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<pubnumber>903R05002</pubnumber>
<title>Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, October 2005</title>
<pages>507</pages>
<pubyear>2005</pubyear>
<provider>NEPIS</provider>
<access>online</access>
<operator>mja</operator>
<scandate>03/05/12</scandate>
<origin>PDF</origin>
<type>single page tiff</type>
<keyword>mining sites fork dpeis forest mountaintop valley water species coal unmined virginia filled fills study fish data west creek mined</keyword>
<author>   United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Region III. ; United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. ; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. ; United States. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. ; West Virginia. Dept. of Environmental Protection.</author>
<publisher>U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Region 3,</publisher>
<subject> Coal mines and mining--Environmental aspects--Appalachian Region ; Strip mining--Environmental aspects--Appalachian Region ; Strip mining--Environmental aspects--West Virginia ; Environmental impact analysis--West Virginia</subject>
<abstract></abstract>

          United States
          Environmental Protection
          Agency
EPA Region 3
Philadelphia, PA
EPA 9-03-R-05002
Mountaintop Mining /Valley Fills
           in Appalachia
       Final Programmatic
                  &
Environmental Impact Statement
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  October
   2005
  Introduction, Comment Summaries, Responses, and Errata

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               Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
           Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

       This Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (FPEIS) has been prepared by
the lead agencies listed below pursuant to the Settlement Agreement entered in Bragg v. Robertson,
Civ. No. 2:98-0636 (S.D. W.V.).  That Agreement provided for the preparation of the EIS, but the
agencies did not concede that the EIS  was required by the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA). This Final EIS is "programmatic" in that it considers "developing agency policies, guidance,
and coordinated agency decision-making processes to minimize, to the maximum extent practicable,
the adverse environmental effects to waters of the United States and to fish and wildlife resources
affected by mountaintop mining operations, and to environmental resources that could be affected
by the size and location of excess spoil disposal sites in valley fills" within the Appalachian study
area in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. The objective  is consonant application
of the Clean Water Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act to improve the regulatory
process and effect better environmental protection for mountaintop mining and valley fill operations
in steep slope Appalachia.

       This FPEIS was prepared in accordance with the provision set forth in 40 CFR 1503.4(c)
of the regulations implementing NEPA, which allow the agencies to attach an errata sheet to the
statement instead of rewriting the draft statement and to circulate the errata, comments, responses,
and the changes, rather than the entire document. The agencies are filing  the entire statement with
a new cover sheet as the final. The Draft PEIS and Final PEIS with comments, responses, and errata
are available on the internet at the following address:

       http://www.epa.gov/region3/mtntop/index.htm
For More Information — Please contact any of the following agency representatives:
  John Forren
  Katherine Trott
  Mike Robinson
  Cindy Tibbott
  Russell Hunter
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Office of Surface Mining
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
WV Department of Environmental Protection
(215) 814-2705
(202) 761-5542
(412) 937-2882
(814) 234-4090
(304) 926-0499
Jam R, Pomponio
4j. S. Environmental Protection Agency
Philadelphia, PA
               .**
 Brent Wahlquist  t
 U.S. Office of Surface Mining
Dr. Mark Sudol
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Washington, DC
                        Marvin Moriarty
                        U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
                        Had ley, MA
                        Lewis A, Ha!stead
                        WV Dept of Environmental Protection
                        Charleston, WV

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       Table of Contents    


       Section  Page

       Table of Contents    i

       1.     Summary   1
             1.1    Introduction    1
             1.2    Origin, Background, and Scope   2
             1.3    Technical Studies   3
             1.4    Actions and Alternatives    5
             1.5    Events since the Publication of the Draft EIS   9
       2.     Public Review Process 10
       3.     Public Comments Received  11
       4.     Organization of Public Comments for Review and Response   12
       5.     Responses to Comments 13
             5.1    Organization of Responses   13
             5.2    Responses to Comments by Category   14
                    5.2.1   Comments to Which No Response is Required   14
                    5.2.2   Category:  Alternatives 14
                    5.2.3   Category:  Role of the General Public and Public Involvement    22
                    5.2.4   Category:  Adequacy of the EIS  23
                    5.2.5   Category:  Water Resources  32
                    5.2.6   Category:  Aquatic Fauna and Flora  42
                    5.2.7   Category:  Terrestrial Fauna and Flora  47
                    5.2.8   Category:  Threatened & Endangered, Candidate, and
                           Species of Concern   53
                    5.2.9   Category:  Cumulative Impacts   56
                    5.2.10 Category:  Social Values 59
                    5.2.11  Category:  Economic Values  62
                    5.2.12 Category:  Government Efficiency     65
                    5.2.13  Category:  Excess Spoil 66
                    5.2.14 Category:  Stream Habitat and Aquatic Functions  68
                    5.2.15  Category:  Air Quality  69
                    5.2.16 Category:  Blasting  70
                    5.2.17 Category:  Flooding  71
                    5.2.18  Category:  Reclamation  75
       6.     Errata from the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement 78
       7.     List ofPreparers  84
       8.     Distribution List 85
       9.     References    96
       10.    Reader's Guide to Acronyms    98

       Appendix — Errata Continuation
Page i                                                                                   October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       1.     Summary
       1.1    Introduction

              This Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (FPEIS) was prepared by the
       U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the
       U.S. Department of Interior's Office of Surface Mining (OSM) and Fish and Wildlife Service
       (FWS),  and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection  (WVDEP) ("the
       agencies") as part of a settlement agreement that resolved the Federal claims of the coal mining
       court case known as Bragg v. Robertson, Civ. No. 2:98-0636  (S.D. W.V.).  That Agreement
       provided for the preparation of the PEIS, but the agencies did not concede that the PEIS was
       required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

              The purpose  of this FPEIS is to evaluate options for improving agency programs under
       the Clean Water Act (CWA), Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) and the
       Endangered  Species Act (ESA)  that will contribute to reducing the adverse environmental
       impacts  of  mountaintop mining  operations and  excess spoil valley fills (MTM/VF)  in
       Appalachia.  Preparation  of this FPEIS  involved  substantial information gathering,  and it
       describes relevant historical data, details several possible alternative frameworks, and contains
       the results of over 30 scientific and technical studies conducted as a part of this effort.

              The  agencies  identified  a  preferred  alternative  that incorporates  programmatic
       improvements  at the state  and Federal levels  intended to provide enhanced environmental
       protection and agency coordination during permit reviews under  SMCRA and CWA consistent
       with the purpose of the PEIS as outlined below in Section 1.2 of this document. The preferred
       alternative enhances environmental protection and improves efficiency, collaboration, division of
       labor, benefits to the public and applicants. See  Section II.B for  a more  detailed description of
       the benefits of the preferred alternative.

              This FPEIS, was developed through an extraordinary inter-agency effort, and is designed
       to  inform more environmentally sound decision-making for future permitting  of MTM/VF. To
       this  end,  this  FPEIS  includes  a  substantial amount of environmental and economic data
       associated with MTM/VF collected and analyzed by these agencies. They have cooperatively
       evaluated their various programs and believe this FPEIS includes much valuable information that
       will  assist  their respective  agencies to better  coordinate the review  necessary under each
       agency's mandates.  The agencies believe this effort will contribute to more efficient decision-
       making by coordinating data collection and environmental analyses by the respective agencies,
       resulting in better permit decisions on a watershed basis.

              This FPEIS includes the following: the comments received on the  DPEIS (only one copy
       of each form letter  where multiple copies were received); issues identified in the comments;
       responses on the issues; and an errata sheet.  The FPEIS incorporates by reference the DPEIS
       published in June  2003. After considering  all the comments  received on  the  DPEIS and
       responding, the agencies  have determined that the changes required to  the DPEIS are minor.
       Therefore, the agencies are implementing the provision of the Council on Environmental Quality
Page 1                                                                                   October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       (CEQ) regulations for  implementing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), at section
       1503.4(c), which reads:

              (c) If changes  in response to  comments are  minor and are  confined to the
              responses described in  paragraphs (a)(4)  and (5) of this section, agencies may
              write them on errata sheets and attach them to the statement instead of rewriting
              the draft statement.  In  such cases  only the  comments, the responses,  and the
              changes and not the final statement need be circulated (Sec. 1502.19). The entire
              document with  a new  cover  sheet  shall  be filed as the final  statement (Sec.
              1506.9).

              In accordance with this provision, the agencies will be placing a FPEIS cover sheet on the
       DPEIS and,  along with the  errata sheet and comments/responses, filing it with the EPA as the
       FPEIS. Only this document, which includes comments, responses, and errata will be circulated to
       the public; the DPEIS was previously circulated to the public. The DPEIS is still available on the
       Internet at the following web address: http://www.epa.gov/region3/mtntop/index.htm.  Hard
       copies are no longer available. However, libraries that received CDs of the DPEIS as listed in the
       distribution list of the  DPEIS  may still have those available. Computer disks containing the
       DPEIS can be obtained by writing the U.S. EPA.

       1.2    Origin, Background, and Scope

              On February 5,  1999, the COE, EPA, OSM,  FWS, and WVDEP published a Notice of
       Intent in the Federal Register [64 FR5778] to develop an EIS with the following stated purpose:

              "...to consider  developing agency  policies,  guidance, and  coordinated  agency
              decision-making processes to minimize, to the maximum extent practicable, the
              adverse  environmental  effects  to waters  of  the United States  and to fish  and
              wildlife  resources  affected  by  mountaintop  mining  operations,   and  to
              environmental resources that could be affected by the size and location of excess
              spoil  disposal sites in valley fills."

              This  is a "programmatic" EIS consistent with NEPA in that it  evaluates broad Federal
       actions such  as the adoption of new or revised agency program guidance, policies, or regulations.
       "Mountaintop mining"  refers to coal mining by surface methods (e.g., contour mining,  area
       mining, and  mountaintop removal mining) in the  steep terrain of the central Appalachian
       coalfields. The additional volume of broken  rock that is often generated as a result of this
       mining, but cannot be returned  to the locations from which it was removed, is known as "excess
       spoil" and is typically placed in valleys adjacent to the surface mine, resulting in "valley fills."
       Background  on the NEPA process,  issues analyzed as part of this PEIS, and relevant historical
       information can be found in Chapter I.

              The  geographic  focus of  this  study  involves  approximately  12  million  acres,
       encompassing most of eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, western Virginia, and  scattered
       areas of eastern Tennessee. The study area contains about 59,000 miles  of streams. Some of the
       streams flow all year, some flow part of the year, and some flow only briefly after a rainstorm or
Page 2                                                                                    October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       snow melt.  Most of  the streams discussed in this  PEIS  are considered headwater streams.
       Headwater streams  are generally important ecologically because they contain not only diverse
       invertebrate assemblages, but some  unique aquatic  species.  Headwater  streams  also provide
       organic energy that is critical to fish and  other aquatic species  throughout an entire river.
       Ecologically, the study area is valuable because of its rich plant life and because it is a suitable
       habitat  for  diverse populations  of migratory  songbirds, mammals, and  amphibians.  The
       environment affected by MTM/VF is described in Chapter III.

              The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimated in 1998 that 28.5 billion tons of high
       quality coal  (i.e., high heating value, low sulfur content) remain in the study area. DOE reported
       about 280 million tons of coal were extracted by surface and underground mining from the study
       area in 1998. Coal produced from the study area continues to provide an important  part of the
       energy needs of the  nation.  Regionally,  coal  mining is a key component of the economy
       providing jobs and tax revenue. Almost all of the electricity generated in the area comes from
       coal-fired power plants. Although coal  production remains high, productivity gains and new
       technology have reduced the need for coal miners. Unemployment, poverty, and out migration in
       the study area are well above the  national average. Mining methods,  demographics  and
       economics are also discussed in Chapter III.

              The Surface Mining  Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) was enacted by Congress in
       1977  to  provide a  comprehensive program to  regulate surface coal mining and reclamation
       operations, including  MTM/VF. A variety  of Clean Water Act  (CWA) programs apply  to
       MTM/VF activities where these activities may impact the chemical, physical, and biological
       integrity of the nation's waters. Section 404 of the CWA regulates  the discharge of dredged  or
       fill material into waters of the U.S. Section 402 regulates all other point source discharges  of
       pollutants into waters  of the U.S. Technology based effluent limits for the NPDES program are
       established by  EPA to restrict  the  concentration of particular pollutants  associated with a
       particular industry (e.g., iron  for coal mining discharges). Section 401  provides states with the
       authority to review and either deny or grant certification for any activities requiring a Federal
       permit or license, to ensure that they will not violate applicable state water quality standards.
       CWA and SMCRA regulatory agencies must either consult  or coordinate with  the FWS,  as
       appropriate  to ensure the protection of endangered  and threatened  species and  their critical
       habitats as  determined under the Endangered  Species Act (ESA).  Relevant features  of the
       SMCRA,  CWA,  ESA,  and  Clean  Air Act (CAA) programs  are  discussed throughout the
       document, but are described in some detail under the No Action Alternative in Chapter II and in
       Appendix B. Chapter II and Appendix B are provided only as a brief informal summary for the
       convenience  of the reader. These descriptions are not intended as  a complete  statement  of
       applicable law  or to establish the actual requirements  of any regulatory program. The reader
       should refer to the statutes and the Federal Register for official program requirements.

       1.3    Technical Studies

              The agencies conducted or funded over 30 studies of the impacts of mountaintop mining
       and associated excess spoil disposal  valley fills. The findings of these studies, along with the
       joint agency review of the existing regulatory environment, form the basis upon  which the
       significance of each issue was evaluated. The results of these studies,  compilation of previously
PageS                                                                                     October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       published research,  and information from various experts regarding the effects of mountaintop
       mining are in the appendices or are cited in the reference sections.

              Individuals and agencies outside of the PEIS development process conducted  some
       studies. The studies were summarized at the beginning  of the applicable  appendices. These
       appendix cover sheets are provided as an aid to the reader and do not necessarily reflect the
       opinions and views of the PEIS agencies. The studies noted the following:

                    Of the largely  forested study area,  approximately 6.8 % has been or may be
                    affected by recent and future (1992-2012) mountaintop mining [USEPA, 2002].
                    In the past,  reclamation focused primarily on  erosion  prevention and  backfill
                    stability and not reclamation with trees. Compacted backfill material hindered tree
                    establishment and growth; reclaimed  soils were more  conducive for growing
                    grass; and grasses, which out-competed tree seedlings, were  often planted as a
                    quick growing vegetative  cover.  As a result, natural  succession by  trees and
                    woody plants on reclaimed mined  land (with intended post-mining land uses other
                    than  forest)  was slowed. Better  reclamation techniques for growing  trees on
                    mined lands now exist and are being promoted.
              •      More species of interior forest songbirds  occur in forest unaffected by mining
                    than forest edge adjacent to reclaimed mined land. Grassland bird species are
                    more predominant  on  reclaimed  mines.  Similarly, amphibians  (salamanders)
                    dominate unaffected forest, whereas reptiles (snakes) occupy the reclaimed mined
                    lands. Small mammals and raptors appear to inhabit both habitats.
              •      Approximately 1200  miles of headwater streams (or 2%  of  the streams in the
                    study area) were directly impacted by MTM/VF  features including coal removal
                    areas, valley fills, roads, and ponds  between  1992 and 2002. An  estimated 724
                    stream miles (1.2 % of streams) were covered by valley  fills from 1985 to 2001.
                    Certain watersheds were more impacted by MTM/VF than others.
              •      Based upon the study of 37 stream segments, intermittent streams and perennial
                    streams begin  in very  small  watersheds,  with  a median  of 14  and 41  acres
                    respectively.
              •      Streams in watersheds where MTM/VFs exist are characterized by an increase of
                    minerals in  the water as  well  as  less  diverse  and  more pollutant-tolerant
                    macroinvertebrates  and  fish   species. Questions   still  remain  regarding  the
                    correlation of impacts to the age,  size, and number of valley fills in a watershed,
                    and effects on genetic  diversity.  Some streams below  fills  showed biological
                    assemblages and water quality of good quality comparable to reference streams.
                    Streams in watersheds below valley  fills tend to have greater base flow. These
                    flows are more persistent than comparable unmined watersheds. Streams with fills
                    generally have  lower peak discharges than unmined watersheds during most low-
                    intensity storm  events; however, this  phenomenon appears to reverse itself during
                    higher-intensity events.
Page 4                                                                                    October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                     Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


                    Wetlands are, at times inadvertently and other times intentionally, created  by
                    mining via erosion and sediment control structures. These wetlands provide some
                    aquatic functions, but are generally not of high quality.
              •      Valley  fills are  generally stable,  as evidenced by fewer than 20 reported slope
                    movements out of more than 6,800 fills constructed since 1985.
              •      The extraction of coal reserves in the study area could be substantially impacted if
                    fills are restricted to  small watersheds.  The severity of impact to coal recovery
                    correlates  with  the  magnitude  of  the fill limitations  and  site-specific and
                    operational factors.

       1.4    Actions and Alternatives

              In Chapter II, the PEIS  identifies a number of proposed actions, presented in three action
       alternatives in addition to the  No Action Alternative,  to improve agency decision-making and
       minimize  the adverse effects from MTM/VF. The objective of the coordinated program
       improvements considered is to integrate application  of the CWA and SMCRA to enhance
       environmental protection associated with MTM/VF operations. The  CWA/SMCRA program
       improvements envisioned include more  detailed mine planning and  reclamation; clear and
       common regulatory definitions; development of impact thresholds where feasible; guidance  on
       best management practices; comprehensive baseline data collection; careful  predictive  impact
       and alternative  analyses,  including avoidance and minimization; and appropriate mitigation to
       offset unavoidable aquatic impacts. The EPA, COE, and OSM propose to promulgate regulations
       and develop  policies or guidance as necessary  to establish an  integrated surface coal  mining
       regulatory program to minimize environmental impacts from MTM/VF.

              The No Action Alternative describes the SMCRA and CWA programs as implemented in
       2003. This alternative is the baseline from which to compare all other alternatives.

              Alternative  1  provides for  the  COE,  on  a case-by-case basis, to make  the initial
       determination of the size, number, and location of valley fills in waters  of the U.S. Under this
       alternative, all MTM/VF projects that would involve proposed valley fills in waters of the U.S.
       would initially be handled as individual permits (IP)  under CWA Section 404. The SMCRA and
       other  permitting agencies would rely, to the extent practicable, on the COE decisions regarding
       fill placement in waters of the U.S.

              Alternative  2 is  the  preferred  alternative  because   of  the  improved  efficiency,
       collaboration, division of labor, benefits to the  public and applicants, and the recognition that
       some  proposals will likely be  suited for IPs, and others best processed as Nationwide  Permit
       (NWP) 21. This alternative is  unlike the other  two action alternatives in that it integrates the
       features of SMCRA and CWA programs into a coordinated regulatory process to determine the
       size, number, and location of valley fills in waters of the  U.S. The COE would determine
       whether an IP under CWA Section 404 is appropriate, relying in part on the SMCRA information
       provided by the applicant as part of a joint permit application. If so, CWA Section 404(b)(l) and
       NEPA compliance determinations  would be made, similar to that discussed in Alternative 1. If a
       general  permit,  such as  NWP 21, is appropriate, the COE  would  process  the application
       following the SMCRA review  in a manner similar to the description  of the COE review process


PageS                                                                                    October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
                                 Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       in Alternative 3.  COE  NWP 21  decisions  would  rely, to the greatest  extent  possible  and
       consistent  with legal requirements, on  the  information and conclusions from the relevant
       SMCRA review.

