium from existing facilities. In situ refers to prevention of selenium production from future waste dump construction. Year two will focus on in situ selenium.

    Project Significance
    Coal combustion byproducts (CCB), notably fly ash and FGD cake, may release selenium above regulatory limits. Mepco Inc. operates a combined CCB facility that includes both fly ash and FGD cake. Research will be focused on ex situ treatment because, if successful, the benefits would be realized in the near term while in situ treatment, given the state of disposal facility development, would yield benefits of the longer term.

    BF 09 - Sustainable Energy Parks on Mine Scarred Lands in Appalachia

    Project Title: Sustainable Energy Parks on Mine Scarred Lands in Appalachia
    Project No.: BF-09
    Principle Investigator: Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz
    Funding Source(s): US Environmental Protection Agency
    Funding Amount: $457,707.00
    Project Duration: 10/1/2008 – 12/31/2012
    Final Report: Sustainable Energy Parks on Mine-Scarred Lands in Appalachia

    Project Description
    Production of alternative energy on Appalachian, mine-scarred lands has the potential to change the economic and environmental landscape of small communities over a large region. Researchers at West Virginia University (WVU) and Marshall University (MU) completed a joint effort with USEPA Region III to assist communities in realizing opportunities for using mine scarred lands as alternative energy sites which project researchers refer to as Sustainable Energy Parks (SEPs). The development of an SEP in former coalfield communities can take advantage of existing energy and industrial transportation infrastructure, large, contiguous tracts of land, a labor force that is familiar with processing natural resources, and a location suitable for the production of a range of alternative energy resources.

    Researchers created a framework by which communities, regional development authorities, state agencies and developers can evaluate sites, develop plans and attract financing to convert former surface coal mines into engines for continued cash flow into the host communities.
    The research efforts produced an inventory of 612 mine-scarred land sites throughout West Virginia that are viable options for the development of SEPs.

    The outcomes realized from this project help fulfill goals of the Mine-scarred Land Initiative and aid in land and community revitalization. The framework set forth in this project can also help to increase long-term regional, national, and global environmental stewardship by decreasing or offsetting greenhouse gases.

    Through a Request for Applications and review process, a site in McDowell County has been selected for a comprehensive development plan to include an SEP. This plan is under development and is expected to be completed by 12/31/2012.

    Wastewater

    ETD 35 - Controlling NORM Precipitation During Flowback/Produced Water Storage

    Project Name: Controlling NORM Precipitation During Flowback/Produced Water Storage
    Project No.: ETD 35
    Principle Investigator: Tom He, Ph.D.
    Funding Source(s): EQT Corporation
    Funding Amount: $15,012.56
    Funding Duration: 12/8/15 - 4/30/16

    Project Description:
    Nearly all flowback/produced water (FPW) in the Appalachian Shale Gas play is re-purposed as makeup water for subsequent hydraulic fracturing operations. While this minimizes the volume of waste water requiring disposal, storage in basins or tanks allows chemical reactions to take place that encourage sludge generation and concentrate radioactive isotopes. While NORM concentrations in FPW are dilute and not considered problematic, NORM concentrations in precipitates may require special handling and more expensive disposal methods.

    This project will develop a better understanding of precipitate formation and identify means of keeping NORM in aqueous phase until used in well completions.

    WRI 71 - Performance Evaluation of Advanced Onsite Wastewater Treatment Options (Chesapeake Bay)

    Project Title:  Performance Evaluation of Advanced Onsite Wastewater Treatment Options
    Project No.: WRI-71
    Principle Investigator: Tamara Vandivort
    Funding Source(s): US EPA
    Total Funding Amount: $119.971
    Project Duration: 06/19/2006 - 09/30/2008

    Project Description

    A study sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program evaluated appropriate technologies to achieve an end-of-pipe performance standard equal to or less than 14.0 mg/L total nitrogen (average) and a net reduction in phosphorus.  These standards support the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement strategy to reduce the nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, entering the Bay by 40% by the year 2000.

    Residential dwellings with engineered systems located adjacent to the Bay, or within critical drainage areas, were identified.  Homes with 2-4 year round residents whose owners were willing to participate in the study were selected. The four onsite wastewater treatment systems used in the studyhad already been in operation for at least a year.  The systems were modified to a configuration of multi-compartment septic tank, media filtration, recirculation and disposal to a drainfield.  The phosphorus reducing system included low pressure pipe distribution into an expanded shale media in the drainage bed.

    When the systems were operating properly the technologies used in this study consistently and reliably reduced average nitrogen and net phosphorus.  Periodic maintenance is necessary to ensure systems are operating properly.

    Project Significance
    Pollution in the form of excess nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, entering the Chesapeake Bay are creating significant water quality problems.  Central sewerage treatment systems are often not available in rural and suburban areas requiring homeowners to rely on individual septic tanks or other systems to dispose of household waste on-site.  This study confirmed that engineered aerobic systems can provide a higher level of treatment and better protect water resources than conventional septic systems when functioning properly.  Recent advances in technology have made aerobic treatment systems efficient and affordable for homeowners.

    Water Quality Monitoring

    WRI 23 - Potomac Headwaters Sampling Project

    Project Title: Potomac Headwaters Sampling Project
    Project No.: WRI-23
    Principal Investigator(s): Paul Ziemkiewicz Ph.D., Director, West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University
    Funding Source(s): WVDEP
    Total Funding Amount:  $29,442
    Project Duration: 10/1/2002 – 6/30/2003

    Project Description
    In recent years a major poultry industry has developed around the headwaters of the South Branch of the Potomac River in West Virginia. This area has seen a 100% increase in the poultry industry between 1993-1996. There are over 800 operators producing 90 million birds and 350,000 tons of litter (manure and bedding) each year. The area is primarily rural with on-lot sewage systems and other agricultural enterprises including cattle, corn, apple and forage production.
    The rapid growth of the poultry industry raised concerns over water quality in the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. Pollutants such as colliforms, other bacteria and nutrients have been found in the South Branch and its tributaries and the poultry industry has been implicated. This study was designed as a systematic and comprehensive examination of the bacterial and nutrient loadings in the South Branch of the Potomac River.

    Project Significance
    The results of this project helped the WV Department of Agriculture ensure that the best technical tools were available to assist in its decision making process relative to agricultural wastes in the Potomac Headwaters.

    WRI 63 - West Virginia Water Resources Inventory and Assessment

    Project Title:  West Virginia Water Resources Inventory and Assessment
    Project No.:  WRI-63
    Principal Investigator(s): Paul Ziemkiewicz, Ph.D., Director, West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University; Richard Herd & Alyse Schrecongost, WV Water Research Institute
    Funding Source(s):
    USGS - $54,092
    Cost-Share - $128,568
    Total Funding Amount:  $182,660
    Project Duration:

    Project Description
    In March 2004 the West Virginia Legislature adopted Senate Bill 163, the Water Resources Protection Act, which recognizes the need to inventory, assess and evaluate the State’s water resources for present and future use and enjoyment and protection of the environment. The Act calls for a one-time, limited assessment of the quantity of the state’s water resources. It provides for: claiming and protecting state waters for the use and benefit of its citizens; evaluating the nature and extent of its water resources; and identifying activities that impede the beneficial uses of the resource. The legislation requires the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to inventory, assess and evaluate the State’s water resources and propose a strategy for water quantity management. The Secretary is to accomplish this mission by soliciting the assistance and cooperation of federal and state agencies and universities who have management responsibility and research capabilities related to state water resources and report to the Legislature by December, 2006.

    The objective of this project was to provide technical support to the WVDEP in identifying, collecting, assessing, reconciling and analyzing the State’s water resources to fulfill the mandate of the Act. To accomplish this objective the Water Resource Institute at West Virginia University (WVWRI) and the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences (CEGAS) at Marshall University formed a program management entity titled the West Virginia Center for Water Resource Management (Center).

    Research efforts generated three key findings that are important for WVDEP efforts to recommend a state water quantity management program. The first is that historical and current land and water resource monitoring data are insufficient to reliably answer research questions and that the data collection gaps are growing problems in maintaining the state’s water data collection infrastructure. Much of the work completed is an evaluation and illustration of what data exist and where there are critical data gaps with respect to the research questions outlined in the WRPA. The second notable issue is that water resource evaluation and planning require significant input at the local and regional levels; state-level datasets and regulatory efforts cannot capture important dynamic and location-specific information flows and on-going resource management practices. Finally, domestic and international trends in water resource planning all support the concept of integrated water resource management (IWRM). Land use, water quality, and water quantity must be studied as interrelated systems.

    WRI 81 - Systematic Determination of Water Resource Data and Information Management Needs in WV

    Project Title: Systematic Determination of Water Resource Data and Information Management Needs in WV
    Project No: WRI 81
    Principal Investigator: Tamara Vandivort
    Funding Source: USGS 104b
    Funding Amount: $10,332.00
    Cost Share/Match:  $21,033.00
    Total Funding Amount:  $31,365.00
    Project Duration:  03/01/2006 - 02/28/2007

    Project Description
    This project views the entire state of West Virginia as a critical region.  The first problem the program addresses is that of insufficient and unevenly distributed water resource monitoring data available to support effective water resource assessment and management.  The second associated problem is the inaccessibility of existing data stemming from the diversity of agencies and methods used to collect, store, and analyze water resource data and information.  These problems have been identified by recent research by the WV WRI in fulfillment of the WV Water Resource Protection Act.

    The results of this project will include a statewide evaluation of existing water quantity and quality monitoring data sources; a participatory and credible, interagency spatial analysis of critical monitoring data gaps prioritized by importance to state agencies such as the Department of Health, USGS, the Dept of Agriculture and other principal users.  The final project report will supplement the WVDEP Water Resource Protection Act final report to the WV Legislature in December of 2006, part of an on-going comprehensive effort to evaluate state water resource balances.