              Alternative 3  provides for the  SMCRA authority to assume the  primary  role in
       determining the size,  number, and location of valley fills in waters of the U.S. This alternative is
       based  on a procedural presumption by the  COE that most MTM/VF applications  would be
       processed  as  general permits under NWP  21 because the SMCRA review would be  the
       functional equivalent of a CWA Section 404 IP. SMCRA programs would be enhanced through
       rulemaking to satisfy the informational and review requirements of the  CWA Section  404
       program, consistent with SMCRA authority. Under this alternative, any off-site mitigation would
       continue to be assured by the COE under CWA authorization.

              The alternative summary table below briefly describes how agency actions would create a
       coordinated regulatory process for MTM/VF. Following the table  are the highlights  of the
       actions proposed to implement the complementary CWA/SMCRA programs.

       Table 1. Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fill  FPEIS Alternatives Summary
       No Action           Maintains the regulatory programs, policies, and coordination processes, as well as
                          actions that existed or had been initiated in 2003.
       Action Alternative 1
       Action Alternative 2
       (Preferred)
The COE CWA Section 404 program would be the primary regulatory program for
determining (on a case-by-case  basis) whether and how  large valley fills  from
MTM/VF would be authorized  in waters of the U.S. The COE would presume that
most projects would require the CWA Section 404 IP process, and general permit
NWP 21 authorization would be applicable only in limited circumstances. The  COE
would  perform requisite  public  interest review as well  as  appropriate NEPA
analysis. As part of the IP process, the COE would largely rely on SMCRA reviews
that adequately address terrestrial and  community impact issues arising as part of
public participation. COE would require mitigation of unavoidable aquatic impacts
either through  on-site replacement  of aquatic  functions or  by in-kind,  off-site
watershed improvement projects  within the cumulative  impact area.  The  COE
would be the lead agency for ESA consultation on aquatic  resources  and the
SMCRA agencies would coordinate with FWS on aquatic and terrestrial species.
All other regulatory programs  would  defer to, or condition decisions on attaining,
the requisite CWA Section 404 approval. OSM would consider rulemaking so that
the stream buffer zone would  be inapplicable to  excess spoil disposal in waters of
the U.S. OSM would finalize excess spoil provisions to include  minimization and
alternative analysis more consistent with those under the  CWA. Cross-program
actions include rulemaking; continued  research on  MTM/VF impacts, improved
data collection, sharing, and analysis; development of Best Management Practices
(BMP)  and Advance  Identification (ADID) evaluations; and agency coordination
memorialized by such mechanisms as  Memoranda of Agreement. These actions
would serve  to further minimize  the adverse effects on aquatic and terrestrial
resources and protect the public.

The agencies would develop  enhanced coordination of regulatory  actions, while
maintaining  independent review and decision-making by each agency. The  size,
location and number of valley  fills allowed in waters of the U.S.  would be
cooperatively  determined  by  CWA and  SMCRA  agencies  based on  a  joint
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                                                                   October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
                                  Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       Alternative
                           application and under procedures spelled out in such mechanisms as Memoranda
                           of Agreement.  OSM would apply functional stream  assessments to  determine
                           onsite mitigation. OSM rules would be finalized to clarify the stream buffer zone
                           rule and make it more consistent with SMCRA. OSM excess spoil rules would be
                           finalized to provide for fill minimization and alternatives analysis, similar to CWA
                           Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines. The COE would make case-by-case decisions as to
                           NWP or IP processing. Public interest review and NEPA compliance by the COE
                           would occur for IPs and would be informed, to the extent possible, by the SMCRA
                           permit. Mitigation of  unavoidable  aquatic impacts would  be  required  to  the
                           appropriate level. ESA evaluations for IPs would be similar to those in Alternative
                           1; the SMCRA agency would take the lead for ESA coordination for NWP 21. FWS
                           would retain the ability to consult on unresolved ESA issues for all CWA Section
                           404  applications. Cross-program actions  include  rulemaking;  improved  data
                           collection, sharing and analysis; development  of a joint application, harmonized
                           public participation procedures, BMP and ADID  evaluations; and close interagency
                           coordination. These actions would serve to further minimize the adverse effects on
                           aquatic and terrestrial resources and protect the public.
       Action Alternative 3
The COE  would  begin processing most MTM/VF projects as NWP 21  and few
projects would require IP processing. The SMCRA program would be enhanced as
described  in Alternative 2 and the SMCRA regulatory authority would assume the
primary role  of  joint application review.  The COE,  or a  state  through  a
programmatic general permit from  the  COE, would  base CWA authorizations
largely on  the SMCRA review with the addition of adequate off-site mitigation. The
COE would require the IP process if its review found an application inadequate due
to lack of data, alternatives considered, or mitigation. Satisfaction of ESA would be
identical to Alternative  1  and  2. The  cross-program actions  are identical to
Alternative 2 with the exception that no ADIDs would be developed. These actions
would serve to  further minimize  the adverse effects on aquatic  and terrestrial
resources  and protect the public.
              The Federal and/or state agencies cooperatively would:
              •      develop guidance, policies,  or institute rulemaking for consistent definitions of
                     stream   characteristics,   as   well  as  field  methods  for  delineating   those
                     characteristics.

                     continue to evaluate the effects of mountaintop  mining on stream chemistry and
                     biology.

                     continue to work with states  to further refine the  uniform, science-based protocols
                     for assessing  ecological  function,  making  permit  decisions  and  establishing
                     mitigation requirements.

                     continue  to  assess aquatic  ecosystem  restoration and  mitigation  methods  for
                     mined lands and promote demonstration sites.

              •      incorporate mitigation/compensation monitoring  plans  into  SMCRA/NPDES
                     permit inspection schedules  and coordinate SMCRA and CWA requirements to
                     establish financial liability (e.g., bonding sureties) to ensure that reclamation and
                     compensatory mitigation projects are completed successfully.

              •      work with interested  stakeholders  to develop a  best  management practices
                     (BMPs) manual for restoration/replacement of aquatic resources.
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                                                                    October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


                     evaluate  and coordinate current programs for controlling  fugitive dust  and
                     blasting fumes from mountaintop MTM/VF operations, and develop BMPs and/or
                     additional regulatory controls to minimize adverse effects, as appropriate.
              •       develop guidelines for calculating peak discharges for design precipitation events
                     and evaluating  flooding risk. In addition, the guidelines  would recommend
                     engineering techniques useful in minimizing the risk of flooding.
              •       implement existing program requirements, as necessary and appropriate, to ensure
                     that MTM/VF is carried out in full compliance with the Endangered Species Act.
              •       in  Alternatives  1  and 2, EPA and  the COE would consider designating areas
                     generally unsuitable for fill, referred to as Advanced Identification of Disposal
                     Sites (ADHD).
                     in Alternatives 2 and 3, the agencies would develop  a joint MTM/VF application
                     form.

              The COE would:
              •       continue to refine and calibrate  the stream assessment protocol  for each COE
                     District where MTM/VF operations are conducted to assess stream conditions and
                     to determine mitigation requirements as part of the permitting process.
                     compile data collected through application of the assessment protocol along with
                     PHC,  CHIA, antidegradation,  NPDES, TMDLs, mitigation projects, and other
                     information into a GIS database.
                     use these data to evaluate whether programmatic "bright-line" thresholds,  rather
                     than case-by-case minimal individual and cumulative impact determinations, are
                     feasible for CWA Section 404 MTM/VF permits.

              The OSM and/or the state SMCRA regulatory authorities would:
                     continue rule making to clarify  the  stream  buffer zone rule and  require fill
                     minimization and alternatives analysis.
                     in conjunction with the PHC, CHIA, and hydrologic reclamation plan, apply the
                     COE  stream assessment  protocol  to consider the  required level  of  onsite
                     mitigation for MTM/VF.
              •       develop  guidelines  identifying   state-of-the-science   BMPs   for  selecting
                     appropriate growth media, reclamation  techniques, revegetation species,  and
                     success measurement  techniques  for accomplishing  post-mining land  uses
                     involving trees.
                     if legislative authority is  established by Congress or the states, require reclamation
                     with trees as the post mining land use.

              The EPA would:
              •       develop and propose, as appropriate, criteria for  additional chemicals or other
                     parameters  (e.g.,  biological  indicators) that  would support  a modification of
                     existing state water quality standards.
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


              The FWS would:
              •       continue to work with Federal and state SMCRA and fish and wildlife agencies to
                     implement the 1996 Biological Opinion and streamline the coordination process.
              •       work with agencies to develop species-specific measures to minimize incidental
                     takes of T&E species.

       1.5    Events Since the Publication of the DPEIS

              On  January 7, 2004, OSM published in the  Federal Register proposed  changes to
       regulations regarding excess spoil disposal, the stream buffer zone, and corresponding changes to
       the stream diversion regulations. On June  16, 2005, OSM determined that the preparation of a
       separate EIS would be an appropriate mechanism to fully  analyze the impacts of the proposed
       rule and reasonable alternatives that achieve the purposes and need of the proposal. OSM intends
       that proposed rulemaking would achieve two basic purposes. First, the proposed rule is designed
       to  provide national regulatory guidance  to ensure  that excess spoil fills are no  larger than
       necessary to  accommodate anticipated volume of  excess spoil,  and  to  address the adverse
       environmental effects of excess spoil disposal, particularly impacts on streams. Second, the
       proposed rule  is designed to improve regulatory stability by clarifying the requirements of the
       stream buffer zone rule in a manner consistent with the underlying authority in SMCRA,  and the
       historic intent  of the stream buffer zone as stated in prior versions of the rule. OSM anticipates
       that a new proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register in conjunction with the release
       of a draft EIS.

              The EPA  announced on  December 17, 2004 (69 FR75541) the availability of a draft
       aquatic life criteria document for selenium and requests scientific information, data, and views.
       The  document contains  draft water quality criteria  recommendations for  the  protection of
       freshwater and saltwater aquatic life. EPA is soliciting  information, data, and views on issues of
       science pertaining to the  information the  Agency used  to derive the  draft criteria.  When
       completed  and  published  in final  form,  the revised  criteria will  replace EPA's  current
       recommended  aquatic life criteria for selenium.  EPA's recommended water quality  criteria
       provide technical information for states in adopting water quality standards.

              On  February  8,  2005,  COE, EPA,  OSM  and FWS  signed   a  Memorandum  of
       Understanding for the purpose of providing concurrent and coordinated review and processing of
       surface coal mining applications proposing the placement of dredged and/or fill material into
       waters of the  U.S. This is a national umbrella document  for surface coal mining designed to
       improve decision-making using the SMCRA regulatory authority as the suggested focal point for
       the initial data collection and conducting joint pre-application meetings, public meetings, public
       notices and site visits. Each agency retains its statutory authorities  and independent decision-
       making responsibilities. A state or Federal  SMCRA authority proposing to take this  lead role as
       the focal point for processing will develop specific procedures and sign a local agreement with
       the appropriate EPA regional offices, FWS field or regional offices and COE districts.

              The Federal District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia has enjoined the use
       of Nationwide Permit  21 in that  district court's  jurisdiction.  Ohio Valley Environmental
       Coalition, et al. v. Bulen, et al., Nos. 04-2129(L),  04-2137, 04-2402; U.S. Court of Appeals for


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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       the  Fourth  Circuit (OVEC vs.  Buleri). The COE Huntington District is  currently  processing
       surface coal mine applications using the individual permit process. This case is currently under
       appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. A similar lawsuit has been filed in Federal District
       Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, see Kentucky Riverkeeper, Inc. et al. v. Rowlette, et
       a/., CVNo. 05-181DLB (E.D. Kentucky).

       2.     Public  Review Process    

             The COE, EPA, FWS, OSM,  and WVDEP  prepared a  DPEIS on mountaintop coal
       mining and associated valley fills in Appalachia. The agencies sought public comments on  the
       DPEIS in accordance section 102(c) of NEPA which reads in part:

              ...Prior to making any detailed statement, the responsible Federal official shall
             consult with  and obtain the  comments  of any  Federal  agency which  has
             jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental impact
             involved.  Copies  of such  statement  and the  comments  and  views of  the
             appropriate Federal, State, and  local agencies, which are  authorized to develop
             and  enforce environmental standards, shall be made available to the President, the
             Council on Environmental Quality and to the public as provided by section 552 of
             title 5, United States Code, and shall accompany the proposal through the existing
             agency review processes.

             The Notice of Availability of the DPEIS for public review and comment appeared in  the
       Federal Register dated May 30, 2003 (68 FR32487).  The notice announced a 90-day comment
       period ending August 29, 2003.  The period for receipt of comments was extended 130 days to
       January 6, 2004 and then an additional two weeks to January 21, 2004, based on several requests
       from stakeholders.  Comment  period  extensions were published  in  the Federal Register,
       announced  in news releases, and noted on the  agencies' web pages. Requesters for comment
       period  extension were notified by e-mail of the extension.  The  public  review period was
       scheduled to provide concerned agencies and the public an opportunity to review the DPEIS and
       to offer comments on its adequacy.

             The Federal Register notice  announced that the DPEIS was  available on the Internet at
       http://www.epa.gov/region3/mtntop/index.htm.  The other agencies maintained prominent links
       to  the  EPA  website.  The EPA has  distributed copies  to  known  interested parties  and
       organizations, local agency offices, and public libraries as indicated  in the document at Chapter
       VII:  Distribution List. An EPA Region 3 toll-free DPEIS request telephone hotline was in
       operation during  the comment period to allow persons to request copies of the DPEIS.
       Approximately 140 hard copies and 600 CDs of the DPEIS were  distributed to agencies and to
       interested members of the public.

             The COE led a communications team for the agencies and distributed a press release on
       May 29,  2003 to the Associated Press and United Press International. The news release was
       posted on each agency's web site. A press teleconference was held with twenty national and local
       media contacts. Follow-up interviews were conducted with  other press contacts that could  not
       participate.  Wide  national coverage of the availability of the DPEIS occurred in print and
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       broadcast media. The news release announced the release of the DPEIS, summarized the DPEIS
       recommendations,  provided brief background information, the libraries where the  DPEIS was
       distributed and contact persons for additional information.

             The public was invited to provide written comments during the comment period and oral
       comments during the two public hearings. Written comments  were accepted through the mail or
       by placing them in a 'comment box' during the public hearings. Comments were also accepted
       through e-mail at: mountaintop.r3@epa.gov . The first hearing was held on July 22,  2003 at The
       Forum at The Hal Rogers Center, 101 Bulldog Lane, Hazard, KY 41701. The second  hearing
       was held on July 24, 2003  at the Charleston Civic Center-Little Theater, 200 Civic Center Drive,
       Charleston, WV 25301. Each hearing had two sessions: the first from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and
       the second on the same day from 7:00 p.m. to  11:00 p.m. Notices of the public hearings were
       mailed by the COE to persons who mailed comments to the EPA during the NEPA scoping
       process.

       3.    Public Comments Received
             During the public review period, 712 letters (including non-form letter e-mails)  were
       received from individuals and organizations.  A letter, e-mail or form letter was received  from
       every state in the nation. One letter was received from a group of members of the United States
       Congress. Three letters were received from Federal agencies. Nine letters were received  from
       state or commonwealth agencies. One hundred seventy six (176) people provided oral comments
       at the Public Hearings. Eighty three thousand ninety five (83,095) form letters were received. A
       form letter is defined as identical text sent in an e-mail, letter, or post card.  Seventeen different
       form letters were received. The letters and seventeen different form letters are presented in their
       entirety  on the  Internet at  http://www.epa.gov/region3/mtntop/index.htm  and in the Public
       Comment Compendium: Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia Environmental Impact
       Statement.

       Table 2. Number of Comments by State
State
AK
AL
AR
AZ
CA
CO
CT
DC
DE
FL
GA
HI
IA
ID
IL
IN
State
Total
182
385
297
1,437
14,025
2,195
1,007
280
198
4,086
1,444
358
588
367
3,237
1,018
Percent of
Total
0.2%
0.5%
0.4%
1 .7%
16.7%
2.6%
1 .2%
0.3%
0.2%
4.9%
1 .7%
0.4%
0.7%
0.4%
3.9%
1 .2%
Letters
0
0
0
3
31
4
3
11
0
4
6
0
0
1
4
1
E-mails
0
5
0
2
30
6
4
3
2
5
3
3
1
1
8
3
Oral
Statements
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Form
Letters
182
380
297
1,432
13,964
2,185
1,000
266
196
4,077
1,435
355
587
365
3,225
1,014
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
State
KS
KY
LA
MA
MD
ME
Ml
MN
MO
MS
MT
NC
ND
NE
NH
NJ
NM
NV
NY
OH
OK
OR
PA
Rl
SC
SD
TN
TX
UT
VA
VT
WA
Wl
WV
WY
International
Unidentified
Total
State
Total
529
845
453
2,276
1,578
623
2,406
1,445
1,214
162
305
1,687
60
228
549
2,470
908
346
6,414
2,524
364
2,868
2,977
323
491
117
1,120
3,137
489
1,934
457
3,202
1,641
1,401
94
57
5,185
83,983
Percent of
Total
0.6%
1 .0%
0.5%
2.7%
1 .9%
0.7%
2.9%
1 .7%
1 .4%
0.2%
0.4%
2.0%
0.1%
0.3%
0.7%
2.9%
1.1%
0.4%
7.7%
3.0%
0.4%
3.4%
3.6%
0.4%
0.6%
0.1%
1 .3%
3.7%
0.6%
2.3%
0.5%
3.8%
2.0%
1 .7%
0.1%
0.1%
6.0%
100.0%
Letters
0
84
0
8
5
1
6
5
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
3
1
9
8
3
2
3
0
0
0
21
3
2
21
2
1
0
107
0
0
20
385
E-mails
1
24
0
5
7
4
7
5
5
0
0
7
0
0
1
4
1
1
17
8
0
11
10
0
2
0
15
8
3
15
4
7
2
36
0
0
41
327
Oral
Statements
0
85
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
0
5
0
0
0
80
0
0
0
176
Form
Letters
528
652
453
2,263
1,566
618
2,393
1,435
1,209
162
305
1,677
60
228
548
2,466
904
344
6,388
2,507
361
2,855
2,964
323
489
117
1,080
3,126
484
1,893
451
3,194
1,639
1,178
94
57
5,124
83,095
      4.   Organization Of Public Comments  For Review

            And Response    

            Each letter, e-mail, form  letter, and oral  statement was reviewed and evaluated. To
      effectively and efficiently evaluate and respond to the large number of comments, each written
      and oral comment was grouped into a numbered category. Paragraphs within a letter, e-mail, post
      card, form letter, or oral statement were identified by a set of numbers that correspond to the
      numbered category. For example, a paragraph  stating a preference  for Alternative 3 was given
      the number 1.  These  following  categories were assigned  to paragraphs  (or as needed to
      sentences) within comment letters, e-mails, post cards or oral statements:
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
   Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       Categories
       1.  Alternatives
       2.  Role of the General Public
       3.  Public Involvement
       4.  Adequacy of DPEIS (NEPA)
       5.  Water Resources
       6.  Aquatic Fauna and Flora
       7.  Terrestrial Fauna and Flora
       8.  T&E, Candidate, and Species of Concern
       9.  Cumulative Impacts
       10. Social Values
11. Economic Values
12. Government Efficiency
13. Excess Spoil Disposal
14. Stream Habitat and Aquatic Functions
15. Air Quality
16. Blasting (Excluding blasting dust and fumes)
17. Flooding
18. Invasive Species
19. Reclamation
             There was some overlap among the comments received concerning the adequacy of the
       DPEIS. Comments on the adequacy of the range of alternatives in the DPEIS were assigned to
       category 1. Comments relating to how well the DPEIS fulfills the requirements of NEPA or the
       stated purpose and need were assigned to category 4. Comments on the adequacy of analysis or
       how adequately the DPEIS addresses specific topics or resources were assigned to categories 5
       through 19 as appropriate. Categories 2 and 3 plus categories 18  and 19 have been combined in
       the responses to comments.