    While current water resource management efforts in the state are largely segregated into quality and quantity categories, water resource quality and quantity issues cannot be managed independent of one another.  This project improves the state’s water data collection, integration, and analysis efforts.  Potential research in each of these areas is limited by lack of monitoring data.  A credible interagency and participatory process was employed to inform the state legislature about priority water resource data needs.  All information and data collected was mapped using Geographical Information System (GIS).  

    WRI 82 - In-Stream Turbidity and Suspended Sediment Changes Following Improvements to a Forest Road and Harvesting

    Project Title:  In-Stream Turbidity and Suspended Sediment Changes Following Improvements to a Forest Road and Harvesting
    Project No.: WRI 82
    Principle Investigator: Jingxin Wang
    Funding Source(s): USGS
    Funding Amount:  $29,496.00
    Match/Cost Share: $60,278.000
    Total Funding Amount: $89,774.00
    Project Duration: 03/01/2006 - 02/28/2007

    Project Description

    This project examines the effects of forest road construction and logging on water quality.  Because privately owned forest lands make up more than 80 percent of forests in West Virginia, demands for wood extraction are increasing, and the most productive sites in West Virginia are on highly erodible soils, it is important to understand how typical road construction practices used in forestry operations will affect suspended sediment and turbidity levels.

    A forest road was pioneered through a watershed in summer 2002. It was left in poor condition from fall 2002 through mid-summer 2003. In mid-summer its condition was improved through the installation of more and better water control features and sediment traps, seeding of the fill slopes and cut banks, and graveling of the driving surface after water quality problems were found and reported.  In the spring and summer of 2005, approximately 58 percent of the roaded watershed area was harvested by a combination of conventional harvesting and cable yarding.  Water samples were collected with automatic samplers near the mouths of the roaded watershed and a nearby undisturbed watershed.  Samples have been analyzed for turbidity and for total suspended sediment and mineral suspended sediment.  

    This study continues sampling turbidity and suspended sediment in the established study following improvements to the forest road and harvesting.  The goal of the study was to document the results after five years.  It continued the stream water sampling phase of the study, to evaluate: 1) the length of time required for turbidity and suspended sediment to decline to conditions more like those before road construction, 2) if storms with certain characteristics or antecedent flow conditions are most associated with elevated turbidity and suspended sediment conditions, even if more average storms/flows no longer have elevated sediment, 3) if recovery is linear, exponential, or it levels off at some point in time, and 4) if turbidity and suspended sediment show additional increases following the 2005 harvesting due to the combination of increased streamflow (from reduced evapotranspiration) and sediment additions from streamside disturbance from felled and uprooted trees.

    WRI 91 - Statistical Analysis of Nutrient Trends in the Ohio River

    Project Title:  Statistical Analysis of Nutrient Trends in the Ohio River
    Project No.:
      WRI 91 
    Principle Investigator:  Richard Herd
    Funding Source:  WV Conservation Agency
    Funding Amount: 
    $4,913.00
    Project Duration: 
    09/21/2005 - 09/30/2007

    Project Description   
    Nutrient levels in our oceans are causing increasing global concern in many coastal areas, including the Gulf of Mexico.  Increased nutrient levels cause algal blooms that deplete oxygen and is detrimental to marine life.  Nutrients from agricultural run off, industrial run off, and wastewater treatment plants travel downstream to the Gulf of exacerbating the problem.

    Agricultural sources contribute 64% of the nitrogen in the Gulf of Mexico (Goolsby, 1999); the Ohio River Basin contributes 32% of the total nutrient load entering the gulf from the Mississippi River.  West Virginia is one of the headwater regions of the Ohio River.  It is probable that the state’s agriculture industry would be affected by any policy put in place to reduce the nutrient load to the Gulf of Mexico.  Policy makers need to understand the relationships between water quality on this tributary and water quality in the gulf. 

    This project determined the West Virginia nutrient inputs to the Ohio River from upstream tributaries as well as the temporal and spatial trends in nutrient concentrations along the Ohio River from Pittsburgh PA to Cairo IL.  Data from 31 monitoring stations between Pittsburgh and Cairo as well as the monitoring station on the Monongahela River at Point Marion, PA were used to show the cumulative nutrient load from upstream Ohio River Basin tributaries in West Virginia.  Temporal water quality trends from 1990-2005 were analyzed adding new levels of temporal and spatial analysis.  Correlations between nutrients, flow, DO and TSS were determined.

    WRI 119 - Phase 2 Year 1: Mon River Water Quality Study

    Project ID: 2011WV165B
    Project Title: WRI-119 Phase 2 Year 1: Mon River Water Quality Study
    Project No.:  WRI 119
    Principal Investigator(s): Ziemkiewicz, Paul, Ph.D.; Mack, Ben; O'Neal, Melissa J.; Saville, Dave; Vandivort, Tamara (WV Water Research Institute)
    Funding Source(s):
    Federal Funds - $ 46,343
    Non-Federal Matching Funds - $ 92,688
    Total Funding Amount:  $139,031
    Project Duration:  3/11/10 -2/12/11

    Project Description
    The Monongahela River has been impacted by acid mine drainage from flooded underground coal mines and episodes of high total dissolved solids (TDS). Previous studies at the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI) have included the development of a watershed based monitoring program, which serves as the basis for the proposed TDS Monitoring of the Monongahela River Watershed project. Building upon the current model will allow WVWRI to seamlessly continue monitoring of the Monongahela and several of its tributaries. The foundation has been laid for a dynamic and user friendly Graphical Information System (GIS) mapping and data visualization. An established website (http://www.MonWQ.net) will be enhanced upon by providing users with the ability to create "on the fly" graphs of all of the analytical and field parameters. The website includes a description of water quality parameters that are being analyzed, basic information on the Monongahela River Watershed, links to relevant websites, and a list of project participants.

    For consistency, and to provide long-term data, the previously established sixteen sites (four mainstem Monongahela and twelve tributaries) will remain in the proposed sampling regime. An additional datalogger will be installed in effort to determine accurate discharge rates on Dunkard Creek. This proposal will take us one step further towards complete and accurate watershed monitoring. Monitoring the water column chemistry and flow rates of the tributaries to the mainstem Monongahela provides useful information regarding not only the health of those tributaries, but their contribution to the overall water quality in the Monongahela River.

    The bi-weekly sampling regime that has been established for the base Monongahela River Watershed study will continue, as samples will be collected at each site for analytical laboratory analysis for: alkalinity, sulfate, calcium, chloride, sodium, and magnesium. Field parameters (pH, conductivity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen) will also be recorded at each site.

    This project has the support of the West Virginia Advisory Committee for Water Research and stakeholders including the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WV Department of Environmental Protection, WV Department of Natural Resources, WV Division of Health & Human Resources, West Virginia University Extension Service, Upper Mon River Association, industry, and others.

    WRI 149 - Mon River QUEST

    Project Title: Mon River QUEST
    Project No: WRI 149
    Principal Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
    Funding Source: Colcom Foundation
    Funding Amount: $62,000
    Project Duration: 5/31/11- 6/30/13

    The Mon River QUEST is a collaborative water quality monitoring and reporting project for the Monongahela River Basin (MRB), led by the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI). The project serves to display and manage water quality data collected by WVWRI staff and through QUEST Volunteer Organizations throughout the Basin in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

    Since 2009, WVWRI has conducted regular water quality monitoring for the Monongahela River. An online GIS mapping program was developed to display the data enabling the public to have access to it. After successful implementation of this project, it was determined that data collected by volunteers and watershed groups would greatly enhance the data set by providing much needed information on the health of headwaters and smaller tributaries in the MRB. To expand and continue the initial USGS funded monitoring program, additional funding was secured, including a grant from the Colcom Foundation.

    The Mon River QUEST project provides resources to groups and individuals, including trainings, equipment, and access to an online GIS platform to display their resultant data. This platform is a user-friendly data map that utilizes programming from ESRI’s ArcGIS Explorer and allows users to visualize water quality of the entire MRB.

    In May 2012, the Mon River QUEST merged into a larger water monitoring initiative by WRI, the Three Rivers QUEST. See project: Three Rivers QUEST (WRI 164) for additional information.

    WRI 159 - Development of a Drinking Water Well Sampling Protocol to Establish Baseline Data Prior to Drilling Gas Wells

    Project Title: Development of a Drinking Water Well Sampling Protocol to Establish Baseline Data Prior to Drilling Gas Wells
    Project No.: WRI-159
    Principle Investigator: Jennifer Hause
    Funding Source(s): USGS 104b $37,562.00
    Match/Cost Share: $75,131.00
    Total Funding Amount: $112,693.00
    Project Duration: 3/1/2012 - 2/28/2013

    Project Description
    The Marcellus Shale, one of the largest natural gas reserves, requires horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to release the natural gas from the formation. Upwards of four million gallons of a water-based fluid is used in the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process with upwards of 20% of this fluid flowing back over time leading operators to deal with huge amounts of water. To effectively manage these waters, operators need to know what they are dealing with – what are the characteristics of the supply waters used to frac a well and what are the characteristics of the water that comes back up once the well starts producing? Small amounts of additives are mixed in with the supply waters to frac a well. Each gas company has their own “recipe” of friction reducers, corrosion and scaling inhibitors, biocides, etc. to add with the water and sand mixture making up their fracking fluid. The flowback water will contain these compounds along with salts, metals, organic compounds and other constituents of concern picked up from the formation. The increased activity with Marcellus Shale has heightened attention and raised questions about potential impacts on the nearby environment and public health, specifically surrounding the water streams associated with the gas wells and impacts on nearby groundwater. Given the shear number of additive compounds that are used during the drilling process and those that could be mixed with supply waters to frac a well, and the water quality of the supply water, it becomes an overwhelming task to determine what water quality parameters need to be monitored to protect nearby groundwater sources that may serve as drinking water supplies. Once the fracking fluid mixes in with the shale formation and the water begins to flow back, additional water quality parameters become of concern thus adding to the list.

    The objective of this study is to look at the chemical make-up of drilling fluids, muds and cuttings and fracking and flowback waters throughout the Marcellus Play in northern West Virginia and determine a manageable list of parameters industry and homeowners can follow to monitor groundwater and drinking water wells near a gas well. Working closely with industry and state agencies, gas well sites will be determined and access obtained to drilling fluids, muds and cuttings and to frack and flowback waters for sampling.

    Information on the source water(s) that make up the fracking water and copies of the fracturing fluid composition will be obtained. Comparisons will be made of all water streams at each gas well site with the EPA’s contaminants of concern list, focusing more on organic compounds, A list of parameters to monitor for reviewed and used as the basis for the development of a monitoring protocol for sampling and analyzing nearby groundwater and drinking water wells.

    WRI 159 - Drinking Water Well Sampling Protocol Phase 2

    Project Name: Drinking Water Well Sampling Protocol Phase 2
    Project No.: WRI 159
    Principle Investigator: Jennifer Hause
    Funding Source(s): USGS 104b
    Funding Amount: $162,451
    Funding Duration: 2/28/15 – 2/29/16

    Project Description
    The objective of this study is to look at the chemical make-up of drilling fluids, muds and cuttings and fracking and flowback waters throughout the Marcellus Play in northern West Virginia and determine a manageable list of parameters industry and homeowners can follow to monitor groundwater and drinking water wells near a gas well. Working closely with industry and state agencies, gas well sites will be determined and access obtained to drilling fluids, muds and cutting and to fracking and flowback waters for sampling.

    Phase 1 focused on developing a drinking water well sampling protocol. Phase 2 will focus on identifying areas to implement the monitoring protocol. Drinking water wells will be monitored in multiple study areas by identifying active areas of horizontal gas well development and non-active areas where no horizontal gas well development activity is occurring. Drinking water well monitoring results of the active and non-active study areas will be compared to determine if: 1) the monitoring protocol consists of the appropriate water quality indicators when considering potential human health effects; 2) negative impacts on drinking water source(s) have resulted from shale gas development; and 3) sampled parameters are the result of pre-existing in situ environmental conditions. Findings of Phase 2 will provide a field-tested, cost-efficient, and effective drinking water well protocol for well owners. The protocol may also provide guidance to industry and regulatory agencies to refine their own groundwater monitoring protocols/programs.

    WRI 163a - Monongahela River Basin TDS Calculation Study for Pennsylvania and West Virginia

    Project Title: Monongahela River Basin TDS Calculation Study for Pennsylvania and West Virginia
    Project No.: WRI-163a
    Principle Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
    Funding Source(s): United States Army Corps of Engineers
    Funding Amount: $99,894.00
    Project Duration: 03/01/13 - 02/28/14

    Project Description
    The purpose of this study is to develop a spreadsheet tool that can forecast the mean TDS concentration at specified points on the Monongahela River and develop a process for managing industrial discharges from known sources to maintain TDS and sulfate below the USEPA secondary drinking water standards. A spreadsheet will be produced that will allow regulatory agencies, industry and other managers easily calculate allowable discharge loadings and resulting concentrations at the nearest, downstream gauged point along the Monongahela River.

    Project Significance
    A spreadsheet tool that can forecast the mean TDS concentration at specified points on the Monongahela River will allow regulatory agency personnel, industry personnel, water quality managers, and others make informed decisions in response to the forecasts. Developing a process for managing industrial discharges from known sources will serve to maintain TDS and sulfate below the USEPA secondary drinking water standards. The resultant spreadsheet will allow regulatory agencies, industry and other managers easily calculate allowable discharge loadings and resulting concentrations at the nearest, downstream gauged point along the Monongahela River. Ultimately, the users of the Monongahela River will benefit from a stable water source.

    WRI 163b - Management of Dissolved Solids in the Monongahela River to Achieve Specific Water Quality Standards

    Project Title: Management of Dissolved Solids in the Monongahela River to Achieve Specific Water Quality Standards
    Project No.: WRI – 163b
    Principal Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
    Co-Principal Investigator: Joe Donovan
    Funding Source: Coal Industry
    Total Funding: $100,000
    Project Duration: 03/01/13 – 02/28/14

    Project Description
    The purpose of this project is to monitor point and non-point discharges to the Monongahela River, selected tributaries and mine discharges in order to support a management plan for TDS which will lead to maintaining acceptable TDS levels in the Monongahela River.
    Project Significance

    In the 1960’s the Monongahela River was severely impaired by untreated acid mine drainage (AMD) from historic and current mining. Implementation of State and Federal water legislation in the early 1970s required permitting and treatment of AMD from active mines. As a result acidity and metals declined such that the River, by 1975 became suitable for fisheries, recreation, municipal and industrial uses. In recent years, attention has been drawn to secondary pollutants such as total dissolved solids (TDS) and its regulated constituents, chloride and sulfate. Earlier work by the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI) indicated that a significant amount of TDS and sulfate came from AMD treatment plants. In January 2010 WVWRI organized a coal industry based TDS Working Group and a program for discharge management was developed and implemented by the coal industry. The program calculates the assimilable load in the River, proportionates it among the AMD treatment plants and translates that load into a pumping rate for each with a safety factor of 2. The safety factor accounts for response lag and other, undocumented sources of TDS. This project will document other sources of TDS in the Monongahela River and incorporate them into a scheme to manage all major sources of TDS.

    Bi-weekly monitoring (since July 2009) along the Monongahela River mainstem continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of discharge management even with the participation of only one industry. This has created an opportunity to develop a comprehensive program for managing TDS in the Monongahela River through a voluntary discharge management program with the participation of multiple industries. Success will mean that the TDS levels of the Monongahela River are maintained at safe levels. It will also show the way toward efficient, flexible and innovative solutions to protecting streams from exceedences of secondary pollutants such TDS, sulfate and chloride.

    WRI 172 - Bromide Identification

    Project Name: Bromide Identification
    Project No.: WRI 172
    Principle Investigator: Tom He, Ph.D., Geochemist
    Funding Source(s): USGS
    Funding Amount: $62,025.33
    Funding Duration: 3/1/14 – 2/28/15

    Project Description
    Bromide is a relatively new water quality issue in West Virginia. While there is no drinking water or aquatic life standard for bromide ion, there is a Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standard of 80 μg/L for disinfection byproducts such as trihalomethanes (THM) which include chlorinated and brominated methane compounds. It is believed that higher concentrations of bromide in a water treatment plant's feed water will result in higher THM concentrations. Thus, it is important to identify sources of bromide in drinking water sources. Preliminary work at the WVU Water Research Institute indicates that bromide tends to be associated with elevated chloride concentrations and, more loosely with total dissolved solids (TDS).

    Postulated sources of elevated bromide include agricultural runoff, coal mining, shale gas, or other human activities. Inability to identify contamination sources limits our ability to effect appropriate control measures. Therefore, developing a diagnostic tool to help identify the origin of bromide contamination is of great interest to the environmental regulators and public in general who are concerned with water quality and environmental issues.

    Previous studies show some chemical signatures (such as Cl/Br ratio) can be useful in identifying
    groundwater origin and movement. This study proposes to analyze the chemical signatures of different waste waters from energy industry, develop a diagnostic tool to identify origins of bromide contamination in receiving water body, and demonstrate the application of such a tool through case studies.

    WV 164 - Upper Ohio River Basin 3 Rivers QUEST (Quality Useful Environmental Study Teams)

    Project Title: Upper Ohio Basin 3 Rivers QUEST (Quality Useful Environmental Study Teams)
    Project No.: WV – 164
    Principal Investigator: Paul Ziemkiewicz
    Co-Principle Investigators: Melissa O’Neal, Tamara Vandivort, and Glenn Waldron
    Funding Source: Colcom Foundation
    Funding: Total Funding: $700,000
    Project Duration: 05/01/12 – 06/30/14

    Project Description
    3 Rivers QUEST, or Quality Useful Environmental Study Teams, is a water quality monitoring and reporting program that includes two distinct, yet collaborative approaches to collecting water quality data and information:

    3 Rivers QUEST Research Partners – Led by the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University, this component of the QUEST program includes a regimented program of bi-weekly water quality sampling. Sampling takes place on the mainstem of the 3 rivers included in the project (Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio) and includes a full detailed laboratory analysis of the samples. This detailed water chemistry and flow information is used to determine the loading of Total Dissolved Solids and other parameters.

    3 Rivers QUEST Volunteer Organizations - In each region, there are also QUEST Volunteer Organizations involved in the project. This is a coordinated effort of grassroots organizations such as watershed associations and individuals that contribute to the collection of important water quality data. QUEST Volunteer Organizations collect, at a minimum, data on conductivity, pH and water temperature. These QUEST Volunteer Organizations help contribute to the data set and help provide a better overall picture of the health of three rivers basins (Monongahela, Allegheny, and Upper Ohio).

    Geographical Scope - The 3 Rivers QUEST project covers 3 river basins: Allegheny, Monongahela, and Upper Ohio.

    Project Significance
    Data collected through the 3 Rivers QUEST program is critical in collecting baseline data in the Upper Ohio Region. Between the 3RQ Research Partners, 54 sites are monitored on a bi-weekly basis at the mainstems of the rivers (Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio) and at the mouths of major tributaries. 3RQ Volunteer Organizations monitor over 300 sites at the many smaller tributaries, headwater streams and even unnamed streams and tributaries to help provide a better overview of the health of the entire region.

    Resultant data collected through the 3RQ program is made available on a data map on the project’s website, www.3RiversQUEST.org. The monitoring and dissemination of data provides researchers, state and federal agencies, industries, and citizens with critical information regarding the health of waters in the Upper Ohio River Basin.

    Project Website: www.3riversquest.org

    WV 126 - WV Stormwater Program Assessment

    Project Title:  WV Stormwater Program Assessment
    Project No.: WV-126
    Principle Investigator:  Richard Herd
    Funding Source(s): US EPA
    Funding Amount: $65,520.00
    Project Duration: 05/25/2006 – 10/24/2008

    Project Description

    West Virginia’s 33 municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) are located across the entire state.  Most MS4s are small cities and towns; others include the state Division of Highways and a federal penitentiary.  Storm water discharges from these MS4s often contain high levels of sediment, bacteria, nutrients, and metals.  MS4 permits are designed to reduce these pollutants.