             As part of the comment analysis process, additional numeric designations  were made.
       The categories 5 through 19 were broken into subcategories and comments (paragraphs within a
       letter) were identified as  relating  to legal, adequacy of analysis,  monitoring or mitigation,
       specific edit, or factual material. The  legal designation was assigned to a comment if a specific
       regulatory citation or case law was  cited. The adequacy of analysis designation was assigned to
       comments related to mining impacts  to the  resource category,  coverage of the resource in the
       affected environment section, or the environmental consequences section. Statements of impacts
       in the context of opposing MTM/VF were assigned  a different  numeric designation (1-9) under
       the alternatives category. The monitoring or mitigation designation was assigned to comments
       regarding monitoring impacts to the resource or mitigating impacts to the resource. The specific
       edit designation was assigned to comments  that specified a section or page of the DPEIS and
       requested a specific change in a well-developed manner that provided a reason for the requested
       revision. The factual material designation was assigned to comments that requested additional
       information such as reports, journal  articles, or statistics be considered. See the document, Public
       Comment Compendium: Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia Environmental Impact
       Statement, for a list of the numeric designations and their assignment to the comment letters. The
       reader  can request  the  comment  compendium  document  by  contacting  EPA's  agency
       representative  listed  on  the  signature page.  It is   also  available on  the  Internet  at
       http://www.epa.gov/region3/mtntop/index.htm.
       5.     Responses to Comments
       5.1    Organization of Responses
             Each comment was  reviewed, evaluated  and summarized. The numeric designations
       described previously were assigned  first; all comments assigned to a given category  were
       evaluated together. The  comments  were summarized by category.  The responses to the
       comments are organized by category. A short summary of the  comments begins the section
       discussing each category. Comments with responses follow the summary. Comments receiving
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       the same response are grouped together. Changes or additions to the text of the DPEIS made in
       response to  comments are acknowledged in the  response and incorporated  into the  FPEIS
       through an errata sheet included in Section 6 of this document.

       5.2    Responses to Comments by Category
              5.2.1 Comments to Which No Response is Required
              The agencies  received numerous  comments to which no response was required. Many
       comments disagreed with findings or conclusions. Other comments alleged misrepresentation of
       findings  or  conclusions. Some  comments reflected a difference of opinions or preferred
       outcomes. In many cases, the commenters provided no  additional data to support their claims.
       The agencies did not identify any commenters' allegations of misstatements of fact other than
       those  specifically addressed in the errata sheet or the  responses to comments that identified
       material inaccuracies  or errors.

              Some comments  reflected a difference of interpretation of the significance of the study
       conclusions.  Further,  some of the comments mischaracterized study conclusions as the agencies'
       conclusions.  However, the conclusions in the studies were considered but do not necessarily
       reflect the conclusions of the agencies. Moreover, the agencies considered numerous options and
       numerous studies that ultimately were not relied on in developing and analyzing the alternatives
       in the PEIS.  The agencies discussed the bases of their conclusions and analyses throughout the
       document and  in the appendices. In all  instances, the  agencies carefully  considered the best
       available information in the preparation of this PEIS.

              Some commenters suggested that  the PEIS justify  all or portions of the SMCRA and
       CWA regulatory program and requested that the PEIS demonstrate the balancing between needs
       for  environmental  protection and  needs for coal recovery. In addition,  many  commenters
       expressed their opinion  on the need for the program.  Some comments suggested changes to
       existing programs that were broader than MTM/VF, and consequently are outside the scope of
       this PEIS. Because these types of comments are not germane to the merits of the PEIS, including
       the adequacy of the impact analysis, they are not specifically identified and responded to in this
       document. Those comments were, however, considered.

              5.2.2 Category: Alternatives

              This category  is a grouping of comments related to programmatic action alternatives and
       the  presentation of the No  Action  Alternative. Comments  related to the range of alternatives
       evaluated, preference for an alternative, description of the existing regulatory program, and the
       stream buffer zone rule proposal are  included  in this  category. Comments  related to CWA
       Section 404  Individual Permits (IP) and Nationwide Permits (NWP) as well as other aspects of
       the permitting process are also included in this category. This category corresponds to category 1
       in the Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              Mining in general and surface mining in particular is one of the most heavily
              regulated industrial activities in the nation. Several major environmental statutes
              have jurisdiction over coal extraction, including a single environmental program


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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


              that was developed by Congress specifically for coal mining. If mining was 'not
              acceptable from  an environmental standpoint, the vast statutes and regulations
              and the various Federal and state agencies that regulate this activity would not
              allow a mining permit to be issued. This PEIS confirms the  viability of these
              existing regulatory programs in that no more than temporary, minimal impacts
              could be linked to surface mining in the region.

       Response:

              The  agencies disagree with the commenter's assertion that "This PEIS confirms  the
       viability of these existing regulatory programs in that no more than temporary, minimal impacts
       could be linked to surface mining in the region." The PEIS characterized the impacts resulting
       from MTM/VF activities in Chapter IV.

       Comments:
              An explanation is requested on how the preferred alternative  will minimize the
              environmental impacts from valley fills.

       Response:

              The  preferred alternative enhances  environmental protection and improves efficiency,
       collaboration, division of labor, benefits to the public and applicants. See Section II.B for a more
       detailed description of the benefits of the preferred alternative.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS fails to consider an adequate range of alternatives. Such a narrow
              range of alternatives is arbitrary and capricious.

              The DPEIS violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) because the
              DPEIS does not contain a reasonable range of alternatives.  The three  action
              alternatives considered in the DPEIS do not represent a legally sufficient range of
              alternatives  because  they  are merely  "process alternatives" without  any
              substantive differences between them, or any substantive difference from the "No
              Action Alternative. " NEPA requires an EIS to present the environmental impacts
              of the proposal and the alternatives in comparative form, thus sharply defining
              the issues and providing a clear basis for choice among options by the decision
              maker and the public, and to rigorously explore and objectively evaluate all
              reasonable alternatives.  The DPEIS further violates NEPA in that it defines the
              purposes of its  action  to  be  so  unreasonably  narrow  that  only  "process
              alternatives" can satisfy it,  and therefore illegally rejects a broader  range  of
              substantive alternatives without analysis of their relative impacts.

              No distinction can be made  between the No Action Alternative  and the three
              action alternative as they affect cultural, historic,  and visual resources in the
              PEIS study area.
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                     Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       Response:
              This is a "programmatic" EIS consistent with the stated DPEIS purpose and need as well
       as with NEPA, in that it evaluates broad Federal actions such as the adoption of new or revised
       agency program guidance, policies, and decision-making processes.  Each proposed alternative
       has been developed in a manner to improve environmental  protection and better coordinate
       implementation of CWA, ESA and SMCRA, as compared to the No Action Alternative. As such,
       the  alternatives  are  reasonable.  The  DPEIS  considered  the  individual  and  cumulative
       environmental impacts of the preferred alternative and the other alternatives in Chapter IV,
       including cultural, historic, and visual resources. Further, the DPEIS  describes certain other
       alternatives that were  considered, which would have made various regulatory changes; and the
       DPEIS explained why those alternatives were not  carried forward in this DPEIS. See Section
       II.D.

       Comments:
              The alternative selection ignores strong empirical evidence in the 30 technical
              studies that indicate the pervasive and permanent impact to the environment,  and
              to public health and culture of communities near MTM/VF operations.

       Response:
              Studies  do  indicate  that aquatic  communities  downstream of  surface coal mining
       operations and valley  fills are impaired in some cases. Certain chemical parameters (sulfates,
       specific conductance,  selenium) are sometimes elevated downstream of mining or valley  fills.
       Stream reaches below mining  and valley fills may  have changes in substrate particle size
       distribution  from  increased  fine  material  due to sedimentation.  Some  macroinvertebrate
       communities change in terms of diversity, population size, and pollution tolerance. However, the
       sample size and monitoring periods conducted for the PEIS were not considered sufficient to
       establish firm cause-and-effect  relationships between  individual pollutants and the  decline in
       particular macroinvertebrate populations. Impairment could not be correlated with the number of
       fills, their size, age, or construction method.  See  Section II.C. Action 5 in the PEIS recognizes
       the  value of continued evaluation of the effects  of mountaintop mining operations on stream
       chemistry and biology. Actions 8, 13 and 15 call  for additional evaluations on the  issues of
       effectiveness of mitigation restoration, reforestation  and on air quality.

       Comments:
              None  of the alternatives in the DPEIS are appropriate and none should be
              adopted.  They are purely process alternatives that should be  discarded  and
              replaced with  alternatives  that actually  reduce the cumulative environmental
              impacts of mountaintop removal mining and valley fills. There is no rational basis
             for choosing which  of the three  alternatives is the best. Increased government
              efficiency at the expense  of the human or natural environment is unacceptable.

       Response:
              The agencies do  not agree.  All of the alternatives, including  the No-Action  Alternative
       are  appropriate  for a Programmatic EIS. Each of the  alternatives provides varying degrees of
       environmental protection that would reduce the  cumulative  environmental impacts  associated
       with mountaintop mining. The  DPEIS does provide alternatives that if implemented, provide
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                     Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       increased protections for the human and natural environments. Alternatives  1, 2 and 3 build upon
       existing "best science" methods, such as the West Virginia Stream Condition Index and the COE
       stream functional assessment protocol. In Section II.B.3, there are extensive discussions of how
       each of the alternatives would provide regulatory and environmental benefits. The basis for
       choosing the preferred alternative is described in Section II.B.S.b.

       Comments:
              The use  of Advanced Identification  (ADID)  is unnecessary  and duplicative,
              sufficient resource protection authority exists in SMCRA. CWA  and  SMCRA
              require agencies to minimize duplication. Its purpose is to coordinate agency
              action.  ADID  is a site-specific action which needs public participation.  ADID
              tends to ignore the possibility that a stream affected by a temporary fill could be
              restored to a functional status, with only temporary impacts. Under the NWP 21
              or  IP  process,   the  temporal  impacts  must  be   evaluated, and adequate
              compensation provided. The use of ADID appears to preclude this avenue.

       Response:
              The agencies do not agree that the use of ADID is unnecessary or  duplicative. ADID is
       an analytical tool under the Clean Water Act that collects data and information  in advance of a
       specific permit application, ADID can be either site-specific or area-wide in focus. See page
       II.C-36 for a description of ADID. ADID can identify  waters of the U.S. that may be generally
       unsuitable for fills and does not preclude considering whether impacts will be temporary or long-
       term.

       Comments:
              The  DPEIS  violates  the  Bragg settlement  agreement  by  not  developing
              alternatives  that minimize environmental impacts of mountaintop mining.  The
              DPEIS only analyzes process alternatives that are designed to streamline agency
              decision-making.

       Response:
              The alternatives analyzed are consistent with the stated purpose of the  language in the
       settlement agreement.  The settlement agreement states that the agencies agreed:

              "...to  prepare  an Environmental  Impact Statement  ("EIS") on a proposal to
              consider developing agency policies, guidance,  and coordinated decision-making
              processes  to  minimize,  to  the  maximum  extent  practicable,   the  adverse
              environmental  effects to  waters  of the United States and to fish and  wildlife
              resources affected by  mountaintop mining operations, and to  environmental
              resources that could be affected by the size and location of excess  spoil  disposal
              sites in valley fills."

              The DPEIS evaluated four alternatives to agency decision-making  processes containing
       potential policy, guideline, and regulatory  changes.
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                     Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


              The  alternatives are  constructed  in a  manner that  requires  more  environmental
       information and analysis of the impacts of the operation on environmental resources. All of these
       proposals were offered as a  means to minimize the adverse effects of mountaintop  mining
       operations on the  environmental  resources. Thus, these  alternatives are designed to  minimize
       environmental impacts by coordinating decision-making  among the Federal and state agencies
       responsible for regulating mining activities; developing guidelines on best practices for mining,
       reclamation, and mitigation; and  considering changing policies and regulations. Implementing
       the preferred alternative is expected to yield an added benefit of increased government efficiency
       and still  fulfill the spirit and intent of the  settlement agreement.  These are mutually  attainable
       objectives.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS excludes consideration of any alternatives for more strict limits on
              MTM/VF.

       Response:
              The  DPEIS  considered  alternatives that would have established stricter  limits  on
       MTM/VF; however, those alternatives were not carried forward, as discussed in detail in Section
       II.D. Scientific data collected for this PEIS do not  clearly identify a basis (i.e., a particular stream
       segment, fill  or watershed  size applicable  in every situation) for establishing programmatic  or
       absolute restrictions that could prevent "significant degradation."

       Comments:
              The agencies are required, as a matter ofNEPA law, to consider an alternative of
              "total abandonment of the project"—the no-fill alternative.

       Response:
              For a programmatic EIS, NEPA does not require agencies to consider an alternative  of
       "total abandonment of the project". Furthermore, the agencies did consider an alternative  to
       prohibit valley fills in waters of the United States, but  was not carried forward. See Section
       II.D.3.

       Comments:
              All alternatives weaken some states' more restrictive standards, limitations, and
              requirements of their water quality regulations.

              All alternatives are based on analyses not equally applicable or relevant to all of
              the states affected.  Individual state laws  and requirements are  not adequately
              addressed in the DPEIS. No studies were done in some states.

       Response:
              None  of the alternatives would weaken state standards.  State agencies provided specific
       information on various  state regulatory programs applicable to authorizing MTM/VF  activities.
       The  DPEIS only  generally describes  state and  Federal program requirements and does not
       provide expansive explanation of the many agencies' responsibilities. While West  Virginia was
       the only  state that was a signatory to the Bragg  settlement agreement, other states in the study
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       area were invited to participate in development of the DPEIS, and they provided information on
       their programs  and otherwise participated as their time  and  resources permitted. The PEIS
       focuses  on  the similarities  of the Appalachian  coalfield  states'  programs  and affected
       environments, rather than their unique differences. Any further action supported by this PEIS
       would involve further coordination with and participation by the appropriate state agencies and
       would take into account the  applicable  state laws, regulations, mining methods, and  unique
       environmental conditions.

       Comments:
             Eliminations of existing protections,  such as  the  Buffer Zone  Rule,  are not
             reasonable  alternatives.  The current DPEIS does not support  elimination or
             revision  of the  stream  buffer  zone  regulation, and the proposed  change is
             perceived as lessening the current protections afforded to streams.

       Response:
             The stream buffer zone rule proposal and  other regulatory program  changes were
       envisioned and sanctioned by the settlement agreement and do not rely on this NEPA document.
       OSM is currently proposing changes to the stream buffer zone and excess spoil regulations. The
       proposal  is being  accompanied by  a  separate environmental   impact statement analysis  and
       commenters  will  have the opportunity  in  that specific  rulemaking and NEPA compliance
       document to further express their concerns. On June 16, 2005, OSM published a NOT for an EIS
       on the Stream Buffer Zone Rule (70 FR35112).

       Comments:
             The proposed  alternative  offers many potential  process improvements (e.g.
             coordinated permitting process, BMPs, ADID, etc.)  but inadequate detail on how
             they would be accomplished.

       Response:
             As a programmatic DPEIS the document provides general direction for policies, guidance
       and processes to minimize impacts.  Implementation  of a preferred alternative  may  entail
       additional APA  and NEPA procedures that require further input from the affected states and take
       into account the applicable state laws,  regulations, mining methods, and unique environmental
       conditions.

       Comments:
             Alternative 1 seems more protective of the environment than other alternatives or
             no action although it provides insufficient reduction of the environmental impacts
             ofMTM.

             Alternative  1 is preferable to the other alternatives -  that valley fills will be
             presumed to require individual 404 permits (IPs) from  the Corps of Engineers
             rather than being authorized by the lesser standards of Nationwide Permit 21
             (NWP 21).
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       Response:
              The agencies do not agree that Alternative 1 is more protective  of the environment.
       Alternative 2  is the preferred  alternative because  it enhances  environmental  protection and
       improves efficiency, collaboration, division of labor, benefits to  the public and  applicants, and
       the recognition that some  proposals will likely be suited for IPs, and others best processed  as
       NWPs. See Section II.B.l.c for a further discussion of Alternative  2.

       Comments:
              Support for Alternative  3 because permitting responsibility remains with  the
              SMCRA authority and it provides sufficient additional environmental information
             for regulatory agencies to jointly address the concerns of  the stakeholders. There
              is need to develop new coal mines, whether they are surface or underground.

              Based on evidence in the PEIS record, the best alternative  would be Alternative 3,
              including an explanation of why Nationwide Permits under CWA Section  404 are
              appropriate in most cases for coal mining operations  including mountaintop
              mining and why individual permits are normally not appropriate in most MTM
              situations.

       Response:
              Alternative 3  differs from the  agencies' preferred Alternative 2, by  enhancing the
       SMCRA programs  instead of a  coordinated   interagency permit  process  to  satisfy the
       informational and review requirements of the CWA Section 404  program in order to minimize,
       to the maximum extent possible, the adverse effects  of MTM/VF  and to create a more effective
       and efficient permit application review process. Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative because
       it  reduces environmental  impacts and  improves efficiency,  collaboration,  division of labor,
       benefits to the public and applicants, and the recognition that some proposals will  likely be suited
       for IPs, and others best processed as NWPs. See Section  II.B.l.c.  for a further discussion  of
       Alternative 2.

       Comments:
              The No Action Alternative is inaccurately characterized.  The DPEIS should be
              stopped in favor of a true "no-action " alternative.  This  would allow the three
              regulatory programs to coordinate actions and not setup a single lead program.

              The CWA and SMCRA anticipated that coal mining and valley fills would occur
              and provided for performance standards  and regulatory  provisions that govern
              the size, location,  and  mitigation of fill placement in streams. The  DPEIS
              recommendations for "action alternatives" are not supported by the record of
              harm  included in  the   technical and scientific  studies  accompanying   this
              document.

       Response:
              The "No Action Alternative" must reflect the existing programs and changes underway at
       the time of the  publication of the DPEIS to establish a basis for comparison  of alternatives.
       Consequently, actions that occurred after the settlement agreement, but before publication of the
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       DPEIS, including the proposed buffer zone rule change, are considered part of the "No Action
       Alternative". Because regulatory programs are varied as well as dynamic, it would be illogical to
       compare proposed alternatives to requirements that no longer exist or are proposed to change in
       the  near term. According to CEQ, the "no action" alternative may be thought of in terms of
       continuing with the present course of action until that  action is changed. That is the type of no-
       action alternative that  the DPEIS presented.  The "No Action"  Alternative  was used  as a
       reference (for programs in 2003)  from  which  to compare all other alternatives. The action
       alternatives  have been designed  to  minimize,  to  the  maximum extent  practicable,  the
       environmental impacts from mining.

       Comments:
             The DPEIS studies clearly establish  that  greater than minimal  adverse
             environmental effects have occurred, are occurring and will continue to  occur as
             a result of mountaintop removal  mining valley fills. Consequently the DPEIS's
             proposed continued reliance on the use of Nationwide Permits for valley fills is
             illegal and the  general permits cannot  provide  the basis for considering
             alternatives under the DPEIS.

             COE  should require individual  permits for  any  valley fills  associated with
             MTM/VF to ensure that an environmental assessment is performed.

       Response:
             The agencies  do not agree with  the  commenters'  assertions. Each of the alternatives
       requires the permitting authority to make  individual determinations on whether the impacts from
       a proposed surface  coal mining operation  will have more than  minimal adverse effects in
       deciding to permit under either a general permit or an individual permit. The agencies have not
       chosen Alternative 3 as the preferred alternative, in part,  because  it generally relies on the
       issuance of permits under NWP 21.

       Comments:
             The COE is illegally taking action before the FPEIS is completed. The commenter
             states  that the COE has committed to the Alternative 2 prior to the completion  of
             the DPEIS by making public its intent to do a case-by-case analysis of whether it
             is appropriate to authorize fills under NWP 21 and the COE intends to analyze
             the fill threshold question completely outside of the NEPA process.

             The DPEIS does not address any of the deficiencies noted in the COE's draft
             Programmatic  Environmental  Impact  Statement  for  the  Nationwide Permit
             Program (7-31-2001),  including  inadequate record keeping,  lack of mitigation
             compliance efforts, poor enforcement,  and failure of any attempts to quantify and
             assess the ecological effects of the nationwide permit program.

       Response:
             Under the  existing CWA Section 404 regulatory program the COE is required to make
       determinations,  independent  of any  other process, on whether  an  applicant meets  the
       requirements  for permitting under  the Nationwide Permit Program or must apply for and be
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       approved by an Individual Permit. The COE is not required to suspend its regulatory program
       pending the outcome of the Nationwide Permit Program  EIS or this PEIS. This PEIS is not
       intended to address any perceived deficiencies that might be noted in the COE's DPEIS for the
       Nationwide Permit Program.

              5.2.3  Category: Role of the General Public and Public Involvement

              This category is a grouping of comments related to consideration of public comments,
       concerns of coalfield citizens, concerns of surface property  owners, availability of the DPEIS for
       review, and location of public meetings. This category corresponds to categories 2 and 3 in the
       Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
             Not enough consideration was given  in the DPEIS to  the desires  of surface
             property owners. The concerns of citizens in the coalfields area have been largely
              ignored.

       Response:
              In developing the DPEIS and ultimately the FPEIS, the agencies considered all the public
       comments received during the scoping process and during the public comment period for the
       DPEIS, including those regarding surface property owners. For example, see the issues identified
       in Section I.G and Section II.A.3. Actions addressing those concerns that  were determined to be
       significant were described and evaluated in Section II.C. The issues that were considered not to
       be significant, were  outside the scope of the PEIS, or were  already  addressed by  existing
       programs, were not evaluated in the alternatives. The lead agencies made a number of efforts to
       engage residents of the communities of the coalfields area in the PEIS process. For examples, as
       discussed in Section I.G, scoping meetings were held in 1999 in three towns in southern West
       Virginia (Charleston, Summersville, and Logan). These meetings were for the express purpose of
       identifying those issues related to mountaintop mining that were of greatest concern to the
       public. Subsequent to that, meetings were also held for this purpose with citizen and  industry
       groups in West Virginia and  Kentucky. Public  participation occurred throughout the PEIS
       process and was integral in determining the scope of the document and in identifying the areas of
       concern where studies were appropriate.

       Comments:
             No scoping meetings were held in Tennessee,  all local  libraries did not have
              copies of the draft document available for public review, and many state and local
             government agencies were either  unaware of the  existence  of  the  DPEIS
              document or unaware that the draft document dealt with more than mountaintop
              removal mining operations.

       Response:
              Although no scoping meetings were held in Tennessee, the agencies believe the  effort to
       involve the public in the development and review of this document met the public participation
       requirements of NEPA. In their notice in the Federal Register announcing their intent to prepare
       an EIS, the agencies announced the opportunity for public  meetings and  invited written
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       comments from the public. EPA also issued  a  press release announcing the opportunity for
       public meetings and mailed letters announcing these meetings to approximately 2,500 citizens in
       the  Appalachian coalfield area. In  addition, the agencies mailed additional letters requesting
       comments on the scope of the PEIS, published  newspaper notices requesting comments from all
       of the states in the study area, and posted a notice on the mountaintop mining/valley fill website.
       The letters and notices described the purpose of the PEIS, provided supplementary information
       describing the agencies' regulatory responsibilities with respect to mountaintop mining/valley fill
       activities, and briefly described initial agency concerns to be evaluated in the PEIS. The agencies
       received and considered over 700 scoping comments.

              Copies of the DPEIS on computer disks (CDs) were mailed to approximately 92 libraries
       throughout the  study area.  In  addition to  written notices announcing the availability  of the
       DPEIS, the agencies published a toll-free telephone number from which additional free copies of
       the DPEIS could be obtained.

       Comments:
              Some indicated that  they feared their comments  "didn 't matter" or may not be
              read or considered. Others were concerned that because their comments were e-
              mailed or were form letters  instead  of individually written  comments,  their
              comments would not be  "counted" or would somehow be given less consideration
              than other comments.

       Response:
              All comments received during the public comment period were counted, read, and were
       considered in preparation of the FPEIS. The form in which the comments  were submitted (e.g.,
       individual letters, e-mails, and form letters) had no bearing as to the consideration given those
       comments. Comments and responses will be published for public review and will be maintained
       as part of the administrative record.

       Comments:
              No public meetings were held after  the focus of the preliminary DPEIS changed
             from alternatives constructed around limits on valley fill sizes to the alternative
              proposed in the DPEIS released for public review and comment.

       Response:
              The preliminary version of the DPEIS was  a working document that did not reflect the
       agencies' official position.  The opportunity to comment on the alternatives contained in the
       preliminary version of the DPEIS but not  carried  forward was provided  during the comment
       period for the DPEIS.

              5.2.4  Category: Adequacy of the PEIS

              This category is a grouping of comments  related to how well the DPEIS fulfills the
       requirements of NEPA or the stated  purpose and need for the DPEIS. This  category corresponds
       to category 4 in the Public Comment Compendium document.
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                     Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       Comments:
              The DPEIS's failure to address meaningful alternatives disregards the findings of
              the studies on  mountaintop mining and flies in the face of common sense - and
              clearly  violates  the law  governing the EIS process.  NEPA  implementing
              regulations make clear that an EIS must  "present the environmental impacts of
              the proposal and the alternatives in comparative form, thus sharply defining the
              issues and providing a clear basis for choice among options by the decisions
              maker and the public, " and to  "rigorously explore and objectively evaluate all
              reasonable alternatives."

       Response:
              The agencies disagree that the alternatives in the PEIS disregarded the findings of the
       studies and that the alternatives in the PEIS  are not meaningful. This is a "programmatic" EIS
       consistent with the stated DPEIS  purpose and need as well  as with NEPA,  in that it evaluates
       broad Federal actions such as the adoption of new or revised agency program guidance, policies,
       and decision-making processes. Each proposed alternative has been  developed in  a manner to
       improve environmental protection and better coordinate implementation of CWA and SMCRA,
       as compared to the No Action Alternative. As such, the alternatives are reasonable.

              A programmatic NEPA document such  as this proposes only the direction for future
       actions. The  commenters  appear  to be looking for a level  of detail that has not yet been
       developed. Information provided as  comments on the DPEIS can be considered and utilized to
       direct further studies by the agencies. There will be further opportunity for peer and/or public
       involvement as proposed actions are developed.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS violates the APA. Federal agencies are  constrained by  the APA (5
              USC 701 et seq.) not to adopt any actions that are (i) arbitrary, (ii) capricious,
              (in) an abuse of discretion, or (iv) otherwise not in accordance with law, in this
              case, NEPA.  The agency  cannot, under law  merely disregard environmental
             factors. That is a violation of NEPA and APA.

       Response:
              The process of  preparing the  DPEIS,  and the DPEIS itself, violate no applicable
       requirements  of NEPA or the APA. This DPEIS considered all relevant environmental factors
       that were identified. Accordingly, the agencies conclude that the process is appropriate.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS  violates NEPA because  the proposed range of alternatives defers
              analysis to future Federal actions on a case-by-case basis and as such are not
              designed to address and reduce the cumulative impacts of permitting decisions.

       Response:
              The DPEIS considers a variety  of potential future actions that are not fully developed.
       The  analysis  reflects the  programmatic and  the not-yet-fully developed character of  the
       alternatives. Any of these  alternatives that are actually fully developed and implemented will
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       comply with NEPA as appropriate. The level of analysis in this DPEIS is the level that is feasible
       and appropriate for a programmatic EIS. The  cumulative impact analysis was based  on an
       evaluation of the past 10 years of permitting and extrapolation 10 years into the future based on a
       constant rate of surface coal mining. See Sections II.C and IV.C for a discussion on cumulative
       impacts.

       Comments:
             The DPEIS violates NEPA because it assumes that changing the "stream buffer
             zone rule " is part of the "No Action " Alternative.

       Response:
             The "No Action Alternative" must reflect the existing programs and changes underway at
       the time  of the publication of the DPEIS to establish a basis for comparison of alternatives.
       Consequently, actions that occurred after the settlement agreement, but before publication of the
       DPEIS (including the proposed buffer zone rule change which is the subject of an independent
       EIS),  are considered part of the "No Action Alternative". Because regulatory  programs are
       varied as well as dynamic, it would be illogical to compare proposed alternatives to requirements
       that no longer exist or are proposed to  change  in the near term. According  to CEQ, the "no
       action" alternative may be thought of in terms of continuing with  the present course of action
       until that action is changed. That is the type of No Action Alternative that the DPEIS presented.

             Further,  the terms of the settlement agreement at paragraph  21 provide that the agencies
       can continue to  modify their respective programs, as appropriate. Paragraph 21 of the settlement
       agreement states, in its entirety:

             "Except as expressly provided herein, nothing in this Settlement  Agreement shall
             be construed to  limit  or modify the discretion accorded the Federal agencies by
             the CWA, SMCRA or general principles of administrative  law. Nothing in this
             Settlement Agreement shall be construed  to limit or modify the Federal agencies'
             discretion to alter, amend, or revised from time to time any actions taken by them
             pursuant to this Settlement Agreement or to promulgate superseding regulations."

             Regulatory program changes were acknowledged in the settlement agreement and any
       proposed changes would not rely on this NEPA document, and will  fulfill NEPA compliance,  as
       appropriate.

       Comments:
             The DPEIS relies on  the effectiveness of in-kind mitigation while  admitting that
             on-site stream reconstruction has never been successfully accomplished.

       Response:
             The comment suggests that CWA mitigation measures  and  successes should have been
       thoroughly  evaluated and proven in this DPEIS. This type of thorough evaluation is not feasible
       in a programmatic EIS.  The actions, including CWA mitigation measures, proposed  in the
       DPEIS  were  presented  as  possible measures for the  agencies  to  consider developing.
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       Implementation of these actions would,  in many cases, require additional  data collection and
       analysis.

              Existing CWA mitigation measures have been and  are continuing to require compliance
       with the standards  mandated by the COE prior to approval of the proposed mitigation plan for
       individual projects. Existing CWA regulations  require mitigation for unavoidable impacts  to
       aquatic resources and operators must meet this obligation. That is, if the approved mitigation
       plan is unsuccessful,  the operator must design and implement a plan until success is achieved.
       See discussion in Section III.D.2.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS relies solely on a BMP manual to "encourage " reforestation without
              any analysis of whether it is likely to do so.

       Response:
              This is a programmatic EIS and it would be premature  to attempt to more specifically
       analyze the effects of a potential BMP manual. See the discussion at page II.C-77.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS is defective and needs to  be re-written; no new mountaintop mining
             permits should be  issued until an EIS is completed and adopted. Due to  the
              massive environmental impacts, NEPA requires such a moratorium. Furthermore,
              the Clean Water Act dictates that individual permits should be required for such
              major actions; therefore  the  current use  of nationwide permits is illegal.  A
              moratorium is also warranted because  the Federal government has failed to
              complete an EIS as required, even after 5 years have passed since litigation was
              initially filed on this issue. Settlement  of the litigation was to result in an EIS and
              better measures to protect the environment. The DPEIS clearly indicates that this
              is not occurring.

       Response:
              The alternatives proposed are  consistent with the stated  purpose of the language in the
       settlement agreement that initiated this DPEIS. NEPA does not require a moratorium on mining
       activities until the completion of this PEIS.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS violates NEPA  because it does not address or remedy continuing
              violations of Federal law. The DPEIS  violates the CWA because it assumes
              continued use of NWPs, even though  the DPEIS's  own studies demonstrate that
              the minimal cumulative impact ceiling for NWPS has  already been exceeded.
              Further, the DPEIS violates the  CWA  because its studies show  that MTM/VF
              activities  cause violations of the West Virginia water  quality standard for
              selenium, but the DPEIS does nothing to address  those violations.  Finally,  the
              DPEIS violates SMCRA, because it admits that MTM/VF activities violate OSM
              regulations  regarding soil practices, but does nothing to address those violations.
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


              The commenter uses studies included in the DPEIS and correspondence between
              staff as factual support for his arguments.

       Response:
              The information available to the agencies does not support the commenter's allegation of
       continuing violations of Federal law. Further, NEPA compliance is not the appropriate process to
       determine or remedy alleged violations of Federal law. A DPEIS is not an end in itself but a tool
       to promote environmentally sensitive decision-making. Any relevant violations of federal law
       would be addressed under the statutory and regulatory provisions of SMCRA and the CWA.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS violates  NEPA because it does not present valid reasons for the
              elimination of reasonable alternatives from detailed analysis.  The DPEIS must
             present the reasons, in brief discussion, for the elimination of alternatives from
              detailed study. By failing  to  articulate  valid reasons for the elimination  of
              reasonable alternatives, the DPEIS fails to satisfy this NEPA requirement.

                    •      Even if there were insufficient information to draw  a bright line
                           type  of restriction,  some   type  of  individual or cumulative
                           restriction on valley filling must be considered.
                    •      The DEIS claims that fill restriction alternatives were eliminated
                           from  consideration because the MTM/VF  operations do not
                           contribute to significant degradation of U.S. waters.
       Response:
              The  commenter  has mischaracterized  the  agencies'  evaluation of fill  restriction
       alternatives. See page II.D-9. The PEIS studies did not conclude that impacts documented below
       MTM/VF operations caused or contributed to significant degradation of waters of the U.S. 40
       CFR 230.10(c). The DPEIS did consider several alternatives to prohibit or restrict valley fills in
       waters of the  United States.  The rationales for not  carrying  forward fill restriction  and
       prohibition alternatives are discussed in Section II.D.

       Comments:
              Even if sufficient information were not available now to develop fill restrictions,
              that information  must be obtained, because it is essential  to choosing among
              alternatives, and the DPEIS does not demonstrate that the cost of obtaining that
              information is exorbitant.
       Response:
              The agencies spent over $5 million to conduct studies investigating various aspects of
       MTM/VF activities over  an approximately  3-year  period. These studies were included  as
       appendices to the DPEIS. While  these  studies were insufficient  to  determine a bright-line
       threshold of minimal impacts, they were useful in identifying data gaps and  needs for further
       study. In order  to develop an effective trends analysis, the agencies would have to collect and
       analyze data  over an extended period. However, based on extrapolations  of funds already
       expended on these studies and the period over which these studies were conducted, the agencies
       estimate that approximately $20 million over a minimum 5- to 10-year period would be required


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       to collect data  that might  be  sufficient to carry forward  the  PEIS  alternatives  involving
       categorical fill restrictions on  MTM/VF  activities as listed in the preliminary DPEIS. Fill
       restrictions would also require statutory and regulatory program changes. Because these costs are
       exorbitant, the agencies  chose not to continue these  expensive  studies but rather  intend to
       augment the existing data by those required during the continued  implementation of  the CWA
       Section 404 and SMCRA regulatory programs.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS cannot evade the need to consider fill restrictions on the ground that
              those restrictions are prohibited by the CWA (using the SBZ to prohibit fills that
              would be otherwise allowed under the CWA would be a violation of section 702 of
              SMCRA). This reason for excluding consideration of fill restrictions is erroneous
              as a matter of law.
       Response:
              Significant questions remain whether prohibition of fills under the SBZ rule  would be
       consistent with SMCRA  Section 702. Regardless of those questions, the OSM began the SBZ
       rule-making before the DPEIS was published and is preparing a separate nationwide EIS for that
       rule-making. The proposed SBZ rule-making also  pointed  out that prohibiting surface  mining
       activities in the SBZ would be inconsistent with SMCRA Section 515(b)(22).

       Comments:
              The DPEIS mitigation analysis is fundamentally flawed because burial of streams
              cannot be mitigated. The DPEIS violates NEPA as it fails to analyze effectiveness
              of proposed  mitigation  measures.  The  document  wrongly   relies on the
              effectiveness of in-kind mitigation in spite of the fact  that the accompanying
              studies admit that headwater stream reconstruction has never been accomplished
              and the technology to reconstruct such streams does not exist. Thus there is no
              rational basis for relying on stream mitigation as a way  to reduce impacts  of
              MTM to an environmentally acceptable level. An agency's decision to proceed
              with  a project based on unconsidered,  irrational, or  inadequately  explained
              assumptions about the  efficacy of mitigation measures  is  "arbitrary  and
              capricious." The  DPEIS relies upon mitigation "alternatives" that have little
              basis in reality, and no  credible prospect  of success. Accordingly, the DPEIS
              cannot satisfy NEPA 's requirements for a proper alternatives analysis.