    The goal of this project is to help MS4s better implement their permits, thereby reducing storm water pollution in a more cost-effective manner.  To accomplish this goal, project objectives included:

    (1) Collecting information through file research, interviews, and surveys to identify obstacles, best practices, and opportunities related to MS4 permit implementation across West Virginia; and

    (2) Disseminating lessons learned to MS4 communities and their consultants, WVDEP, and other interested parties.

    Based on the background research and survey results, project partners analyzed the data and compiled a final report which included an analysis of the information collected, a statistical analysis of the survey results, and other information collected through the entire project period.  The report provided recommendations on how MS4s can better implement their permits and provided quantitative conclusions about which measurable goals are being met, using which methods, and partnering with which organizations.  Successful case studies were highlighted, obstacles and challenges noted including suggestions for overcoming them.  

    Project findings were disseminated in a number of ways including reports distributed to key staff at WVDEP and USEPA, to all MS4s in the state and a PDF version has been posted online.  A PowerPoint presentation was created and used to present findings at strategic opportunities such as the state Municipal Water Quality Association and WVDEP storm water workshops.  In addition, project partners presented results at regional conferences to provide information to out-of-state regulators and MS4s, particularly those from small rural states that may face many similar obstacles and opportunities.

    Project Significance
    This systematic assessment will help small communities learn from others to more cost-effectively reduce storm water pollution, and will help WVDEP meet its goal of efficiently managing its MS4 program.

    WV 219 - Coal Slurry Impoundment Monitoring

    Project Title: Coal Slurry Impoundment Monitoring
    Project Name: WV 219
    Principle Investigator: John Quaranta
    Funding Source(s): NTTC/WJU
    Funding Amount: $167,995.94
    Project Duration: 12/19/2005 - 5/31/2007

    Project Description
    Following the breakthrough and release of coal slurry in Martin County, Kentucky on October 11, 2000 the United States Congress requested the National Research Council (NRC) to examine ways to reduce these types of accidents.  The NRC completed their study titled “Coal Waste Impoundments, Risks, Responses, and Alternatives,” which identified numerous areas of concern and the committee presented recommendations for improving the design, operation, and safety of coal slurry impoundments.  This research addresses the National Research Council’s report specific to research on the development, implementation, and evaluation of state-of-practice electronic instrumentation for monitoring parameters within the embankment, slurry pool, and toe area of an operating West Virginia coal refuse impoundment.

    The scientific accomplishments of this research include comprehensive discussions and documentation of the engineering design, fabrication, assembly, and field construction and commissioning of a prototype automatic wireless data collection system for monitoring impoundment performance (weather data, piezometric water levels, pH, Specific Conductance, and Oxidation Reduction Potential).  The project successfully accomplished the project objectives and brought on-line the completed wireless data acquisition system that can function primarily without assistance to collect data that is relevant to coal slurry impoundment stability and safety.

    Project Significance
    This project will continue to collect data over the next year and provide the information to the impoundment design engineers and the West Virginia University Coal Impoundment Research program.  This project has provided key insight into remote monitoring system needs and limitations as applied to coal slurry impoundments.  Future efforts would include collaboration with instrumentation vendors for commercialization of complete monitoring packages to support MSHA’s visual inspection requirements.

    WV 221s - Muzzleloader Club Project Sampling

    Project Title: Muzzleloader Club Project Sampling
    Project Name: WV 221s
    Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
    Funding Source(s): Guardians of the West Fork Watershed Association
    Funding Amount: $2,600
    Project Duration: 02/20/2007 - 12/31/2008

    Project Description
    The Lambert Run Restoration Project seeks to restore the water quality of this stream which has been degraded from past mining activities.  Twelve water sampling and monitoring visits to the watershed in 2003, during high, medium, and low flows, determined concentrations and loads of aluminum, iron and manganese exceeded water quality standards.  Partnerships were developed and a Watershed Plan was drafted and approved.

    Sources of the severe water impairment were identified and passive treatment systems were designed to correct pH problems and remove metals from running water by oxidizing natural wetlands.  Passive treatment systems have been designed and installed in 5 locations to balance acidity and remove high concentrations of metals from water draining formerly mined areas. 

    Project Significance
    Lambert Run has been listed as an impaired stream in West Virginia’s listing of 303(d) streams in 1996 and 1998.  In 2002, the West Fork River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was finalized and Lambert Run was earmarked for reductions in metals, primarily Iron, Aluminum and manganese.  Implementation of the proposed Plan will restore it to water quality standards.  This was the first watershed based plan in West Virginia to receive EPA approval with the goal being the eventual removal of the stream from the list of 303(d) impaired streams.

    WV 237 - Development and Implementation of a Water Quality Bank & Trade Program for the Potomac River Watershed, WV

    Project Title: Development and Implementation of a Water Quality Bank & Trade Program for the Potomac River Watershed, WV
    Project Name: WV 237
    Principle Investigator: Richard Herd
    Funding Source(s): USDA
    Funding Amount: $527,071.00
    Project Duration: 08/16/2006 - 08/15/2009

    Project Description

    Excess nutrients entering the Potomac River are creating significant downstream water quality problems.  Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), West Virginia is required to address the downstream problems in the Potomac River Watershed – a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.  West Virginia has committed to reducing the amount of phosphorus entering the Potomac River by 33% and nitrogen by 35%.  Programs such as nutrient trading are being implemented to help meet the nutrient reduction requirements that EPA will impose by December, 2010.

    Water Quality Trading is an innovative approach to efficiently achieve water quality goals.  Trading is based on the fact that various nutrient sources in a watershed can face very different costs to control the same pollutant.  Trading programs allow facilities facing high pollution control costs to meet their regulatory obligations by purchasing environmentally equivalent (or superior) pollution reductions from other sources with lower pollution reduction costs, thus achieving water quality improvement at a lower overall cost. 

    This project developed a methodology for calculating potential nutrient reduction credits resulting from various agricultural practices applied in West Virginia.  These calculations have been integrated into West Virginia’s online water quality trading platform called NutrientNet. 

    NutrientNet uses six steps to calculate Nitrogen and Phosphorus Credits involving Ratios, Factors and Baselines.  This Credit Calculation program helps suppliers and buyers of nutrient credits define the product more clearly.  It ensures that real and verifiable pollution load reductions are established.

    Project Significance
    Reducing nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay has been identified as a priority by Bay states and the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Nutrient trading programs have proven to be a cost-effective means to achieve this goal.  Voluntary incentive-based programs such as nutrient trading reduces the need for less flexible and mandatory regulations to control these sources of pollution.

    Water Quantity

    WRI 81 - Systematic Determination of Water Resource Data and Information Management Needs in WV

    Project Title: Systematic Determination of Water Resource Data and Information Management Needs in WV
    Project No: WRI 81
    Principal Investigator: Tamara Vandivort
    Funding Source: USGS 104b
    Funding Amount: $10,332.00
    Cost Share/Match:  $21,033.00
    Total Funding Amount:  $31,365.00
    Project Duration:  03/01/2006 - 02/28/2007

    Project Description
    This project views the entire state of West Virginia as a critical region.  The first problem the program addresses is that of insufficient and unevenly distributed water resource monitoring data available to support effective water resource assessment and management.  The second associated problem is the inaccessibility of existing data stemming from the diversity of agencies and methods used to collect, store, and analyze water resource data and information.  These problems have been identified by recent research by the WV WRI in fulfillment of the WV Water Resource Protection Act.

    The results of this project will include a statewide evaluation of existing water quantity and quality monitoring data sources; a participatory and credible, interagency spatial analysis of critical monitoring data gaps prioritized by importance to state agencies such as the Department of Health, USGS, the Dept of Agriculture and other principal users.  The final project report will supplement the WVDEP Water Resource Protection Act final report to the WV Legislature in December of 2006, part of an on-going comprehensive effort to evaluate state water resource balances.

    While current water resource management efforts in the state are largely segregated into quality and quantity categories, water resource quality and quantity issues cannot be managed independent of one another.  This project improves the state’s water data collection, integration, and analysis efforts.  Potential research in each of these areas is limited by lack of monitoring data.  A credible interagency and participatory process was employed to inform the state legislature about priority water resource data needs.  All information and data collected was mapped using Geographical Information System (GIS). 

    WV 232 - Development and Demonstration of a Modeling Framework for Assessing the Efficacy of Using Mine Water for Thermoelectric Power Generation

    Project Title:  Development and Demonstration of a Modeling Framework for Assessing the Efficacy of Using Mine Water for Thermoelectric Power Generation
    Project No: WV 232
    Principal Investigator: Richard Herd
    Funding Source: USDOE/NETL
    Funding Amount: $338,250.00
    Project Duration:  03/27/2006 - 04/01/2008

    Project Description
    This project developed a model for assessing the efficacy of using abandoned mine water for power generation.  The project builds upon the research conducted by WVWRI that evaluated the availability and cost-effectiveness of using mine pool water from the Pittsburgh coal seal in northern WV and SW Pa. as well as the potential environmental impacts resulting from mine pool flooding in the Monongahela, Pittsburgh, Irwin and Ohio geologic basins.  The model was developed concurrently with design and construction of the 300 megawatt Beech Hollow Power Project waste coal to energy plant in Robinson Township, Washington County, Pa approximately 12 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.  The plant is projected to use between 2,000-3,000 gallons per minute.

    The project objective is to provide a framework that energy developers can use to assess mine water availability, its cost, and the technical and regulatory aspects and environmental benefits of such use.  In the United States thermoelectric generation is second only to agriculture in terms of total water use. Increasing demand for adequate, reliable and economical electrical energy is placing increasing demand on freshwater resources potentially resulting in water use conflicts with other water users.  This framework will facilitate the use of mine water for power generation and other large industrial users thereby reducing demand on freshwater resources while abating mine discharges the primary cause of water quality impairment throughout the region.