       Response:
              Existing CWA mitigation measures have and continue to  require compliance with the
       standards mandated by the COE prior to approval of the proposed mitigation plan for individual
       projects.  Existing CWA regulations  require mitigation  for  unavoidable impacts to  aquatic
       resources  and  operators must meet this obligation. That is, if the  approved mitigation  plan is
       unsuccessful, the operator must design and implement a plan  until success  is achieved. See
       discussion in Section 5.2.4 of this document. Each mitigation proposal submitted to the agencies
       will  be evaluated to  determine the  likelihood of success. Mitigation for stream impacts is
       monitored to assure stream functions are achieved. This is a newly developing science.
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       Comments:
              The DPEIS should  be  withdrawn and a new EIS prepared that meets  the
              requirements ofNEPA in its assessment of impacts to migratory birds within the
              study  area,  includes additional alternatives to minimize impacts  to migratory
              birds,  and provides measures to mitigate unavoidable impacts to migratory birds
              (Cerulean Warbler).

       Response:
              A programmatic NEPA document such as this proposes only the direction for future
       actions. A level  of detail to  specifically address this concern has not yet been developed. PEIS
       information provided as comments on the DPEIS can be considered and utilized to direct further
       studies by the agencies.  There will be additional opportunity for peer and/or public involvement
       as proposed actions  are developed.

       Comments:
              The purpose of the  Clean  Water Act is to protect and restore  the physical,
              chemical and biological integrity  of our  nation's waters. Mountaintop mining
              impairs the physical, chemical and biological integrity of Appalachian streams.
              The scientific studies done  as part of this PEIS have clearly demonstrated that;
              yet the results of these studies are buried in appendices and their conclusions are
              inadequately and inaccurately conveyed in  the DPEIS. I was particularly
              concerned by  the statement in the Executive Summary that  the "opinions and
              views" of the authors  of the technical studies "do not necessarily reflect the
              position or view of the agencies preparing this EIS". The authors of the technical
              studies did not have "opinions and  views", what they wrote was the  result of
              analyses  of scientific data. The quoted statement  implies subjectivity  in data
              analysis that is an insult to the authors of those technical studies.  These results
              cannot be simply rejected (or downplayed and ignored as has been done in much
              of the  PEIS) as different "views. " The authors have presented logical reasons for
              their conclusions based on data. In contrast,  the agencies have not presented the
              scientific  results  or logical arguments that support their  "views" (i.e. their choice
              of the preferred alternative).

       Response:
              The Executive Summary is not meant to be an  exhaustive treatment of each issue.
       Additional information important to understanding the Executive Summary statements is found
       in the body of the PEIS.  The agencies did not intend to offend the authors of the scientific studies
       and the change from "opinions  and views"  to "conclusions"  has been indicated on the errata
       sheet. The agencies  disagree that the agencies have not articulated their reasons for choosing the
       preferred alternative. Rather, the agencies considered all of the scientific and technical studies,
       together with  other available information, and explained their choice of the preferred alternative.

       Comments:
              The original purpose of the mountaintop removal programmatic EIS was  to
              develop policies and procedures to  "minimize, to the maximum extent practicable,
              the adverse  environmental effects  to waters of the United States and to fish and
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              wildlife  resources from  mountaintop  removal  mining operations,  and to
              environmental resources that could be affected by the size and location of fill
              material in valley fill sites. " The DPEIS has completely abandoned this purpose.
              It contains no meaningful,  substantive alternatives or  recommendations  that
              would minimize to any degree the environmental harm caused by mountaintop
              removal coal mining, let alone policies or procedures to  reduce these harms to
              "the maximum extent practicable. "

              The agencies' chosen "efficiency alternative " does not meet the stated purpose of
              this EIS, which is to "minimize to the maximum extent practicable,  the adverse
              environmental effects to waters of the US and to fish and  wildlife resources
              affected by MTM operations  and to  environmental resources that could be
              affected by the size and location of excess spoil disposal sites in valley fills"

              In order to fulfill the purpose of the PEIS,  and be  consistent with the findings of
              the  studies on mountaintop removal, and  meet the agencies' obligations under
              NEPA  and  other  Federal laws,  the  DPEIS must  be  rewritten to consider
              substantive alternatives that would minimize the environmental  harm caused by
              mountaintop removal and select a preferred alternative that would truly protect
              the resources and people of the region. " "None of the alternatives considered in
              the  DPEIS  would impose  new  limits  or  clear,  objective,  restrictions  on
              mountaintop removal operations."

       Response:
              The alternatives analyzed and actions proposed are consistent with the language  in the
       settlement agreement.  The settlement agreement states that the agencies agreed:

              "...to prepare  an Environmental Impact  Statement  ("EIS")  on a proposal to
              consider developing agency policies, guidance, and coordinated  decision-making
              processes  to  minimize,  to  the  maximum  extent practicable, the  adverse
              environmental  effects to waters of the United States and to fish and wildlife
              resources  affected by  mountaintop  mining operations,  and  to environmental
              resources that could be affected by the size and location of excess spoil disposal
              sites in valley fills."

              While minimizing the adverse impacts of mountaintop mining operations is the goal of
       the DPEIS, the mechanism  to attain that goal is through consideration of different policies,
       guidance, and coordinated decision-making. The DPEIS  evaluated four alternatives to agency
       decision-making processes and seventeen  actions containing potential policy, guideline,  and
       regulatory changes.

              The  alternatives  are constructed  in  a   manner  that requires  more  environmental
       information and analysis of the impacts of the operation on environmental resources. All of these
       proposals were offered as  a means to  minimize the adverse effects  of mountaintop mining
       operations  on  the environmental resources.  Thus, these alternatives  analyzed are designed to
       minimize environmental impacts by coordinating decision-making among the Federal and state
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       agencies responsible for regulating mining activities; developing guidelines on best practices for
       mining, reclamation,  and  mitigation; and considering changing  policies  and regulations.
       Implementing the preferred alternative may yield an added benefit of increased government
       efficiency while fulfilling the spirit and intent of the settlement agreement. These are mutually
       attainable objectives.

       Comments:
              The DP ElS fails  to describe (either in detail or general terms) the environmental
              resources that would be  harmed  under  the agencies preferred alternative... the
              omission in  the  DPEIS itself is especially striking given the scientific studies
              contained in the appendices so vividly describe the environmental destruction that
              has been and currently is being caused by mountaintop removal.

       Response:
              The DPEIS,  in Chapter IV describes the environmental consequences of the alternatives,
       including  the preferred alternative.  The DPEIS, in Chapter  III, Affected  Environment and
       Consequences  of MTM/VF,  generally  characterizes the  study  area and  potential impacts
       resulting from MTM/VF activities, and describes state and Federal program requirements so as
       to evaluate coordinated decision-making opportunities to further minimize impacts.

       Comments:
              The preferred alternative would clearly  increase the damage from mountaintop
              mining by eliminating the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act's buffer
              zone rule that prohibits mining activities that disturb any area within  100 feet of
              larger streams.

       Response:
              OSM is currently engaged in  an ongoing nationwide SBZ rulemaking that was pending
       when the DPEIS was published  and therefore is discussed in the No Action Alternative. The
       preferred  alternative,  like  all the other alternatives carried forward  for  detailed analysis,
       including the No Action alternative, recognizes that the SBZ rulemaking is also proceeding. The
       purpose and effects of the SBZ rulemaking are discussed in the proposed rulemaking notice at 69
       FR 1035 (Jan 7, 2004) and the Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS at 70 FR at 35112-35116 (June
       16, 2005). The SBZ and excess spoil rulemaking is being accompanied by a separate nationwide
       EIS. The public should  express any concerns they may have regarding that rulemaking in that
       separate process.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS presents information, and is based on analysis, not equally applicable
              or relevant to all states affected by the regulatory programs.

       Response:
              This PEIS evaluates programmatic alternatives that, if implemented, would be applicable
       to individual mountaintop mining operations and conditions in  Appalachia. The DPEIS provided
       an opportunity to collect updated data on a range of surface mining impacts and led the agencies
       to prepare  and evaluate  the  alternatives  and  actions  presented.  However,  analysis  of  the
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       alternatives was not dependent on representative data from all locations within the study area.
       The PEIS focuses on the similarities of the Appalachian coalfield states' programs and affected
       environments,  rather than their unique differences. Any further  action supported by  this PEIS
       would involve further coordination with and participation by the appropriate state agencies and
       would take into account the applicable state laws, regulations, mining methods,  and unique
       environmental conditions.

             Before  implementing many  of the  individual  actions considered  as  part of the
       alternatives, there will be a need for the collection and analysis of additional scientific data and if
       appropriate, additional public participation and NEPA analysis.

       Comments:
             The DPEIS fails to address technology changes that will alter projections  of
             future forest loss. DPEIS forest loss projections are probably an underestimate.
             They also do not  consider  the  anticipated increase  in future demand for
             Appalachian coal due to the planned construction of flue gas desulfurization units
             (scrubbers) at existing  coal-fired generating plants  in the  study area.  For
             example, the DPEIS projects that TN'will issue permits causing the loss of 9,154
             acres of forest in 2003 through 2012,  but over 5,000 acres of surface mining
             permits have already been approved between December 2002 and October 2003.

       Response:
             The level of analysis in this DPEIS is the level that is  feasible and appropriate for a
       programmatic  EIS. The cumulative impact analysis was based on an evaluation of the past 10
       years of permitting and extrapolation 10 years into the future assuming a constant rate  of surface
       coal mining. See Sections II.C and IV.C for a discussion on cumulative impacts.

             5.2.5   Category: Water Resources

             This category is a grouping of comments related to water resources, stream chemistry,
       water regulatory  programs, watershed programs, and mining  impacts to surface  water or
       groundwater.  This category corresponds to category 5 in the Public  Comment Compendium
       document.

       Comments:
             EPA 's national water program has worked with states to create comprehensive
             state  watershed approach strategies that actively seek a higher  standard  of
             protection for the human environment. However the DPEIS does not address how
             Federal agencies and the states plan to maintain  the comprehensive state
             watershed approach strategies and continue to approve MTM operations. The
             DPEIS weakens  the state's,  COE 's,  and FWS 's  standards for programs  in
             sensitive ecosystem  watersheds. The proposed changes to MTM/VF permitting
             would seriously damage all Federal agencies' credibility and accountability to
             restore and  maintain the chemical, physical, and biological  integrity of our
             Nation's waters.
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       Response:
              This PEIS evaluates programmatic alternatives that, if implemented, would be applicable
       to individual mountaintop mining operations and conditions in steep-slope Appalachia. The
       DPEIS provided an opportunity to collect updated data on a range of surface mining impacts and
       led the agencies to prepare and evaluate the alternatives presented. However, analysis of the
       alternatives was not dependent on representative data from all locations within the study area.

              Before implementing many of the individual  actions contemplated in this DPEIS, there
       will be a need for the collection and analysis of additional scientific data and,  if appropriate,
       additional public participation and NEPA analysis. It was not the intention of the agencies that
       this PEIS provide an exhaustive and definitive compilation or description of each state program
       requirement.

              The DPEIS, in Chapter III,  sought  to generally characterize the potential impacts and
       generally  describe  state and  Federal program requirements so  as to evaluate  coordinated
       decision-making opportunities to further minimize impacts.

              The agencies have no indication that environmental resources or mining impacts in other
       steep-slope  states are  vastly  different  from  the  data collected  in the technical studies
       commissioned for the DPEIS. More thorough  descriptions  or  voluminous data  might more
       completely define the actions proposed by the DPEIS, but would not likely result in marked
       differences in the alternatives.

              Following the recommended  Action 5 in the preferred alternative,  the agencies would
       continue  to evaluate the effects of mountaintop mining operations on stream  chemistry and
       biology. As appropriate, EPA would  develop and propose criteria for additional chemicals or
       other parameters (e.g., biological indicators) that would support a modification of existing state
       water quality standards,  [page II.C-44]

              And, likewise with recommended Action 6 in the preferred alternative, Federal agencies
       would continue to work with states to further refine the uniform, science-based protocols for
       assessing   ecological  function,  making  permit   decisions,   and   establishing  mitigation
       requirements, [page II.C-44]

       Comments:
             Issuing permits to dump mining waste in streams is not legal under the Clean
              Water Act as passed by Congress. The DPEIS continued reliance on the use of
              nationwide permits for valley fills is illegal.

       Response:
              The NEPA process is not the  appropriate forum to address  allegations of violations of
       Federal and state law.

       Comments:
              Specific changes to the description of mining-related impacts  to surface water
              quantity and quality are suggested. The effect of adopting these comments would
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              be descriptions in the PEIS that definitively  concluded that the impacts were
              adverse.

              The DPEIS contains several serious misstatements of fact, such as it:

                     •       incorrectly states that "watershed impacts directly attributable to
                            mining and fills could not be distinguished from impacts due to
                            other types of human activity, "
                     •       incorrectly claims that 68% of mountaintop mining sites in West
                            Virginia "were to be reclaimed to forestry-related land uses,
                     •       incorrectly asserts that  "mountaintop mining may not have  a
                            significant  impact on the biologic integrity of the  terrestrial
                            ecosystems, " and that ample forest will remain  to maintain high
                            biological index scores for wildlife,
                     •       incorrectly states that "mined sites may take as long as 120 years
                            or more to attain mature forest conditions, " and
                     •       incorrectly describes  West Virginia's AOC+ protocol as  a "fill
                            minimization analysis."
       Response:
              These  comments  are examples  of general  statements  of misrepresentation  of,  or
       disagreement with, scientific findings and/or conclusions. The agencies did not identify  any
       commenters' allegations of misstatements of fact other than those specifically addressed in the
       errata sheet or the responses to comments that identified material  inaccuracies or errors. The
       agencies identified many allegations of inaccuracies that appeared to reflect differences of
       opinion or  preferred outcomes of  commenters.  Some  comments reflected a  difference of
       interpretation of the significance of the study conclusions.

              Further, some of the comments characterized as the agencies' misstatements of fact are
       rather references to studies instead of conclusions made by the agencies. The conclusions in the
       studies  were considered  but do not necessarily reflect the position or view of the agencies
       preparing this PEIS. In many cases, the commenters provided no additional data to support their
       claims.  The agencies discussed the bases of the DPEIS analyses throughout the document and in
       the appendices.  The  agencies  addressed some of the alleged misstatements of fact in  the
       responses to comments. None  of  the other alleged misstatements  of facts would have led to
       changes in  the  description of  baseline conditions,  analysis  of impacts, or  revision in  the
       alternatives  considered. In all instances, the agencies carefully considered the best  available
       information in the preparation of this PDEIS.

              Some commenters suggested that the  PEIS justify all or portions of the regulatory
       program and requested that the PEIS demonstrate the balancing between needs for environmental
       protection and needs for coal recovery. In addition, many commenters expressed their opinion on
       the need for the program. Because these types of comments are not  on  the adequacy of the
       analysis of the  impacts  of  the preferred  alternative and  alternatives thereto,  they  are  not
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       specifically identified and responded to in this document. Those comments were, however,
       considered.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS fails to consider the long-term impacts to groundwater hydrology
             from MTM/VF.

       Response:
              A workshop on mountaintop mining effects on groundwater was held in Charleston, West
       Virginia on May 9, 2000 during the scoping process for this DPEIS (Appendix G, Part 3 to the
       DPEIS). As a result of the workshop, groundwater was identified as an issue that did not rise to
       the  level  of the most  significant issues in the  context  of  mountaintop mining  impacts.
       Information on groundwater was included in Section III.H, Affected Environment. However, in
       light of the results of the scoping process evaluation of groundwater issues, the agencies focused
       the PEIS studies on the highest priority issues.

       Comments:
              Federal and state regulations clearly ban waste disposal, yet in-stream sediment
             ponds are used for the sole purpose of waste treatment.

       Response:
              The DPEIS discusses the function of in-stream sediment ponds in describing the current
       regulatory environment. However, comments advocating change in the use of in-stream sediment
       ponds are outside the scope of this document.

       Comments:
              Quality assurance/quality control problems identified with EPA 's water chemistry
              data cause all water chemistry data to be called into question.

       Response:
              Those data called  into  question  were discarded.  The  EPA water chemistry  study
       conclusions concerning impacts were supported by QA/QC qualified data.

       Comments:
              Industry  studies showing results different from government studies were excluded
              because they were not "representative. "

       Response:
              A large  array of studies were reviewed and considered,  but due to the differences of
       methodologies used, not all lend themselves to direct comparison. Those discussed are  listed in
       the references.

       Comments:
             Mining companies should not be allowed to divert water onto private property.
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       Response:
              This PEIS does not grant any permission or rights for mining companies to impact private
       property owners.

       Comments:
              Components of documented field case studies may  be  applicable to selenium
              mobilization in Appalachia. In contrast to many other contaminants,  sources of
              selenium and significant environmental damage due to selenium have been well
              documented (Lemly,  1985; Presser,  et al, 1994; Lemly,  1997; Hamilton, 1998;
              Skorupa, 1998; Presser and Piper, 1998; Lemly, 2002; Seller et al, 2003).
              Further, an upcoming presentation entitled  "Linking Selenium Sources  to
              Ecosystems: Local and Global Perspectives" at the  annual meeting of the
              American Association for the Advancement of Science  in February 2004 gives
              insights into a conceptual model of selenium pollution that is based on the
              distribution of organic-enriched sedimentary rocks (www.aaas.org/meetings/
              Presser and Skorupa, 2003). Our model (detailed in Presser et al., to be released
              in January 2004) enabled prediction of potential selenium mobilization in areas
              associated with waste shales, such as valley fills.

              Oxidizing,  Alkaline  Environments — Acid mine  drainage  is traditionally of
              concern in mining areas, as it is in  the DPEIS study area. However, methods of
              controlling coal mine drainage (CMD) with alkaline addition may exacerbate the
              mobility of selenium and hence its  loading to the environment. Among the six
              criteria contributing to  selenium  contamination was  an  oxidized,  alkaline
              environment that promotes the formation ofselenate, the mobile form of selenium.

              Expand Current Selenium Monitoring.

              Forecast  Selenium  Effects  Under  an Array of Management Scenarios  —
              Determination of a selenium mass balance or budget for the DPEIS watersheds
              and selenium cycling through the components of the watershed's ecosystems are
              crucial because of selenium  bioaccumulation. A comprehensive linked approach
              would include  all considerations that cause systems to respond differently to
              selenium contamination. Comparison to multi-media guidelines could be made to
              assess exposure and risk. Results of a comprehensive monitoring approach then
              could be used to forecast  ecological effects of selenium under an array of
              scenarios that could result from different resolutions of waste management issues.

              Ensure Selenium Methodology with  a 0.4 jUg/L Detection Limit — The detection
              limit for the methodology  used in  the DPEIS stream study was noted as 3 fj,g /L
              (Appendix D, Stream Chemistry Final Report,  4/8/02, Table 2), but was further
              noted that the estimated detection limit for selenium in water using Method 200.8,
              Inductively  Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer,  was around 5 jUg/L (USEPA
              Methods Manual, 1983). This methodology and detection limit (3-5 jug/L) may not
              be sufficient in  view of a USEPA criterion of 5 pg/L and ecological effects being
              of concern at levels of 2 jUg/L. Guidance provided by USEPA requires a detection
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              limit of 0.6  pg/L)  (Interim Chemical/Biological Monitoring Protocol for Coal
              Mining Permit Application, 11/19/00).

              Continue Study of Selenium in Streams — Quality controls issues were resolved
              concerning analysis of selenium in streams. However, results from Lab 1 were
              discarded mainly because of elevated levels in Blanks. Duplicating this study with
              improved methodology and detection limit for selenium may prove informative.

              The technical studies demonstrate that water quality standards for selenium were
              being violated in West  Virginia below valley fills and that the DPEIS is not
              proposing  any remedies for those violations. The DPEIS must propose remedies
              to eliminate  all existing  and potential stream  degradation due to contamination
              from MTM/VF activities.

              Excess spoil having elevated selenium levels is placed in valley fills thus causing
              adverse impacts to water chemistry.

       Response:
              The CWA Section 303(d)  list of 2004  prepared  by WVDEP and  approved by EPA
       recognized some selenium impaired streams. EPA finalized in March 2004 a TMDL addressing
       selenium for the Guyandotte River Watershed, including the Mud River. WVDEP expects to
       finalize a TMDL on the Coal River in 2005 that addresses selenium. TMDLs could be developed
       for other streams.

              The EPA  formally  published proposed  revisions to the Aquatic Life Water Quality
       Criteria for selenium in December, 2004. The revision process was initiated prior to the DPEIS
       process and will continue after the PEIS is finalized. Recent selenium workshops (April and
       August, 2004), sponsored by USGS have focused interest on on-going and potential studies that
       will further the assessment of the occurrence and impact of selenium in the Appalachian region.

              Activities authorized under SMCRA and CWA Section 404 proposals for surface coal
       mining operations must comply  with  any applicable NPDES effluent limits.  The effluent limits
       for point sources associated with coal mining consider industry-wide treatment technology and
       address specific concentration for iron, manganese, pH and suspended solids as well as measures
       to protect aquatic life and human health. Under the CWA no activity is allowed to violate Water
       Quality Criteria (including  selenium)  in the waters  of the  United States. The Discharge
       Monitoring Reports (DMRs)  required in NPDES permits provide for industry and  the state
       regulatory agencies  monitoring  data to indicate compliance and tools to protect stream quality.
       This feature of the  CWA program helps guard against impairment levels affecting designated
       uses.

              The studies sponsored by the PEIS were intended to provide the agencies information on
       trends  identifying where a potential problem may  exist; they were not developed to the extent
       needed to give definite answers to specific program changes or revisions especially on a regional
       or national level.  The results of the  studies developed for  the PEIS are the reason there are
       actions in the PEIS to identify the need for additional  studies. Additional studies on selenium in
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       particular are part of actions taking place parallel to the PEIS, but will result in separate NEPA
       documents.

       Comments:
              Concerns about elevated selenium at test sites are minimized when considered in
              light of the latest scientific data on aquatic toxicity of selenium. EPA 's current
              nationally recommended chronic criterion for selenium (5 jj.g/1 in the water
              column) and 20 jj.g/1 acute criterion have been adopted by many  States and
              utilized in water quality standards programs. However,  based upon the  latest
              scientific knowledge  on selenium toxicity, EPA made a decision to  update  the
              acute and chronic criteria for selenium and published, in March 2002, a draft
              selenium criteria document.

              EPA 's draft document proposes a revised freshwater acute criterion (185 fj.g/1) in
              the water column and 7.9 jug/g  (dry weight)  in fish  tissue  that is considerably
              higher than  the current national criterion.  It is important to note that in some
              geographic areas in the study area background levels of total selenium exceed 20
              ppb,  yet no  acute  toxic effects are observed.  Therefore, the levels  of concern
              expressed in the PEIS studies become much less  significant when  considered
              pursuant to the agency's proposed revised criteria. See Draft Aquatic  Life Water
              Quality Criteria for Selenium 2002, EPA Contract No. 68-C6-0036 (March 2002
              Draft).

              EPA is currently in the process of revising the suggested water quality standard
              for selenium. In February 2002 the agency published a draft of these revisions.
              Among the conclusions and observations included in the  draft document are
              several that are relevant to this DPEIS and the assertion that detectable selenium
              concentrations in the water column are indicative of negative impacts.

              A commenter supports,  as contemplated in Action 5, a meaningful review or
              reanalysis of current water quality standards  and use designations, particularly
              in light of new scientific evidence suggesting  the current national water quality
              criteria for selenium may be over-protective.

       Response:
              The EPA formally published proposed revisions to the selenium criteria in December,
       2004, and requested public comments. EPA has not yet processed those comments or arrived at a
       final decision on the  proposed revisions. If and when EPA decides that criteria changes are
       warranted,  the agency will  publish that information in the Federal Register. Until then, the
       criteria in effect at the  time the DPEIS was published remain in effect.

       Comments:
              The reference to unpublished USFWS information on selenium data from a lake in
              the study area is inappropriate and should be deleted from the PEIS.
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              It is incorrect to extend the results of the Lemly studies to this PEIS because the
              Lemly studies were conducted in a lotic rather than lentic environment.

       Response:
              The FWS information  has been added to the errata.  According to a January  16, 2004
       letter from David Densmore, FWS to Allyn Turner, West Virginia Department of Environmental
       Protection: "In 2003 the FWS collected fish in  streams downstream of valley  fills, where earlier
       water quality analysis [Appendix D]  had revealed  high selenium concentrations.  The results
       demonstrated that the  selenium is biologically available for uptake into the food chain,  and that
       violations of the EPA selenium water quality criteria may result in selenium concentrations in
       fish that could adversely affect fish reproduction. In  some cases, fish tissue concentrations were
       near levels believed to pose a risk to fish-eating birds. It is likely that benthic invertebrates in
       some of these streams would be similarly contaminated, thereby posing a risk to birds such as
       Louisiana waterthrush that depend upon aquatic  insects as a food  supply." (January 16, 2004,
       letter  from   David  Densmore,  FWS,  to  Allyn  Turner,   West Virginia  Department  of
       Environmental Protection). These  data  demonstrate that selenium can bioaccumulate in lotic
       (flowing) as  well as lentic (non-flowing) environments. No change to the DPEIS is warranted.

       Comments:
              Further evaluation of stream chemistry and further investigation into the linkage
              between stream chemistry and stream biotic community and structure are needed.

       Response:
              Actions to further evaluate  the linkage between stream  chemistry  and the  biotic
       community are included in the DPEIS. These actions could deal directly with stream impairment
       by:  1) developing  additional water  quality standards based on additional  study and data
       collection regarding  impacts;  and,  2)  using monitoring protocols  for aquatic ecosystem
       functional assessment. Other actions developed for issues such as Section III.C.3 Direct Stream
       Loss; Section III.C.5 Fill Minimization; Section III.C.6. Stream Habitat and Aquatic Functions;
       Section III.C.7. Cumulative Impacts; and Section III.C.8.  Deforestation  could  mitigate stream
       impairment as well, [page II.C-44]

       Comments:
              Industry is not opposed to providing innovative mitigation or paying for damages
              that  have occurred, however,  the government agencies are not interested in
              industry's proposals to provide sewer lines to clean up streams. Mitigation also
              should include  removing trash from streams.

       Response:
              Stream habitat and functions lost through mining and filling are subject to amelioration
       through mitigation. Although  providing sewer projects or removing trash from streams may
       increase water quality in adjacent areas it does not provide in-kind replacement of habitat and
       functions of headwater streams.  Separate  CWA programs  assess responsibility  and provide
       opportunities to  improve water quality  concerning inadequate sewage treatment  systems.  The
       COE is considering the use of general watershed improvements as an opportunity for mitigation.
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       Comments:
              The statement on page ES-4 that mining is  "characterized by an  increase in
              minerals in  the water" is  a misrepresentation of the data presented.  Sulfate
              concentrations are 41 times greater on mined sites; total dissolve solids are 16
              times  greater; calcium,  magnesium,  total  hardness  is  21  times greater;
              conductivity is 5 times greater; selenium is over 7 times greater; selenium median
              value is twice the EPA safe drinking water standard, and 66 violations of drinking
              water standards for selenium were found below valley fill sites. These are very
              significant impacts on the chemical integrity of our Nation's waters that have not
              been addressed in the DPEIS. These kinds of changes impair biological integrity
              of the waters as well as pose threats to human health.

       Response:
              The agencies do not agree that the statement on page ES-4 is a misrepresentation; it is a
       general statement in  the Executive  Summary.  A  full  discussion on this issue  is in Section
       IV.B.l.b. (page IV.B-4).

       Comments:
              The evidence does not show  a clear impact on the study streams by MTM/VF
              activities but indicates  changes typical of any large-scale development project,
              e.g. road construction or residential development.

              Finding selenium concentrations above  the suggested criteria can be expected
              given the overall background levels of selenium present in the native soils of the
              area. Similar concentrations can be expected below any land disturbing activity
              in the region.

       Response:
              The available studies do not conclusively distinguish impacts downstream of MTM/VF
       from impacts  of other activities within the watershed. The commenters provided no data to
       support these claims.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS is  critically deficient because 1) supporting documentation failed to
              adequately quantify and analyze the  effects of selenium on  aquatic  life;  and 2)
              proposed alternatives failed to address the protection of aquatic life from
              potential adverse effects of selenium. The DPEIS has left out 1) fundamental data
              on selenium concentrations  in sediment, invertebrates, fish tissue, and bird eggs;
              and  2)  information  on  dietary pathways and vulnerable predator  species.
              Proposed control measures to neutralize discharges with alkaline addition may
              exacerbate the mobility of selenium and hence it's loading to the environment.

       Response:
              The studies conducted as part of the DPEIS do show an impact from MTM/VF activities
       to water chemistry downstream of surface coal  mining operations and valley fills and indicate
       that in some cases aquatic communities are impaired.  However, the  sample size and monitoring
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       periods conducted for the PEIS were not considered sufficient to establish firm cause-and-effect
       relationships  between individual pollutants and the decline in  particular macroinvertebrate
       populations. Impairment could not  be correlated with the number of fills, their size, age,  or
       construction method [page II.C-38].

              The USEPA formally published proposed revisions to the  Aquatic Life Water Quality
       Criteria for selenium  in December 2004. The  revision process was initiated prior to the PEIS
       process and has  not  yet  concluded.  Recent selenium workshops (April and August,  2004),
       sponsored by USGS have focused interest on on-going and potential studies that will further the
       assessment of the occurrence and impact of selenium in the Appalachian region. Until a revised
       standard is adopted the states are required to abide by the currently adopted standards.

              Since selenium is bioaccumlated, it is not expected to be directly toxic to fish collected in
       the fisheries studies. However,  selenium is one of the most toxic micronutrient to mammals of all
       biologically essential elements; fish and birds are very sensitive to selenium contamination in an
       aquatic environment.  Selenium is passed from parents to offspring in eggs and,  during critical
       stages  of development and growth, is substituted for sulfur in amino acids that form structural
       and  functional  proteins.  As  selenium  exposure  increases,  toxic  effects  can range  from
       suppression of the immune system, to reduced juvenile growth, to embryo mortality, to mass
       wasting in adults, to teratogenesis  (lethal  or  sub-lethal deformities) in juveniles, to juvenile
       mortality,  and finally to adult mortality.  See Draft Aquatic Life Water Quality Criteria for
       Selenium 2002 and 69 FR75541.

       Comments:
              Two reports on  the Ballard Fork gages  (Messinger, 2003; Messinger and
              Paybins, 2003), which were produced by USGS West Virginia District as part of
              the PEIS process,  should be  discussed in section III.D. Both reports  contain
              noteworthy information on total flows, stormflow characteristics,  and seasonal
              evapotranspiration losses.

       Response:
              The information contained in  the draft reports was considered in the development  of
       Section III.D. of the DPEIS; however, they did not provide significant new information relevant
       to Section III.D. beyond  information already  available  from other studies. Therefore,  these
       studies were not cited in Section III.D. One of these draft reports was cited in Section III.H. and
       both of these reports were included in Appendix H, Part 1.

       Comments:
              On page III.D-18 — The commenter recommends that the discussions of stream
              creation include additional  information  on watershed hydrology,  such  as  the
              Variable Source  Area Concept (Hewlett and Hibbert, 1967),  that is, that water
              seeps downhill through soil until it reaches a confining layer, that streams form in
              saturated soil areas on the land surface, and that the area  of saturated soil that
              contributes to streamflow is variable through  time. In light of the principles of
              watershed hydrology, stream creation is very difficult and may not be practical, at
              least if only natural channel design is to be applied to ditch construction.
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       Response:
              The difficulty of intercepting the groundwater and surface water  hydrology for  stream
       construction is recognized by the agencies evaluating mitigation projects.  Watershed hydrology
       is  one of many factors the agencies take into consideration when evaluating compensatory
       mitigation for stream impacts.  Each mitigation  proposal  submitted  to  the  agencies will be
       evaluated to determine the likelihood of success. Mitigation for stream impacts  is monitored to
       assure stream functions are achieved. This is a newly developing science.

              5.2.6 Category: Aquatic Fauna and Flora

              This  category is a grouping of comments on mining impacts to aquatic invertebrates and
       benthic invertebrate studies. This category also includes comments on fish population studies.
       This category corresponds to category 6 in the Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              The DP ElS fails to recognize that salamanders and mussels, for  example, have
             particular difficulty adapting or changing habitat to new streams.

              The DPE1S fails to fully consider the value of these forests and the  terrestrial and
              aquatic  species  dependent on  them  and the  very  real predictability  of their
              destruction - and extinction by widespread mountaintop mining and valley fills.

       Response:
              In Section IV.D (pages IV.D-2 and 4), the agencies recognized that there would likely be
       a shift to drier habitats that may negatively affect species dependent on wetter habitats, such as
       salamanders.

       Comments:
             A consistent definition is needed to  establish where headwater  streams start.
              Topographic  maps greatly underestimate their  abundance  and length. The
              commenter suggests that a much better point would be where aquatic species with
             year-long or multi-year life  cycles are found (see Appendix D, Stout, et al. study).

       Response:
              There are currently different definitions  of jurisdictional waters for CWA, SMCRA and
       state  law as administered by various  state and  Federal agencies. There is an action  in the
       preferred alternative in the DPEIS which proposes  that the Federal and/or state agencies will
       develop  guidance,  policies  or institute  rule-making for  consistent definitions  of  stream
       characteristics as well as field methods for delineating those characteristics. [Section II.C.2.b]

       Comments:
             Better stream  protection from direct and indirect  effects will not result from
              improved characterization  of aquatic resources if  the proposed assessment is
              limited to family or generic  level identification of organisms.
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       Response:
              Aquatic resource characterization methods are still being evaluated by the agencies. The
       commenter's concerns will be taken into consideration.

       Comments:
              Statements regarding fish impairment in the DPEIS are incorrect. The general
              reasoning in support of this belief is contained in the following paragraph:

                 "Mountaintop mining will potentially  impact  only 4.10% of the  total
                 stream miles in the study area, 60% of which are first order headwater
                 streams, dispelling any myth that mining and valley fills are eradicating
                 all headwater streams. Benthic research has demonstrated that abundance
                 remains high below fills and that the ponds and wetlands created during
                 reclamation  are providing their own energy inputs to the stream reaches.
                 The USGS fisheries survey confirms the  benthic research, finding that
                 heavily  surface mined watersheds  supported healthy and diverse fish
                 populations."

       Response:
              While some studies have found that benthic invertebrate abundance downstream of valley
       fills is not statistically  decreased compared to  upstream, abundance is not necessarily a good
       measure of ecosystem health. For example, some benthic organisms are more sensitive to certain
       pollutants than other organisms; when the pollution eliminates the sensitive organisms, the more
       tolerant organisms have less competition for food and space, and are able to increase in numbers
       — resulting in no change  in abundance,  although the  biological integrity of the benthic
       community has  been  decreased. Benthic  invertebrate studies  conducted  by  a  number  of
       government and industry researchers, and summarized in the DPEIS [Appendix D, Fulk 2003],
       concluded that biological  integrity is reduced downstream of MTM/VF. Concerning  energy
       inputs due to ponds and wetlands, no data specific to organic matter or energy were gathered to
       address this question during the DPEIS process. Finally, the commenter has misinterpreted the
       USGS  study (Messinger, T., and D. B. Chambers. 2001. Fish communities and their relation to
       environmental  factors in the Kanawha River basin, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina,
       1997-98." USGS  Charleston, West  Virginia). That  document clearly states (page 39) that
       "Because of the effects  of zoogeography and the lack of unmined, medium-sized  streams in the
       coal-mining region, conclusions could not be  made about the effects  of  coal mining on fish
       communities."

       Comments:
              The statement in the DPEIS on selenium concentrations in  excess of AWQC at
              most of the filled sites is misplaced given the level of understanding relative to
              selenium impacts and technical research that found healthy aquatic communities
              in watersheds exceeding the suggested water quality criteria for selenium.

       Response:
              The DPEIS noted  [Appendix D]  that  the  West Virginia  Stream Condition Index  for
       invertebrates  was  negatively correlated  with  selenium concentrations.   In  other  words,  as
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       selenium concentrations increase, benthic invertebrate population health  declines. In  addition,
       the scientific literature  demonstrates that  selenium is  most problematic from a food chain
       standpoint, causing reproductive failure in fish and birds that consume contaminated organisms.

       Comments:
              The  balance of DPEIS  technical  research  has identified a shift  in  benthic
              communities, a shift that can be attributed to a number of factors and a shift that
              is by no means disadvantageous. Similar shifts were found below mining related
              disturbance  that did not involve valley fill activities at a site outside of the PEIS
              study region  suggesting that similar results  can  be expected below  any
              disturbance within the general Appalachian region.

              The commenter has presented the results of studies conducted for the PEIS, by
              coal operators in conjunction with the DPEIS,  independent of the DPEIS  but
              within the study area and outside of the study area but related to  the streams in
              the  study area.  The bulk of this research  documents a shift in the biologic
              community below disturbance. There is some  question as to how directly this shift
              can be correlated to particular water column parameters including conductivity.

              In Appendix D, A Survey of the Conditions of Streams in the Primary Region of
              Mountaintop Mining Valley Fill Coal Mining, streams assessed during the study
              that contained residential development were  the most impaired. Because several
              stressors, including mining activities and residential development could cause the
              observed impairments,  no specific  conclusions were  reached. Although issues
              regarding conditions in sediment control ditches associated with fill construction
              are identified, very little  useful data was provided to characterize conditions in
              those structures.

              From the results of the  EPA streams study and other related research, it is
              apparent that the aquatic communities were different among the  classes  of
              invertebrate species, but not impaired. The elimination of the mayfly taxa cannot
              be linked to impairment as the DPEIS narrative attempts to do.