    Project Significance
    The project will help address two societal issues: The increasing demand for power generation and its effect on freshwater resources and the potential environmental impacts that can result from mine pool breakouts.  Utilizing an impaired resource such as polluted mine pool water is a win-win for both the economy and environment.

    WV 237 - Development and Implementation of a Water Quality Bank & Trade Program for the Potomac River Watershed, WV

    Project Title: Development and Implementation of a Water Quality Bank & Trade Program for the Potomac River Watershed, WV
    Project Name: WV 237
    Principle Investigator: Richard Herd
    Funding Source(s): USDA
    Funding Amount: $527,071.00
    Project Duration: 08/16/2006 - 08/15/2009

    Project Description

    Excess nutrients entering the Potomac River are creating significant downstream water quality problems.  Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), West Virginia is required to address the downstream problems in the Potomac River Watershed – a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.  West Virginia has committed to reducing the amount of phosphorus entering the Potomac River by 33% and nitrogen by 35%.  Programs such as nutrient trading are being implemented to help meet the nutrient reduction requirements that EPA will impose by December, 2010.

    Water Quality Trading is an innovative approach to efficiently achieve water quality goals.  Trading is based on the fact that various nutrient sources in a watershed can face very different costs to control the same pollutant.  Trading programs allow facilities facing high pollution control costs to meet their regulatory obligations by purchasing environmentally equivalent (or superior) pollution reductions from other sources with lower pollution reduction costs, thus achieving water quality improvement at a lower overall cost. 

    This project developed a methodology for calculating potential nutrient reduction credits resulting from various agricultural practices applied in West Virginia.  These calculations have been integrated into West Virginia’s online water quality trading platform called NutrientNet. 

    NutrientNet uses six steps to calculate Nitrogen and Phosphorus Credits involving Ratios, Factors and Baselines.  This Credit Calculation program helps suppliers and buyers of nutrient credits define the product more clearly.  It ensures that real and verifiable pollution load reductions are established.

    Project Significance
    Reducing nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay has been identified as a priority by Bay states and the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Nutrient trading programs have proven to be a cost-effective means to achieve this goal.  Voluntary incentive-based programs such as nutrient trading reduces the need for less flexible and mandatory regulations to control these sources of pollution.

    Watershed Restoration

    WRI 51 - A Hierarchical Classification System for Identifying Restoration Priorities and Impact Vulnerability in Mined Watersheds of the Mid Atlantic Highlands

    Project Title:  A Hierarchical Classification System for Identifying Restoration  Priorities and Impact Vulnerability in Mined Watersheds of the Mid Atlantic Highlands
    Project No.:  WRI-51
    Principle Investigator:  Todd Petty, Associate Professor, West Virginia University, Division of Forestry
    Funding Source: US EPA
    Total Funding Amount:  $607,566
    Project Duration: 3/26/2004 – 1/31/2008

    Project Description
    The objectives of this project were to:

    1.) Develop and validate a spatially explicit, GIS-based model that uses information on landscape attributes to predict instream physical, chemical, and biological conditions at the stream segment scale in two intensively mined West Virginia watersheds (Cheat River and Tygart Valley River).

    2.) Use model outputs to develop a hierarchical classification system for identifying stream restoration and protection priorities at the stream segment and sub-watershed scale (12-digit HUC).

    3.) Produce a technical platform that can be used to guide implementation of watershed based approaches to aquatic resource management, with a special emphasis on implementation of strategic, watershed-scale mitigation programs in mined Appalachian watersheds.  The rationale for this study is that the GIS-based modeling system and the hierarchical classification system are needed to facilitate implementation of watershed based approaches to aquatic resource
    management. Successful completion of the objectives provides the technical framework needed to develop and implement water quality trading programs, watershed based permits, strategic mitigation and impact compensation programs, optimized watershed restoration programs, holistic watershed planning, adaptive watershed monitoring and assessment programs and efficient data maintenance, analysis, and synthesis.

    Project Significance
    Successful implementation of watershed based approaches will make it possible to achieve watershed scale improvements more quickly, at lower cost, and with the help of a more diverse stakeholder group than traditional or ad hoc management approaches.

    WRI 55 - Hydraulic Connections and Impacts on Water Supply in the Great Valley Karst Aquifer. A Case Study in Martinsburg, WV

    Project Title:  Hydraulic Connections and Impacts on Water Supply in the  Great Valley Karst Aquifer. A Case Study in Martinsburg, WV
    Project No.:  WRI-55
    Principal Investigator(s): Joseph Donovan, Associate Professor, Geology, West Virginia University
    Funding Source(s):
    USGS - $21,829
    Cost-Share - $25,891
    Total Funding Amount:  $47,720
    Project Duration: 7/16/2003 – 2/28/2006

    Project Description
    This two-year project is a regional look at water resources in the Great Valley and includes locations through Berkeley and Jefferson counties, West Virginia. The overall framework is intended to address three questions: 1) is demand or drought the dominant natural signal in springs? 2) How do springs fit into the greater hydraulic framework? and 3) At what scale do ground water models reasonably reflect both regional watershed and local point-of-use hydrology?Activities included in this project are long-term state and chemical monitoring of springs in both counties, a water quality assessment of the springs, and development of the ground water model. The Tuscarora Creek Watershed is one focus of the work and allows us to examine numerous springs in the same watershed but in different geologic formations. Two of the Martinsburg-area springs are also part of this watershed.

    WRI 71 - Performance Evaluation of Advanced Onsite Wastewater Treatment Options (Chesapeake Bay)

    Project Title: Performance Evaluation of Advanced Onsite Wastewater Treatment Options
    Project No.: WRI-71
    Principle Investigator: Tamara Vandivort
    Funding Source(s): US EPA
    Total Funding Amount: $119.971
    Project Duration: 06/19/2006 - 09/30/2008

    Project Description
    A study sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program evaluated appropriate technologies to achieve an end-of-pipe performance standard equal to or less than 14.0 mg/L total nitrogen (average) and a net reduction in phosphorus. These standards support the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement strategy to reduce the nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, entering the Bay by 40% by the year 2000.

    Residential dwellings with engineered systems located adjacent to the Bay, or within critical drainage areas, were identified. Homes with 2-4 year round residents whose owners were willing to participate in the study were selected. The four onsite wastewater treatment systems used in the studyhad already been in operation for at least a year. The systems were modified to a configuration of multi-compartment septic tank, media filtration, recirculation and disposal to a drainfield. The phosphorus reducing system included low pressure pipe distribution into an expanded shale media in the drainage bed.

    When the systems were operating properly the technologies used in this study consistently and reliably reduced average nitrogen and net phosphorus. Periodic maintenance is necessary to ensure systems are operating properly.

    Project Significance
    Pollution in the form of excess nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, entering the Chesapeake Bay are creating significant water quality problems. Central sewerage treatment systems are often not available in rural and suburban areas requiring homeowners to rely on individual septic tanks or other systems to dispose of household waste on-site. This study confirmed that engineered aerobic systems can provide a higher level of treatment and better protect water resources than conventional septic systems when functioning properly. Recent advances in technology have made aerobic treatment systems efficient and affordable for homeowners.

    WRI 82 - In-Stream Turbidity and Suspended Sediment Changes Following Improvements to a Forest Road and Harvesting

    Project Title:  In-Stream Turbidity and Suspended Sediment Changes Following Improvements to a Forest Road and Harvesting
    Project No.: WRI 82
    Principle Investigator: Jingxin Wang
    Funding Source(s): USGS
    Funding Amount:  $29,496.00
    Match/Cost Share: $60,278.000
    Total Funding Amount: $89,774.00
    Project Duration: 03/01/2006 - 02/28/2007

    Project Description

    This project examines the effects of forest road construction and logging on water quality.  Because privately owned forest lands make up more than 80 percent of forests in West Virginia, demands for wood extraction are increasing, and the most productive sites in West Virginia are on highly erodible soils, it is important to understand how typical road construction practices used in forestry operations will affect suspended sediment and turbidity levels.

    A forest road was pioneered through a watershed in summer 2002. It was left in poor condition from fall 2002 through mid-summer 2003. In mid-summer its condition was improved through the installation of more and better water control features and sediment traps, seeding of the fill slopes and cut banks, and graveling of the driving surface after water quality problems were found and reported.  In the spring and summer of 2005, approximately 58 percent of the roaded watershed area was harvested by a combination of conventional harvesting and cable yarding.  Water samples were collected with automatic samplers near the mouths of the roaded watershed and a nearby undisturbed watershed.  Samples have been analyzed for turbidity and for total suspended sediment and mineral suspended sediment.  

    This study continues sampling turbidity and suspended sediment in the established study following improvements to the forest road and harvesting.  The goal of the study was to document the results after five years.  It continued the stream water sampling phase of the study, to evaluate: 1) the length of time required for turbidity and suspended sediment to decline to conditions more like those before road construction, 2) if storms with certain characteristics or antecedent flow conditions are most associated with elevated turbidity and suspended sediment conditions, even if more average storms/flows no longer have elevated sediment, 3) if recovery is linear, exponential, or it levels off at some point in time, and 4) if turbidity and suspended sediment show additional increases following the 2005 harvesting due to the combination of increased streamflow (from reduced evapotranspiration) and sediment additions from streamside disturbance from felled and uprooted trees.