       Response:
              The commenters are  referred  to Appendix D of the DPEIS (e.g.,  Fulk et al., 2003) for
       information on  the reduction  in   species   diversity  and  increase  in  pollution-tolerant
       macroinvertebrate and fish species downstream of valley fills. Comments that similar results
       would be  expected downstream of any  disturbance in  Appalachia  are  not substantiated;
       furthermore, this DPEIS evaluated impacts related to mountaintop mining and valley fills, not all
       land disturbance in the region. Finally, the absence of mayflies from streams where they are
       expected to occur is widely recognized throughout  the scientific community  as indicative of
       water quality impairment. No change  to the DPEIS is warranted.

       Comments:
              On  page  IV.D-5,  Fish  Populations  —  This section  is  brief  and not very
              informative regarding mining  impacts on fish populations. Additional information
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              (topic material or concepts) should be provided in the section. Coverage of the
              topic should be similar to that provided in section b.

       Response:
              Additional information on  fish populations  is provided in Appendix D  (Stauffer and
       Ferreri, 2002).

       Comments:
              Kentucky Mountaintop Mining Benthic Macroinvertebrate Survey — the study has
              very limited usefulness because it was specific to only four Kentucky counties and
              samples were collected just a single time at twelve stream  sites in May of 2000.
              The study's  conclusions that MTM/VF construction negatively  impacts benthic
              health do not  match similar study results from  Virginia. See  research  report
              "Ecotoxicological Evaluation of Hollow Fill Drainages in Low Order Streams in
              the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and West Virginia " by Timothy Merricks
              with Dr.  Donald Cherry. Also,  the last paragraph of the study  report indicates
              that the impacts to benthic health from MTM/VF activities relate to deforestation.
              Forest is the most common post-mining land use in  Virginia. This differs from
              Kentucky reclamation practices and therefore the conclusions of this report do
              not seem applicable to Virginia.

              No  Virginia study information is included in  Appendix  D,  The  Value  of
              Headwater Streams: Results of a Workshop, State College, PA, April 13, 1999. It
              should be noted in the PEIS that remining of AML areas would often reconnect
              headwater streams to lower reaches. These streams were originally disrupted by
              AML mining activities. The headwaters empty onto the AML bench, then flow
              down the bench, eventually flowing over the bench at a low point by passing the
              lower reach  of the stream. By remining and backfilling the AML  highwalls, these
              streams can be re-connected.

              Ecological Assessment of Streams  in the Coal Mining Region of West Virginia
              Using Data  Collected by the EPA and Environmental Consulting Firms — As
              with the Kentucky report, the study has limited usefulness because  it was specific
              to West Virginia. Seasonal data was collected from five West Virginia water sheds.
              No  Virginia study information was  included.  The  study's conclusions  that
              mountain top mining and valley fill construction negatively impacts benthic health
              do not necessarily match similar study results from Virginia and West Virginia.

       Response:
              The studies  provided adequate information  to evaluate  the alternatives, but did not
       provide specific data  for each state or mine. Because this is a programmatic  EIS,  it was not
       necessary to collect representative  data from each state and the analysis of the  alternatives was
       not dependent on representative data from all locations within  the study area. Any further action
       could involve more data collection and  analysis  as well  as  further coordination with the
       appropriate state agencies, and will  take into account, as  appropriate, the  applicable state
       requirements, mining methods, and  unique environmental conditions.
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       Comments:
              On page III.D-20 (third paragraph), for nutrient cycling, it is well known that
              aquatic insects play a role in all aquatic ecosystems because all living organisms
              cycle nutrients. A  more reasonable  question that should be addressed in this
              section is whether nutrient cycling in  such nutrient-poor systems are important to
              areas larger than the created wetlands.

       Response:
              The DPEIS considered nutrient cycling in a larger watershed context and discussed it in
       detail in Section III.C.l.b.4. (page III.C-5)

       Comments:
              Part of the preferred alternative calls for the COE to do a functional assessment
              of the stream before it is buried by the  valley fill.  Then the COE is to make sure
              that there is no net loss after mitigation.  The COE functional assessment does not
              appropriately integrate rare invertebrates into the functional assessment because
              it takes highly trained biologists to identify rare invertebrates. If the right things
              are  not identified before  the  valley fills, how  can the mitigation adequately
              compensate for the loss?

       Response:
              Regulatory requirements are currently  in place to  collect information necessary for the
       COE's permitting decisions. The COE functional assessment protocol uses typical stream survey
       methods that are rapid assessment techniques. Although these techniques are used to characterize
       the quality of the streams prior to  making the permit decision, they may not identify certain new
       or rare invertebrate species. The identification of new or rare  species may require genetic testing
       or other extensive analysis. Under the preferred alternative,  the COE would continue to refine
       and calibrate the stream assessment protocol within each ecoregion.

       Comments:
              On page III.D-21, subsection e.l. Onsite, top of the page, lines 7-9, the statement
              "However,  it is not known whether the organic matter processing that occurs in
              created wetlands would mimic  the processing found in a natural stream system. "
              does not consider much information  that is known about the nature of wetlands
              compared to the nature of streams. Wetlands, by their nature, trap and conserve
              organic  matter,  and function as organic matter sinks; whatever organic material
              wetlands retain, the material tends  to be  dissolved, rather than undissolved.
              Streams, by virtue of flowing, tend to  transport organic matter (and whatever else
              they contain) downstream.  It is unlikely that organic matter processing in created
              wetlands would provide processing similar to that provided by small streams. The
              commenter recommends  that  the statement be  modified to  emphasize  these
              differing roles of streams and wetlands.
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       Response:
              The DPEIS  statement was  meant to reflect the lack of data comparing organic matter
       downstream  of created  wetlands  with  organic  matter in a  natural stream. However,  the
       commenter's point is accurate, and this sentence is noted as deleted on the errata.

       Comments:
              Since trees do not grow well on reclaimed land and ponds do not replace streams,
              the replacement of headwater streams on reclaimed land will not offset the loss
              due to valley fills.

       Response:
              With natural stream design  and a  riparian buffer  of trees planted on the reclaimed mine
       site,  functions  of ephemeral  and/or  intermittent  streams may be replaced.  Monitoring  the
       effectiveness of such mitigation plans will continue and, if they are not effective, will require
       additional offsite mitigation  such  as stabilizing stream  banks, reducing erosion  and planting
       riparian vegetation to reduce the impacts of valley fills on the watershed.

              5.2.7 Category: Terrestrial  Fauna and Flora

              This category is a grouping of comments related to forest habitats, post mining forest
       regeneration  or natural succession, terrestrial  habitats, terrestrial animals including  migratory
       birds and terrestrial studies. This category corresponds  to category 7  in the Public  Comment
       Compendium document.

       Comments:
              There is no  evidence  that significant forest regeneration is occurring on valley
             fills. Hardwood forest recovers within several decades following logging, or even
              succession from agriculture, insects and disease; there is no evidence of such a
              succession on valley fills.

       Response:
              DPEIS  studies have  indicated that historically,  reestablishing hardwood forests  on
       reclaimed mine sites has had limited success. However, studies by Virginia Polytechnic Institute
       and State University and University of Kentucky, described in Section IV.C, identified  hardwood
       reforestation  measures that, if implemented, may be successful. Action 13, which  is part of the
       preferred alternative, was  proposed to  help  develop methods for and promote the use  of
       reforestation on surface mined lands.

       Comments:
              An explanation is requested on the following sentences on page III.F-9, which
              appear to contradict each other since salamanders are amphibians:

                  "Amphibian and reptile species richness and abundance  do not differ
                 between  grassland,  shrub/pole,  fragmented forest, and  intact forest
                 habitats from  mountaintop mine sites in southern West Virginia" (Wood
                 and Edwards,  2001) [see Appendix E for details].
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                  "Salamanders appear to be less common in the grasslands of reclaimed
                 mountaintop mining sites than in the nearby forests" (Wood and Edwards,
                 2001).

       Response:
              The first sentence refers  to amphibians  and reptiles collectively; the second, to only
       salamanders. The relative proportion of amphibians and reptiles changes from one habitat type to
       another, particularly from wetter habitat types to drier ones. A clarification to more accurately
       reflect the language of the study was made to Section III.F.S.c on the errata sheet.

       Comments:
              Bill Mackey, former head of forestry  in West Virginia,  should have  been
              interviewed and his concerns  addressed in the document.  In  addition, other
              comments asserted that no regional experts were used for  these studies, only
              outside experts.

       Response:
              Four of the five terrestrial studies were conducted by  regional experts, including West
       Virginia University and Concord College (Athens, West Virginia). See Table II. A.-1 in Section
       II.A.2  for a list of all of the  technical studies  and their authors.  In  addition,  the preferred
       alternative includes an action to develop a  Best Management Practice Manual for reforestation
       with input from the local research community.

       Comments:
              Information from the Society of American Foresters published data indicating
              that tree planting and the forest industry are thriving in the United States. These
              data contradict studies in the DPEIS that deal with forestry and these conflicts
              should be reconciled.

       Response:
              Information from the Society of American Foresters provided by the commenter concerns
       forestry production on a national scale. The DPEIS evaluated  impacts to forest only within the
       study area. A  DPEIS study (Handel, 2003) focused  on mountaintop  mining sites in West
       Virginia, and found that reforestation is not occurring through natural  succession on  most of the
       MTM/VF areas examined.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS fails to identify and analyze effective mitigation measures to reduce
              bird losses. The DPEIS suggestion that reforestation is  a panacea to mitigate the
              negative effects of mining on interior forest habitat within the foreseeable future
              is wrong and misleading. BMPs (Action  13) would be voluntary, and state or
              Federal legislative change (Action 14) could take years. Also,  it is inappropriate
              to consider replacing high quality forest habitat with grassland habitat for "rare "
              eastern grassland species that didn 't occur here historically.
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              The commenter supports Action 13 to develop a BMP manual for growth media
              and reclamation with trees.  The DPEIS recognizes that; 'impacts to soils from
              MTM/VF are not irreversible and that over time, soils similar to those that existed
              prior to mining are likely to be re-established on reclaimed mine sites'. EISIV C-
              7. This is an area where OSM rulemaking could make a significant contribution
              to minimizing the impact ofMTM operations by removing existing impediments to
              planting trees.

              Maintaining extensive  tracts of mature deciduous forests to support  the  high
              diversity of mature forest birds, many of which are high conservation concern
              species, is one of the highest Partners in Flight conservation priorities within the
              PEIS study area. The commenter encourages every effort to minimize the removal
              and fragmentation of existing mature forest habitat in the PEIS study area.

              The DPEIS fails to identify and analyze reasonable alternatives to avoid bird
              losses,  a fatal flaw.  Combined with the fatal flaw  of not properly addressing
              priority bird species,  the DPEIS fails to comply with NEPA.

              The only mitigation offered in the DPEIS for the destruction of large areas of
              hardwood forest habitat by mining operations is a suggestion that the mine sites
              could be reforested after operations cease. Convincing evidence that a hardwood
              forest,  essentially  the  same  as  the  one  removed during mining,  can be
              reestablished in a reasonable amount of time,  needs to be presented before this
              method can be offered as mitigation for the loss of hundreds of thousands of acres
              of biologically diverse hardwood forest habitat.

       Response:
              The DPEIS acknowledges the importance of study  area forest habitats in the DPEIS study
       area to migratory birds and other wildlife, and proposed Action  13, included in the preferred
       alternative, would develop and promote guidelines for  reforestation of surface mined areas.
       Removal of the trees before  surface coal mining operations is required under SMCRA,  although
       mining is not the only  reason that logging occurs in this  region.  Reforestation provides the
       opportunity for the  long-term  restoration of habitat.  Although establishing grass may be an
       element in the  reclamation process  required  under  SMCRA, Action 13 is anticipated  to
       encourage reforestation with  species  that  would  approximate native forest habitat.  In the
       meantime, agencies will continue to consider the cumulative impacts on terrestrial habitats when
       evaluating projects on a permit-by-permit basis. Impacts of the alternatives on bird species were
       considered in the DPEIS. The preferred alternative includes  Action 13 to foster reforestation to
       ameliorate the impacts of lost forest habitat.

              The agencies agree that BMP's are  voluntary and that legislative change might take
       years. However, for the reasons outlined in the description of the alternatives, the agencies do not
       regard these factors as barriers to success.
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       Comments:
              The failure to include alternatives that would protect some migratory bird habitat
              violates Executive Order 13186, which requires Federal agencies to cooperate
              with FWS to promote the conservation of migratory birds.

       Response:
              In January 2001, the President signed Executive Order 13186 directing Federal agencies
       to conserve  migratory birds. The Executive Order directs each Federal agency taking  actions
       having or likely to have a negative impact on migratory bird populations to work with the FWS
       to develop an agreement to conserve those birds. The protocols developed by the consultation are
       intended to  guide future agency regulatory actions and policy decisions; renewal of permits,
       contracts or other agreements; and the creation of or revisions to land management plans.

              In addition to avoiding or minimizing impacts to migratory bird populations, agencies are
       expected to  take reasonable steps  that include restoring and  enhancing habitat, preventing  or
       abating pollution affecting birds,  and incorporating migratory bird  conservation into  agency
       planning processes whenever possible. Because the Executive Order does not apply to  actions
       delegated by Federal agencies to states, it has limited applicability in SMCRA permitting actions
       in all of the  study area states except Tennessee. The Tennessee Federal program under SMCRA
       complies with the  Executive Order.  Provisions  of the  COE/FWS and EPA/FWS  MOUs
       implementing  this Executive Order would apply in all of the states within the study area. No
       change to the DPEIS is necessary.

       Comments:
              Recent research indicates that as landscapes fall below a threshold of about 82%
             forest  cover,  the  ecological  integrity  of the  forest  community  becomes
              increasingly compromised. Projected impacts from MTM/VF alone will bring the
              study area forest cover close to this threshold and will cause some landscape-
              level areas within this larger area to fall well below  this threshold.

              The projected level of forested habitat loss constitutes a significant  negative
              impact for the entire mature forest suite of birds, especially for Cerulean Warbler,
              the forest species of highest concern in this area. Other species affected include:
              ridgetops  -  yellow-throated warbler,  Eastern  wood pewee, scarlet  tanager,
              ovenbird, wood thrush; mature mixed-mesophy tic forest along headwater streams
              ("coves") — Louisiana waterthrush, worm-eating warbler, Kentucky warbler,
              Acadian fly catcher, wood thrush.

              DPEIS cumulative impact figures suggest a massive and permanent impact within
              the PEIS study area on the entire suite of priority mature forest birds (cerulean
              warbler, Louisiana waterthrush, worm-eating warbler,  Kentucky warbler, wood
              thrush, yellow-throated vireo, Acadian flycatcher) due  to estimated forest loss of
              11.5% of the total forest cover in the study area.

              According to Partners In Flight bird conservation plans, mature forest birds are a
              high  conservation priority within the PEIS study area,  whereas grassland birds
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              are not. In addition, the creation of poor quality, early-successional habitats that
              may be suitable for some shrub-nesting species does not justify, or in any way
              compensate, the removal and fragmentation of extensive mature forest areas
              within the PEIS study area.

       Response:
              The cumulative impacts to forest habitats identified in the DPEIS lend emphasis to the
       need for reforestation efforts such as those proposed in Action 13 in the preferred alternative.
       This information could be considered by the regulatory agencies when evaluating projects, with a
       view toward minimizing future impacts.

       Comments:
              The statement on page III.F-11 conflicts with  the findings of the Cumulative
              Impact Study  (CIS) and the terrestrial technical  studies. The CIS found that
              abundant  habitat  will  continue  to exist  in the region even  when  mining
              disturbance is assumed to have the greatest impact  (no reforestation) and mining
              is considered along with all other human activities. According to the CIS, the
              area will remain 87.5% forested. The  Wood and Edwards terrestrial technical
              study found that forest-interior species were present in the fragmented forest area
              created by mining.  As noted in a subsequent paragraph in  this same section, the
              majority of species have the same  abundance in  the  fragmented forest as the
              intact forest.

              The DPEIS has already acknowledged that existing rules and regulations imposed
              by SMCRA are the biggest factors preventing reforestation. With the renewed
              emphasis on reforestation  and tree growth that will result from the  PEIS
              alternatives, it is reasonable to assume  that tree reclamation will increase in the
              study  area.  However, if tree  reclamation was  not  advocated in the  PEIS
              alternatives, scientific research indicates that these grassland and shrub/pole
              habitats are supporting a healthy and diverse terrestrial community with species
              of both forest-interior and grasslands being recorded on reclaimed areas.

              Some forest edge  and grassland species (certain reptiles,  birds,  mammals,
              raptors, etc.) are positively impacted by  the terrestrial habitat diversity created by
              MTM. [page II.C-75] The PEIS documents that there has been an increase in the
              abundance  of edge and grassland bird species at  reclaimed MTM sites, [page
              III.F-7]

              On page III.F-8, second paragraph - "Some argue that mountaintop mining has
              the potential to negatively impact, in particular neotropical migrants,  through
              direct loss  and fragmentation of mature  forest  habitats.   Forest  interior
              species... have significantly higher populations (at least one year of the two-year
              study)  in  intact  forests  than fragmented forests.  Furthermore,  cerulean
              warblers...are  more likely to be found in a forest area as  distance from a mine
              increases. These data suggest that forest-interior species are negatively impacted
              by mountaintop mining through direct loss of forest habitat and fragmentation of
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              the terrestrial environment. " The data presented in the DPEIS technical studies
              DO NOT support such a conclusion. Higher populations of forest interior species
              in intact forests versus fragmented forest in one year of a  two-year study are far
              from conclusive.

       Response:
              The Wood and Edwards study found that four forest-interior species (Acadian flycatcher,
       scarlet tanager, blue-headed vireo, and ovenbird) were less abundant in fragmented habitat than
       intact forest. The MTM/VF study area is the core North American breeding area for a number of
       forest interior species; the core breeding area for the grassland species using the reclaimed mines
       does not include the study area.

              Additional  work by  Weakland and  Wood (2002)  found that cerulean warblers are
       negatively affected by mountaintop mining from loss of forested habitat, particularly ridgetops,
       and by fragmentation. The Southern Environmental Law Center petitioned the FWS to list the
       cerulean warbler as threatened  and to designate critical  habitat. The FWS's 90-day  finding
       identified mountaintop mining as one of the threats to this species, and noted that "unfortunately,
       the area of the country with the highest density of ceruleans is also in a coal-mining region where
       mountaintop removal mining is practiced." (See  67 FR65083 (Oct 23, 2002)).

              The agencies recognize that this study was of limited scope. The agencies considered it
       but did not rely  on it in  the  analysis of the alternatives.  Page IV.D-4  provides  additional
       information on this topic.

       Comments:
              No studies on edge bird populations were conducted in Virginia where the typical
              permit size is smaller than sites used in the study.  Therefore, the conclusions in
              the report may not be applicable to Virginia.