    WRI 136 - A Hierarchical Alternative Futures Modeling System to Support Decision for the Mountaintop Removal Valley Fill Mining Region of West Virginia

    Project Title: A Hierarchical Alternative Futures Modeling System to Support Decision for the
    Mountaintop Removal Valley Fill Mining Region of West Virginia
    Project No.: WRI-136
    Principle Investigator: Todd Petty, Ph.D.
    Funding Source(s): USGS
    Funding Amount: $469, 177.48
    Project Duration: 7/15/2010 – 5/31/2013

    Project Description
    Mountaintop Removal-Valley Fill (MTRVF) mining in the central Appalachian region causes extensive alteration of headwater catchments and increases total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations in downstream water bodies. There remains considerable uncertainty over whether or not current efforts to manage surface mining are effective in avoiding cumulative impacts in actively mined watersheds. The cumulative hydrological impact assessment (CHIA) process is designed to avoid cumulative impacts. However, we currently lack the science-based tools needed to make efficient and accurate decisions about specific surface mine development proposals.

    The proposed research will quantify links between mining, wildlife habitat, water quality (e.g., TDS and dissolved metals), and aquatic communities and identify associated mining thresholds that produce ecological impairment downstream. This information will then be built into a geographic information system (GIS) based alternative futures modeling system that can be used to reach scientifically based management decisions efficiently.

    The research is part of an integrated effort to develop technical tools to improve the reliability of mine permitting decisions in the central Appalachians, especially as they relate to regional and watershed-scale impacts from mining. The specific objectives or the proposed project are to:

    1. Conduct a statewide landscape characterization which includes both an updated land-use/cover classification and terrain-driven landforms using appropriate remote sensing techniques and imagery from the 1980s up through 2010. In addition, a change analysis will be performed over this time span.

    2. Construct and validate a GIS-based watershed model that uses information on mining, coal geology, land cover and other land use activities (e.g., residential development) to predict in-stream conditions (water quality and aquatic communities) in watersheds draining the MTR-VF mining region of WV and KY (focus will be on the following Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 8 watersheds: Tug Fork, Upper Guyandotte, Coal River, Middle Kanawha, Twelvepole Creek, Gauley River, Elk River and Upper Cumberland).

    3. Conduct alternative futures analyses capable of projecting changes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem conditions under a range of mine development scenarios in the focal 8-Digit HUCs.

    WRI 154 - Modeling the Hydrologic Response in Surface Mining Watersheds with Redesigned Reclamation Practices

    Project Title: Modeling the Hydrologic Response in Surface Mining Watersheds with Redesigned Reclamation Practices
    Project No.: WRI-154
    Principal Investigator: Leslie Hopkinson, Ph.D.
    Co-Principal Investigators: Ben Mack and John Quaranta, Ph.D.
    Funding Source: United States Geological Survey (USGS)
    Funding: USGS: $224,690
    Cost Share: $224,802
    Total Funding: $449,492
    Project Duration: 9/1/12 – 8/31/15

    Project Description
    The proposed research will explore the dynamics of extreme hydro-meteorological events in the southern coalfields of West Virginia by investigating geomorphic reclamation approaches applied to surface mining methods. Specific objectives include: 1) generating geomorphic valley fill designs; 2) determining the hydrologic function of a redesigned valley fill site in southern West Virginia; 3) predicting differences in floodplain mapping downstream of redesigned reclamation resulting from extreme meteorological events; and, 4) predicting the hydrologic response of watersheds with redesigned reclamation at the landscape scale.

    Alternative valley fill designs will be completed for a valley fill under construction using geomorphic landform design principles: i) external drainage with contours; ii) internal drainage with ephemeral streams; and, iii) internal drainage with perennial streams. The hydrologic response of a valley fill under construction in southern West Virginia will be compared to redesigned conditions. The hydrographs created for extreme events will be used to assess the flooding potential resulting from the redesigned valley fills. HEC-RAS, HEC-GeoRAS, and ArcGIS will be used to produce inundation maps downstream of the study site. Using HSPF, the hydrologic response from different surface mining reclamation techniques will be examined.

    Project Significance
    Through this research, dynamics of extreme hydro-meteorological events in the southern
    coalfields of West Virginia will be explored. The intention is to add to the scientific body of knowledge for geomorphic design application in surface mining reclamation in Central Appalachia. The information gained from this research will allow alternative valley fill designs to be considered while obeying reclamation regulations. Alternative valley fill designs modeled as part of this research will allow better stormwater handling and an increased likelihood of improved water quality after reclamation.

    Publications
    http://wvwri.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Hopkinson_Paper_EnvConsiderationsSymposium-Final.pdf

    WRI 171 - Using Geomorphic Landform Design Principles to Reduce Selenium Loads from West Virginia Valley Fills

    Project Title: Using Geomorphic Landform Design Principles to Reduce Selenium Loads from West Virginia Valley Fills
    Project No.: WRI - 171
    Principal Investigator: Ben Mack
    Co-Principal Investigators: Leslie Hopkinson, Ph.D., John Quaranta, Ph.D., and Paul Ziemkiewicz, Ph.D.
    Funding Source: United States Geological Survey (USGS)
    Funding: USGS: $22,928
    Cost Share: $ 45,899
    Total Funding: $68,827
    Project Duration: 3/1/13-2/28/14

    Project Description
    Project researchers will determine if water quality (i.e. selenium concentrations) of valley fill effluent can be adjusted through the use of geomorphic landform design. The two primary objectives are: 1) quantify selenium concentration outflow curves for southern West Virginia overburden and, 2) to determine changes in selenium concentrations in valley fill discharge due to the use of geomorphic design principles.

    Project Significance
    Selenium is a naturally occurring element in the coal seam of southern West Virginia that can be toxic in excessive concentrations. While many surface mines and tailing facilities meet the chronic aquatic life standard of 5 g/L, research has shown that various methods of treatment can be effective in the removal of selenium.

    Fluvial geomorphic landform design has the potential to improve water quality while restoring productive stream channels in the reclaimed landscape. The fluvial geomorphic landform design approach attempts to design landforms in a steady-state, mature condition, considering long-term climatic conditions, soil types, slopes, and vegetation types (Toy and Chuse 2005; Bugosh, 2009). Relative to traditional reclaimed landforms, fluvial geomorphic landform design appears natural, reduces long-term maintenance, requires fewer artificial elements, and supports long-term stability (Martin-Duque et al. 2009).

    References
    Martin-Duque, J.F., Sanz, M. A., Bodoque, J.M., Lucia, A., and Martin-Moreno, C. 2009. Restoring earth surface processes through landform design. A 13-year monitoring of a geomorphic reclamation model for quarries on slopes. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 35(1): 53-548.

    Toy, T.J., and Chuse, W.R. 2005. Topographic reconstruction: a geomorphic approach. Ecological Engineering. 24(1): 29-35.

    WV 126 - WV Stormwater Program Assessment

    Project Title:  WV Stormwater Program Assessment
    Project No.: WV-126
    Principle Investigator:  Richard Herd
    Funding Source(s): US EPA
    Funding Amount: $65,520.00
    Project Duration: 05/25/2006 – 10/24/2008

    Project Description

    West Virginia’s 33 municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) are located across the entire state.  Most MS4s are small cities and towns; others include the state Division of Highways and a federal penitentiary.  Storm water discharges from these MS4s often contain high levels of sediment, bacteria, nutrients, and metals.  MS4 permits are designed to reduce these pollutants.

    The goal of this project is to help MS4s better implement their permits, thereby reducing storm water pollution in a more cost-effective manner.  To accomplish this goal, project objectives included:

    (1) Collecting information through file research, interviews, and surveys to identify obstacles, best practices, and opportunities related to MS4 permit implementation across West Virginia; and

    (2) Disseminating lessons learned to MS4 communities and their consultants, WVDEP, and other interested parties.

    Based on the background research and survey results, project partners analyzed the data and compiled a final report which included an analysis of the information collected, a statistical analysis of the survey results, and other information collected through the entire project period.  The report provided recommendations on how MS4s can better implement their permits and provided quantitative conclusions about which measurable goals are being met, using which methods, and partnering with which organizations.  Successful case studies were highlighted, obstacles and challenges noted including suggestions for overcoming them.  

    Project findings were disseminated in a number of ways including reports distributed to key staff at WVDEP and USEPA, to all MS4s in the state and a PDF version has been posted online.  A PowerPoint presentation was created and used to present findings at strategic opportunities such as the state Municipal Water Quality Association and WVDEP storm water workshops.  In addition, project partners presented results at regional conferences to provide information to out-of-state regulators and MS4s, particularly those from small rural states that may face many similar obstacles and opportunities.

    Project Significance
    This systematic assessment will help small communities learn from others to more cost-effectively reduce storm water pollution, and will help WVDEP meet its goal of efficiently managing its MS4 program.

    WV 127 - Watershed Based Plan-Buckhannon

    Project Title: Watershed Based Plan-Buckhannon
    Project No.: WV-127
    Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
    Funding Source(s): WVDEP
    Funding Amount: $7,000.00
    Project Duration: 12/28/2005 – 06/30/2006

    Project Description
    The purpose of this plan was to document the existing characteristics and conditions within the Buckhannon River watershed, as well as identify areas in need of restoration.  The original Buckhannon River Watershed-Based Plan was completed in 2004 however, watershed-based plan requirements were later amended by the US EPA.  As a consequence of these federal rule changes, the Buckhannon River Watershed-Based Plan needed to be amended as well.  The scope of the original plan was expanded to include more background information about the watershed as well as pollution sources that had been discovered since the initial plan was written.  Project implementation progress and water quality data from specific monitoring sites were also updated as part of the amendments to the original watershed-based plan. 

    Project Significance
    Locating and prioritizing water quality problems is important when determining the overall health of a watershed.  Once all pollution sources have been found, a watershed-based plan is constructed in order to receive future funding for pollution remediation.  Updating the Buckhannon River Watershed-Based Plan ensured a more complete accounting of the pollution sources within the watershed and allowed for more efficient use of reclamation funding by determining where the greatest amount of remediation could occur for the lowest price.

    WV 153 - A Strategic Watershed Mitigation Plan for the Pigeon Creek Watershed Mingo County, WV

    Project Title: A Strategic Watershed Mitigation Plan for the Pigeon Creek Watershed Mingo County, WV
    Project Name: WV-153
    Principle Investigator: Todd Petty
    Funding Source(s): Consol of Kentucky
    Funding Amount: $120,000
    Project Duration: 08/29/2007 – 12/31/2008

    Project Description
    A century of neglect has resulted in high levels of degradation in the condition of watersheds and receiving waterbodies throughout the Tug Fork River drainage in southern West Virginia.  Pigeon Creek is an example of this problem where the overall quality of the Pigeon Creek mainstem in the area of Delbarton, WV is highly depressed.  The watershed has been mined for decades, including pre-law surface and deep mines, as well as extensive large scale surface mining and associated valley fills in more recent years.  In addition, the watershed is highly populated, with most of the buildable space along the river valley being fully developed.  These intensive development activities (mining and urbanization) have contributed to declines in water quality to the point that Pigeon Creek is viewed as a liability, rather than a community asset.

    The goals of this project were to establish a rigorous, science-based process for developing watershed scale restoration plans for intensively mined watersheds of southern West Virginia.  In addition, when properly constructed, watershed restoration plans can serve as a framework for integrating resources from a diverse group of investors.  The specific objectives of this plan were to develop a GIS-based modeling and analysis framework; Quantify current watershed conditions; Identify dominant factors limiting ecological conditions; Identify general restoration needs and specific restoration opportunities; Construct a series of “ecological units” (EcoUnits) that can be used to estimate the ecological benefits of specific restoration actions; And to present a framework for including stream mitigation as a contributor to watershed scale restoration of the Pigeon Creek watershed.

    Project Significance
    The rationale for establishing these plans is that watershed scale approaches are the most efficient and cost-effective means of meeting goals for aquatic resource restoration and protection.

    WV 221 - Muzzleloader Club AMD Project: Design and Installation of a Passive Treatment System

    Project Title: Muzzleloader Club AMD Project: Design and Installation of a Passive Treatment System
    Project Name: WV 221
    Principle Investigator: Richard Herd
    Funding Source(s): WV DEP
    Funding Amount: $106,663.00
    Project Duration: 06/10/2005 - 09/30/2007

    Project Description
    The Lambert Run Restoration Project seeks to restore the water quality of this stream which has been degraded from past mining activities.  Twelve water sampling and monitoring visits to the watershed in 2003, during high, medium, and low flows, determined concentrations and loads of aluminum, iron and manganese exceeded water quality standards.  Partnerships were developed and a Watershed Plan was drafted and approved. 

    Sources of the severe water impairment were identified and passive treatment systems were designed to correct pH problems and remove metals from running water by oxidizing natural wetlands.  Passive treatment systems have been designed and installed in 5 locations to balance acidity and remove high concentrations of metals from water draining formerly mined areas.

    Project Significance
    Lambert Run has been listed as an impaired stream in West Virginia’s listing of 303(d) streams in 1996 and 1998.  In 2002, the West Fork River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was finalized and Lambert Run was earmarked for reductions in metals, primarily Iron, Aluminum and manganese.  Implementation of the proposed Plan will restore it to water quality standards.  This was the first watershed based plan in West Virginia to receive EPA approval with the goal being the eventual removal of the stream from the list of 303(d) impaired streams.

    WV 229 - Passive Treatment Installation - Dream Mountain/Muddy Creek

    Project Title: Passive Treatment Installation - Dream Mountain/Muddy Creek
    Project Name: WV 229
    Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
    Funding Source(s): USGS
    Funding Amount: $288,390.00
    Project Duration: 09/01/2005 - 09/30/2010

    Project Description
    The Dream Mountain Project is located on Muddy Creek which is a direct tributary into the Cheat River.  Muddy Creek discharges into the Cheat just northwest of Ruthbelle, in Preston County, WV, and is a major source of acidity and metals associated with the remnants of the coal mining process.  Abandoned coal mining operations from the early 1900’s, active mines and bond forfeited sites are scattered throughout the watershed.  These mine sites produce acid mine drainage (AMD) and excess metals which have caused the impairment of Muddy Creek and its inclusion on the State’s 303 (d) list of impaired streams.  The project area consists of approximately 5 to7 mine portals spread out over the eastern portion of the Dream Mountain Game Ranch.  The Dream Mountain facility is a private fenced game reserve that contains large White-tailed Deer, Buffalo, and Elk.  They offer paid hunts as well as stays in cabins that are on site.

    This project consists of constructing steel slag leach beds in two freshwater tributaries, installing open limestone channels to convey the water from the portals, and constructing two wetlands for the metals to precipitate into.  The goals of this project are the approximate removal of 416,416 pounds per year of acid, 64,528 pounds per year of iron, 39,328 pounds per year of aluminum, and 4,016 pounds per year of manganese.  The system will also generate extra alkalinity to neutralize downstream sources of mine acid.  Construction of this project began in July of 2009 after difficulty in gaining landowner access after the property changed hands.  Completion is anticipated in early spring 2010.

    Project Significance
    This project will clean up additional pollution from Muddy Creek.  It is aimed at helping to remove Muddy Creek from the state’s 303(d) list of impaired watersheds.  Its successful completion will add 7 tenths of a mile of fishable water in Muddy Creek.

    WV 231 - Implementation of the Watershed Based Plan for AMD Remediation in the Cheat River Watershed WV

    Project Title:  Implementation of the Watershed Based Plan for AMD Remediation in the Cheat River Watershed WV
    Project No.: WV 231
    Principle Investigator: Richard Herd
    Funding Source(s): Friends of the Cheat (FOC) Watershed Organization
    Funding Amount: $288,390
    Project Duration: 10/01/2006 - 09/30/2009

    Project Description
    The primary objective of the project is to strategically apply various acid mine drainage treatment technologies to restore water quality in 27 stream miles of the Muddy Creek basin within the Cheat River watershed.  Different treatment types will be evaluated in terms of costs and ecological benefits. It provides a more effective framework for restoring the maximum number of stream miles within watersheds from acid mine drainage impairment.  The National Mine Land Reclamation Center at the WV Water Research Center is an internationally recognized leader in the development of acid mine drainage treatment technologies.  

    Project Significance
    This initiative provides a unique opportunity to reduce a substantial acid load to the Cheat River and to develop a cost-effective restoration framework that could be transferable to other sub-watersheds within the Cheat and elsewhere throughout Appalachia.

    WV 233 - Lower Cheat Watershed Passive Treatment Installation: Middle Fork of Greens Run, Morgan Run, and Pringle Run

    Project Title: Lower Cheat Watershed Passive Treatment Installation: Middle Fork of Greens Run, Morgan Run, and Pringle Run
    Project Name: WV 233
    Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
    Funding Source(s): WVDEP
    Funding Amount: $333,829.00
    Cost-Share/Match:  $284,866.00
    Total Funding Amount:  $618,695.00
    Project Duration: 06/01/2005 - 5/31/2007

    Project Description
    The Lower Cheat Watershed Passive Treatment Project sought to remediate three sources of acid mine drainage in three different sub-watersheds of the Cheat River.  In order to implement this project, partnerships were developed and a Watershed Plan was drafted and approved.  Passive treatment systems were designed and installed to neutralize acidity and remove high concentrations of metals from water draining these formerly mined areas. 

    Water sampling and monitoring visits to the three sub-watersheds were taken during high, medium, and low flows in order to determine the amount of acidity and metal concentrations that needed to be reduced.  All three discharges were found to be in exceedence of water quality standards for iron, aluminum, and manganese.  Passive treatment systems were designed to correct pH problems and remove metals from the mine discharges.  Various alkaline treatments were used to remediate these discharges, including limestone leach beds, steel slag leach beds, and open limestone channels, among others.

    Project Significance
    Greens Run, Pringle Run, and Morgan Run were listed as impaired streams in West Virginia’s listing of 303(d) streams in 1996 and 1998.  In 2001, the Cheat River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) document was finalized and all three of these sub-watersheds were earmarked for reductions in metals (primarily iron, aluminum and manganese), as well as acidity.  Implementation of the proposed Plan is helping to restore these sub-watersheds to water quality standards.  Completion of these passive treatment projects has also reduced the acid and metal loadings in the mainstem of the Cheat River, which will aid in the reestablishment of the Cheat River as a fishery and recreational destination.

    WV 240 - Functional Values of Streams/Wetlands on Mined Land

    Project Title: Functional Values of Streams/Wetlands on Mined Land
    Project No.: WV 240
    Principle Investigator: Todd Petty
    Funding Source(s): US DOI/OSM
    Funding Amount: $99,997.00
    Project Duration: 09/30/2007 - 09/29/2008

    Project Description
    The over-riding objective of this project was to provide a comprehensive assessment of ecological functions of aquatic habitats on reclaimed surface mines in southern West Virginia.  The specific objectives were to 1) compare and contrast the functional value of reference headwater streams and of post-reclamation aquatic features, 2) determine whether ecological functions are adequately replaced after mining and reclamation, and 3) develop recommendations for surface mine reclamation and direction for future studies.

    We studied aquatic ecosystem functions at five reclaimed mine perimeter channel sites and five paired native headwater channel sites in southern West Virginia.  Both ecosystem structure and function measures were taken at study locations.  All parameters were measured seasonally from May 2006-April 2008.  Reclaimed mine sites varied in age from 3 years post mining up to approximately 20 years post mining.  We used a variety of statistical approaches to test for structural and functional differences between reclaimed mine and native stream channels. 

    This represents the first comprehensive study to quantify ecological structures and functions associated with aquatic habitats on reclaimed mines.  Our results clearly show that elevated conductivity and TDS concentrations are the dominant factor limiting ecological functions on reclaimed mines and must be the target of progressive reclamation and mitigation practices.  Finally, our results were used to produce a table of “functional ratios” that allow objective comparison of ecological functions on reclaimed mines with native catchments.

    Project Significance
    The results from our research can be used to identify strengths and short-comings of current surface mine reclamation processes as they relate to aquatic ecosystem functions.  This information can then be used to determine which ecological functions can be effectively recovered through improved reclamation processes and which functions need to be recovered through off-site mitigation actions.  Finally, this information can be used to determine which functions can only be maintained through protection of undisturbed headwater catchments.  The specific results of our study are directly applicable to large scale surface mine reclamation in the central Appalachian region.  Nevertheless, we believe that the general approach we have used may be applicable nationwide.

    WV 246 - West Run Watershed Based Plan

    Project Title:  West Run Watershed Based Plan
    Project No.: WV 246
    Principle Investigator: Brady Gutta
    Funding Source(s): WV DEP
    Funding Amount: $10,183.00
    Project Duration: 06/01/2007 - 12/31/2007

    Project Description
    The purpose of this plan is to document the existing characteristics and conditions within the West Run watershed, and identify problem areas for restoration.  Existing water quality and watershed data was compiled which identified 3 problem areas in the watershed including acid mine drainage, bacterial contamination and storm water run-off.  Field surveys were conducted to verify existing data and additional data was collected.  Further studies were undertaken to identify the sources of these problems. 

    Project Significance
    Locating and prioritizing water quality problems is important when determining the overall health of a watershed.  Once all pollution sources have been found, a watershed-based plan must be constructed in order to receive future funding for pollutant remediation.  The results of this watershed-based plan will aid in the efficient use of reclamation funding and will provide the largest amount of remediation for the lowest price.

    WV 293 - Schwab Phase II

    Project Name: Schwab Phase II
    Project No.: WV 293
    Principle Investigator: Jennifer Hause & Jason Fillhart
    Funding Source(s): West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
    Funding Amount: $
    Funding Duration: 9/1/13 – 9/30/15

    Project Description:
    The Upper Muddy Creek project, located in the Muddy Creek Watershed of the Cheat, is a source of acidity and metals associated with the legacy of coal mining practices. This is the second phase of a project aimed at restoring the upper portion of Muddy Creek as well as removing Muddy Creek from the 303d listing of impaired streams.

    WV 313 - Fish Assemblage/ Stream Impairment

    Project Title: Fish Assemblage/ Stream Impairment
    Project No.: WV-313
    Principle Investigator: Todd Petty
    Funding Source(s): WVDEP
    Funding Amount: $49,850.87
    Project Duration: 12/15/2011 – 12/31/2012

    Project Description
    Stream bio-assessment involves the collection and analysis of resident biological assemblages, including fish, invertebrates and algae from targeted stream segments (Karr et al. 1986). Assemblage data (usually in the form of numbers of individuals identified to the species, genus, or family level) typically are summarized through the calculation of a series of biometrics that reflect the relative health of the waterbody. For example, lithophilic spawning fishes are good indicators of sediment related stress and therefore provide a useful fish assemblage based biometric.

    In West Virginia, the West Virginia stream Condition Index (WVSCI) has been used to define stream biological impairment. WVSCI is based on the family level identification of the benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages (Gerristen et al. 2000). WVSCI is composed of 6 metrics that describe the species richness, tolerance to pollution, and composition in order to characterize the level of impairment of a stream (Gerristen et al. 2000). An important criticism of WVSCI is that the use of family level identification is too coarse to effectively assess biological impairment across a broad range of stressors. Consequently, a Genus Level Index of Most Probable Stream Status (GLIMPSS) based on benthic macroinvertebrates has been developed. GLIMPSS represents a significant improvement over WVSCI due to its reliance on higher taxonomic resolution as well as its applicability across ecoregions and seasons (Pond et al. 2008).

    In addition to invertebrate based indices, several States incorporate information on fish assemblages into their definition of biological impairment. Both macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages have been shown to be responsive to variability in physical habitat and water chemistry (McCorm ick et al. 2001, Freund and Petty 2007, Merovich and Petty 2007, Petty et al. 2010, Merriam et al. 2011). It is often argued that macroinvertebrates are good indicators of local conditions because they are diverse and display a wide range of tolerance to physical and chemical stressors. Also, benthic macroinvertebrates are represented by a great diversity of species within functional feeding groups. Because most fishes are highly mobile and tend to be longer lived than most macroinvertebrates, they may be better indicators of historic and chronic stressors, the effects of aquatic habitat fragmentation, and stressors that have regional and local impacts (Freund and Petty 2007).

    Currently, there is not a model that includes biological assemblages, along with water quality, habitat quality, and landscape indicators to determine ecological condition in West Virginia streams. The over-riding objective of this proposal is to assess the utility of using fish assemblage data along with GLIMPSS as a measure of stream condition and as a means of defining biological impairment.

    WV 315 - Assessing Geomorphic Reclamation in Valley Fill Design for West Virginia

    Project Title: Assessing Geomorphic Reclamation in Valley Fill Design for West Virginia
    Project No.: WV – 315
    Principal Investigators: Leslie Hopkinson, Ph.D.
    Co-Principal Investigators: Jennifer Hause, Ph.D., John Quaranta, Ph.D., and Mindy Armstead, Ph.D.
    Funding Source: U.S. Department of Interior – Office of Surface Mining (OSM)
    Funding: OSM: $148,858
    Cost Share: $51,142
    Total Funding: $200,000
    Project Duration: 09/01/12 – 08/31/14

    Project Description
    In 2010, West Virginia University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the West Virginia Water Research Institute began to investigate the application of fluvial geomorphic design principles to valley fill construction and mountain top mine design and reclamation in West Virginia. A critical challenge identified through this work included the lack of design parameters calibrated from field studies specific to the state. Therefore, there is a critical need to develop and publish geomorphic design parameters for West Virginia. These parameters could also be applicable to similar regions in Appalachia. This research will obtain field data needed to calibrate conceptual geomorphic designs for West Virginia valley fills. Specific objectives include: 1) obtaining and quantifying characteristics of mature landforms in West Virginia and 2) generate geomorphic valley fill designs, using data specific to Central Appalachia mining regions.

    Project Significance
    State and Federal regulations have been promulgated to control environmental impacts associated with mountaintop mining and valley fill construction, resulting in geotechnically stable designs of valley fills with runoff management; however, major environmental concerns have resulted, specifically the loss of headwater stream length, increased flooding risk, and degrading water quality to downstream communities. Through this project, evidence will be provided that the coal industry can design and reclaim future mines with reduced environmental impact, improved flood control, and improved water quality. Specifically, the work will result in a database of land profile information that can be utilized for future geomorphic designs.

    WV 329 - Lick Run of the Cheat River Watershed Based Plan

    Project Title: Lick Run of the Cheat River Watershed-Based Plan
    Project No.: WV 329
    Principle Investigator: Ben Mack
    Co-Principal Investigator: Brady Gutta
    Funding Source: West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP)
    Funding: WVDEP: $15,090
    Cost-Share: $11,983
    Total Project Funding: $27,073
    Project Duration: 04/01/13 – 09/30/14

    Project Description
    In order for watershed groups to acquire EPA Clean Water Act (CWA) section 319 funding, they must complete and submit to EPA a Watershed Based Plan (WBP). The WBP details: water quality impairments, corrective actions to be taken, a preliminary budget, an implementation schedule, and goals based on the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) of the specific watershed. Although no TMDL has been specifically created for the Lick Run watershed, the Cheat River TMDL lists aluminum, iron, manganese, and pH as impairments in Lick Run.

    Project Significance
    Throughout the watershed, the Upper Freeport coal seam has been mined extensively. The majority of the mining performed in the Lick Run watershed was underground mining, although some surface mining also occurred within the watershed. Water quality from underground mines in this coal seam is typically very acidic and has a high iron and aluminum content. The Office of Surface Mining Abandoned Mine Lands Inventory System (AMLIS) has identified six problem areas within the Lick Run watershed. Of the six problem areas, four have been reclaimed. While water conveyance measures such as wet seals and limestone channels have been installed at these reclaimed problem areas, no water quality remediation measures have been taken. In addition, other sources of acid mine drainage, as well as safety issues such as dangerous highwalls and open portals, likely exist in the watershed. This research will consist of the collection of water quality data that will be used for writing a watershed-based plan.

    WV 330 - Little Tenmile Creek Watershed Based Plan

    Project Title: Little Tenmile Creek Watershed Based Plan
    Project No.: WV – 330
    Principal Investigator: Ben Mack
    Co-Principal Investigators: Brady Gutta
    Funding Source: West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP)
    Funding: WVDEP: $35,184
    Cost-Share: $23,462
    Total Funding: $58,646
    Project Duration: 3/1/13 – 9/30/14

    Project Description
    In order for watershed groups to acquire EPA Clean Water Act (CWA) section 319 funding, they must complete and submit to EPA a Watershed Based Plan (WBP). The WBP details: water quality impairments, corrective actions to be taken, a preliminary budget, an implementation schedule, and goals based on the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) of the specific watershed. This watershed-based plan will encompass Little Tenmile Creek and its tributaries, as well as Jones Run and the section of Tenmile Creek from its confluence with Little Tenmile Creek to the mouth of Tenmile Creek at the West Fork River. Although no TMDL has been specifically created for the Little Tenmile Creek and Jones Run watersheds, the West Fork River TMDL lists pH and metals as impairments in the Little Tenmile Creek watershed and metals as the impairment in the Jones Run watershed.

    Project Significance
    Throughout the watershed, the Pittsburgh coal seam has been mined extensively. The majority of the mining performed in the Little Tenmile Creek/Jones Run watershed was underground mining, although some surface mining also occurred within the watershed. Water quality from underground mines in this coal seam may be either acidic or alkaline, depending on the regional geology. The Office of Surface Mining Abandoned Mine Lands Inventory System (AMLIS) has identified 39 problem areas within the Little Tenmile Creek and Jones Run watersheds. Of the 39 problem areas, 23 have been reclaimed. While water conveyance measures such as wet seals and limestone channels have been installed at these reclaimed problem areas, no water quality remediation measures have been taken. In addition, other sources of acid mine drainage, as well as safety issues such as dangerous highwalls and open portals, likely exist in the watershed. The research conducted for this project will consist of the collection of water quality data that will be used for writing a watershed-based plan.