              The DPEIS gives the reader the impression  that  all surface mines leave  huge
              tracts of grasslands. This is not true in Virginia. More than 85% of all mined land
              in Virginia is returned to forestland.

              page III.F-12 Appalachian Forest Communities — characterizes reclaimed mined
              lands in the  study  area as, "...often limited in  topographic  relief, devoid of
              flowing water, and most commonly dominated by erosion-controlling, herbaceous
              communities ". This characterization is not accurate for reclaimed mine lands in
              Southwest Virginia.  Eighty five percent of reclaimed mined lands in Virginia are
              returned to forests.  Most reclaimed mined lands in Virginia are returned to the
              approximate original contour including re-establishing drainage patterns.

              Many of the generalizations made about  the study area do not or should not apply
              to Virginia's coalfields. It is clear that many of the  referenced studies included in
              the Appendix and narrative in Chapter  III do not  include Virginia. It's unclear
              and, most readers/reviewers will probably be unsure,  if Virginia's seven coalfield
              counties were part of the areas actually studied for the PEIS.
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       Response:
              This PEIS evaluates programmatic alternatives that, if implemented, would be applicable
       to individual mountaintop mining operations and conditions in Appalachia. The DPEIS provided
       an opportunity to collect updated data on a range of surface mining impacts and led the agencies
       to prepare and  evaluate the alternatives and  actions presented.  However,  analysis of  the
       alternatives was  not dependent on representative data from all locations within the study area.
       The PEIS focuses on the similarities of the Appalachian coalfield states' programs and affected
       environments,  rather than their unique differences. Any further  action supported by  this PEIS
       would involve further coordination with  and participation by the appropriate state agencies and
       would  take into account the applicable state laws,  regulations,  mining  methods,  and unique
       environmental conditions.

              Before implementing many  of  the  individual  actions considered as part  of  the
       alternatives, there will be a need for the collection and analysis of additional scientific data and if
       appropriate, additional public participation and NEPA analysis.

              5.2.8   Category: Threatened  & Endangered,  Candidate, and Species of
                     Concern

              This category is a grouping of comments related to Federal Threatened,  Endangered, or
       Candidate  species and  state listed species.  This category  also includes comments  on  the
       regulatory program interaction with the Endangered  Species Act. This category corresponds to
       category 8 in the Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS underestimates impacts on threatened and endangered species.

              The public should have the opportunity to comment on the biological assessment
              before implementing it.

       Response:
              Limited evaluation of threatened and  endangered  (T&E) species was provided in  the
       DPEIS. The agencies noted that a more  detailed evaluation was anticipated to be provided in a
       Biological  Assessment  (BA) pursuant  to  the  Endangered  Species Act  (ESA).  Pending
       compliance with the ESA, the DPEIS indicated that there could be impacts to threatened and
       endangered species  [see page II.C-90]. However,  in  the process of making a determination of
       effects, the agencies determined  that there would be no effects on T&E species as a result of the
       preferred  alternative.  The  agencies  reached   this  conclusion because  the DPEIS  was
       programmatic and identified actions in the alternatives for consideration in concept.

              Each of the Alternatives is made up of a series of individual actions listed in Table II.C.I,
       in Section II.C. Table II.B-2  describes the distinctions among the alternatives. The list of T & E
       species known to inhabit the study  area is found in Appendix F.  CWA and SMCRA regulatory
       agencies must either consult or coordinate with the FWS, as appropriate, to ensure the protection
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       of endangered or threatened species and their critical habitats as determined under the ESA (see
       Section II.C.l 1 (page II.C-92).

              If the actions in any  of the  alternatives were fully developed and implemented,  the
       environmental  benefits could include using and/or developing best scientific  methodologies.
       Each of the  action alternatives would lead to establishing  common criteria and science-based
       methods  for  determining  baselines,  impacts,  and mitigation  requirements.  Monitoring
       information could be used to identify and evaluate T & E listed species habitats; stream reaches
       supporting naturally diverse and high quality aquatic populations, sole  or principal drinking
       water source aquifers;  or  other specially protected  areas. By inclusion  of a habitat quality
       evaluation, as well as CWA Section 404 (b)(l) Guidelines analysis (or its equivalent) in all three
       action alternatives, the least-damaging practicable alternative for the placement of fill in waters
       of the U. S. may be chosen.

              Improved communications and the use of a designated regulatory authority as a focal
       point for initial data collection should result in better  cataloguing of T & E species and would
       address this issue at the earliest possible stages of permit review. If T & E species are present,
       measures required to protect them will be required.

              Under Action  17, the  agencies  would  identify and implement  program  changes,  as
       necessary and appropriate, to ensure  that the proposed action is carried out in full compliance
       with the ESA. To the extent necessary to assure compliance with the ESA, this action envisions
       development of  additional species-specific procedures  and  protective  measures to further
       minimize adverse effects for listed species that occur in the steep slope mining region, beyond
       those requirements outlined in the 1996 Biological Opinion (BO).  These actions could include
       survey protocol, monitoring requirements (e.g., water quality and quantity), protective restriction
       (e.g., buffer zones, seasonal restriction), and prohibitions (e.g.,  operations  that would jeopardize
       the species).  These species-specific procedures and protective measures can be used to develop
       area-wide plans  that would assist mining companies in  preparing  their mining plans. For
       example, baseline information on species presence,  standardized protective  measures, and
       monitoring of potential cumulative impacts can be developed on a regional  or watershed scale
       that would assist reviews of individual projects.

              Each  of the actions  in  the action alternatives  in the PEIS  calls for  developing certain
       potential measures to  minimize impacts from  MTM/VF activities that now are conceptual,
       preliminary,  and undeveloped.  The agencies have not yet determined the specific techniques or
       technologies  that would be employed, the specific objectives and measures that would apply, or
       the products, practices, or standards  that would result. Because parameters and directions for
       these actions have not been developed, evaluation of the impacts of the actions on T & E species
       and their designated critical habitats is not yet feasible. Until development of any action would
       occur, there would be  no effects from the possible action on specific  T & E species and their
       critical habitats.

       Comments:
              The cumulative effects of MTM/VF could negatively  impact  other species of
              concern, including state-listed species.  Conservation of these rare  species will in
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             part depend on whether they are given sufficient consideration when planning for
             future MTM/VF  locations.  The  commenter  requests  that the  DPEIS give
             consideration to all state-listed plants and animals, regardless if such species are
             likely to become Federally-listed.

             Specific species, specifically state-listed species, have not been addressed in the
             DPEIS.

       Response:
             SMCRA and state laws require that consideration of state-listed species takes place on a
       permit-by-permit basis and such consideration is therefore not  included in this programmatic
       EIS.

       Comments:
             The DPEIS fails to discuss or inadequately discusses the  impacts of MTM/VF on
             migratory birds and mature forest birds within the PEIS study area (Cerulean
             Warbler, Louisiana  Waterthrush,  Worm-eating  Warbler,  Kentucky  Warbler,
             Wood Thrush,  Yellow-throated Vireo) from the projected loss of over  380,000
             acres of high quality forest in the next 10 years.

             The DPEIS ignores  available scientific data showing higher bird densities and
             higher  potential  losses from mining  impacts.  Important  Cerulean  Warbler
             research findings by Weakland and Wood were not included in the DPEIS, even
             though it was provided to DPEIS preparers.

       Response:
             The DPEIS discusses impacts to migratory and mature-forest birds at Section IV.D.l.a
       and acknowledges potential impacts to these species through loss  of habitat.

             Additional  work by  Weakland and Wood  (2002)  found that cerulean warblers are
       negatively affected by mountaintop mining from  loss of forested habitat, particularly ridgetops,
       and by fragmentation. Information  on the Weakland and Wood  findings has been added to the
       errata section of this document.

       Comments:
             Action 17 is unnecessary. The most recent biological opinion issued by FWS says
             that:  "... surface coal mining conducted in accordance with properly implemented
             state  and Federal regulatory programs under SMCRA  would not be likely to
             jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or species proposed to be
             listed, or result in  the  destruction or adverse modification of designated or
             proposed critical habitats."  Endangered species issues  can be  adequately
             addressed on a permit-by-permit basis under existing regulations.

       Response:
             The commenter is referred to the DPEIS, Section II.C [page II.C-90], for a description of
       the regulatory program interaction with the Endangered Species Act, and the need for Action 17.
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       Comments:
              On page II.C-90,  Threatened and Endangered Species — The statements and
              assumptions of the DP ElS fail to consider the scope of the activities in question.
              The Cumulative Impact Study (CIS) determined that mining affects only a small
             portion of the study area, which will remain dominated by densely forested areas.
              The same technical study found that headwater streams comprise 60% of all
              streams in the region and that mining has the potential to impact  only 4.10% of
              these streams. The commenter believes that, in preparing the Biological Opinion
              (BO), the agencies MUST consider these factors because  it is very apparent that
              neither mining  nor any human activity will result in  massive  elimination  of
              existing fish and wildlife habitat.

              The commenter believes that the  BO, to be adequate,  must also consider  the
             positive effects  of mining-created habitats for  certain species of wildlife. The
              DPEIS terrestrial studies failed to show that current mining and reclamation
             practices were adversely impacting existing wildlife assemblages because species
              thought to be rare and declining  in the study region were found in reclaimed
              areas. These unexpected species are targeted for conservation efforts.

              The commenter states that at least one of the technical studies  went to great
              lengths to ignore these terrestrial gains.  The same mistakes cannot be repeated in
              the BO if it is to adequately protect threatened and endangered species.

       Response:
              The commenter is referred to the PEIS, Section II.C.ll [page II.C-90], which describes
       the ESA compliance process. Pending compliance with the ESA,  the DPEIS indicated that there
       could be impacts to threatened and  endangered species.  However, in the process of making a
       determination of effects, the agencies determined that there would be no effects on T&E species
       as a result of the preferred alternative. The agencies reached this  conclusion because the DPEIS
       was programmatic and identified  actions in the alternatives for consideration in concept. Further
       development of the individual actions would define them sufficiently to allow evaluation of their
       effects on T&E species. At that time, any additional required compliance with the ESA would be
       carried out as appropriate.

              5.2.9   Category:  Cumulative Impacts

              This category is a grouping of comments related to the cumulative impacts analysis in the
       DPEIS. This category includes comments  on the adequacy of the cumulative impact analysis on
       social, economic, cultural, emotional and spiritual health. This category corresponds to Category
       9 in the Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS cumulative impact analysis is inadequate, and called for the FPEIS to
              revise  the evaluation of cumulative  impacts on socio-economic factors and
              cultural,  emotional, physical, and spiritual health. A "partial"  cultural study
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             performed by an ethnographer at the University of Pennsylvania is available. A
             2003 economic report to the Governor of Tennessee illustrating that coal mining
             influence on the Tennessee economy is small when compared to other business.

       Response:
             Because this "programmatic" DPEIS evaluates broad Federal actions, it proposes only the
       direction for future actions. In  complying with Section  102 of NEPA, the  DPEIS evaluated
       cumulative impacts in a general manner consistent with other programmatic NEPA documents.
       The agencies recognize the importance of socio-economic factors and intangible values such  as
       cultural  and spiritual  health. Because these issues are intangible and complex,  there are many
       different methods for evaluating  them.  The commenters suggested alternative  methods for
       analyzing the impacts on these intangible factors. The information provided by the commenters
       regarding socio-economic conditions and communities was considered. However,  the agencies'
       approach was consistent with Section 102 of NEPA, which requires  that these values be given
       "appropriate" consideration. Emphasis was placed  on analysis of  those  impacts  and  issues
       identified as most important in  the scoping process. For example, see  the issues identified  in
       Section  I.G and Section II.A.3  of the PEIS. The DPEIS describes the baseline socioeconomic
       conditions  in  Chapter III  and describes the  consequences  of the  alternatives  for these
       socioeconomic conditions in Chapter IV.

       Comments:
             Cumulative impacts were not addressed in  the  DPEIS in sufficient detail.
             Commenters  cited a need for more expansive,  site-specific information and
             analysis on economics, cultural,  and environmental consequences.

             A commenter  questioned whether  sections of the DPEIS relative to  Tennessee
             data on active and abandoned mining,  coal reserves, parks, newly discovered
             plants  and  animals,    wildlife  management  areas,  economic  conditions,
             climatology, population,  land use, and transportation were complete or up-to-
             date.

             Another commenter suggested that the inadequacy of cumulative impact  analysis
             should have been overcome by commissioning the National Academies of Science
             and Engineering for independent review.

             The PEIS  should be expanded to include cumulative impacts  of non-metallic
             mineral operations.

       Response:
             NEPA analyses of cumulative impacts for a programmatic EIS are, by their very nature,
       general.  The CEQ regulations  and guidelines  on preparing  NEPA documents and case law
       clearly indicate that the level of detail required of a site-specific project proposal  is not necessary
       for a broad programmatic EIS.  This NEPA document was not intended to  supplant the site-
       specific  data collection and analyses that occur prior to mining authorization.
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              The cumulative impact analysis data collection and evaluation within this document is
       commensurate with  or more expansive than  similar  analysis  in  other  programmatic  EIS
       documents. Non-metal mining, including quarries and gravel pits, was included in the Landscape
       Scale Cumulative Impact Study of Mountaintop Mining Operations (Appendix I).  The stated
       purpose of the PEIS, in terms with the Bragg settlement agreement, was limited to steep-slope
       surface  coal mining  in Appalachian  where excess spoil disposal occurs. Commissioning the
       National Academies to conduct such  analyses is within the discretion of Federal agencies, but
       not mandated. The agencies explored Academy  work for some portions of the PEIS work, but
       concluded that this was not a feasible option.

       Comments:
              There is no systematic evaluation in the DPEIS of the cumulative impacts of the
              loss of headwater streams.  This is not mentioned in the Executive Summary or in
              the alternatives and evaluation sections.

       Response:
              An adequate level of cumulative impact assessment was made by modeling the landscape
       to determine the total length of stream  channels in the study area  and by using  past permit
       information to determine the rate of impact for the past ten years. The DPEIS has projected into
       the future by assuming that the rate of coal mining will continue at the level it has in the past ten
       years (although factors such as the price of coal, competitiveness, availability of coal  reserves,
       difficulty of mining affect the rate) and extrapolating that into the future.

       Comments:
              Only one technical study looked at cumulative aquatic impacts and it showed that
              the effects of valley fills were additive.

       Response:
              The agencies believe the commenter is referring to the Ecological Assessment of Streams
       in the Coal Mining  Region  of West Virginia  Using Data  Collected by  the  U.S. EPA and
       Environmental Consulting Firm (Fulk et a/.,  Feb,  2003; Appendix  D, Part 2). A  number  of
       limitations were recognized including the following: a small number of sample sites, less than a
       full year of data, omission of other  types of fill impacts  such as highways and  commercial
       development, and difficulties in attributing cause and effect relationships for cumulative impacts.
       In its analysis, the study did not consider the number or age of fills to investigate whether water
       quality impacts were any of the following: (1) seasonal; (2) dependent on other factors such  as
       rainfall; or (3) decreased over time and/or distance from the fills. The agencies considered these
       limitations when evaluating the aquatic environment. Therefore, the one study was not used  as
       the basis for making broad assumptions about the impacts of valley fills on downstream aquatic
       functions.
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              5.2.10 Category: Social Values

              This category is a grouping of comments related to environmental justice, community,
       socio-economic, demographic, quality of life, aesthetic and cultural concerns. This  category
       corresponds to category 10 in the Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS  does  not accurately  or  adequately  portray  socio-economic,
              demographic,  and other types of social/cultural data or community resources
              particularly for VA, TN, andKY.

       Response:
              The DPEIS only generally describes such data.  Because this is  a programmatic EIS,
       implementation of the individual actions under the preferred  alternative would, as appropriate,
       include APA and NEPA procedures that would require detailed information from affected states
       and take  into  account local  and unique  conditions.  Also  it  must  be pointed  out that a
       programmatic NEPA document such as this is, by its very nature, general. CEQ regulations and
       guidelines on preparing NEPA documents clearly indicate that the level  of detail of a site-
       specific project proposal is not required for a broad programmatic EIS.  This PEIS document
       evaluates impacts in a general manner consistent with other programmatic NEPA documents.

       Comments:
              The 2003 DPEIS fails  to comply with Executive Order  12898 (Environmental
              Justice)  and did not discuss environmental justice concerns sufficiently. This is
              another   blatant  lack  of regard for  low-income  populations  and  their
              disproportionate share of the impacts. This population needs to be addressed in
              any PEIS regarding mountaintop mining and valley fills, solely because they are
              the most vulnerable to governmental actions in this region.

       Response:
              The agencies made a significant effort to identify and reach out to EJ communities (see
       Sections  III.P through  T and IVJ).  A significant  portion of the PEIS  study area  includes
       economically  disadvantaged communities.  There appears to be  a potential  for ecological,
       environmental, economic, heritage, and cultural impacts that could potentially represent risks to
       the communities in question. Just four of the 69 study area counties had a per capita income
       exceeding its state average per capita income in 1990. Therefore, the outreach the  agencies
       conducted to  reach residents of the study area was effectively outreach to members  of the EJ
       community.   Outreach  efforts  included  mailing  letters  announcing  public meetings   to
       approximately 2,500 citizens in the Appalachian coalfield area. In addition, the agencies mailed
       additional letters  requesting comments  on the  scope of the  PEIS  and  published newspaper
       notices requesting comments from all of the states in the study area. The agencies received and
       considered over 700 scoping comments, and approximately 4,700 comments on the DPEIS from
       the four states within the study area. In addition, the agencies anticipated that to some significant
       extent, citizen groups whose participation in the PEIS was actively sought would actively and
       effectively present EJ community concerns (see page 1-12).
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              Although not  specifically identified as EJ concerns,  issues of central  concern to EJ
       communities were discussed throughout the DPEIS. For example, EJ was addressed in Sections
       II.A.S.f, IV.H, IV.I, and IV.K. In light of the fact that this is a programmatic EIS, the  actions
       contemplated have  not been sufficiently developed  to allow a mores specific evaluation of
       impacts on the EJ community.  That evaluation will have  to await further development of the
       actions.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS fails to adequately address the cultural concerns expressed during
              scoping and further study is recommended (e.g., wild ginseng habitat loss and
              associated economic impact).  The DPEIS begins to address cultural resources
              and their significance but it does not clarify the true cost of the loss of these
              resources relative to the short term gains from MTM.

       Response:
              Appalachian coalfield residents do have a unique social and cultural connection to the
       natural environment. For coalfield residents, the quality of the natural environment is  important
       both as a source of income and an integral element of Appalachian culture. Sections III.U.5 and
       III.U.6 present  an overview of the relationship between the natural environment, Appalachian
       culture, and coal mining.  The cumulative effects of mining may ultimately affect the human
       environment in ways such as land use and potential development, as described in Section III.S;
       historic and archaeological resources,  as described in  Section HIT;  and the cultural, social, and
       economic importance  of existing landscape and environmental quality, as described in  Section
       III.U. All three action alternatives would facilitate a  better understanding by the public of the
       regulatory process  and therefore facilitate their input regarding social concerns that should be
       factored in permit decision-making. This improved efficiency would result in mining companies
       having more predictability  in their planning processes, resulting in reduced costs and time.

       Comments:
              The language of the PEIS favors the coal mining industry and ultimately supports
              the goals of the coal industry over other options.

       Response:
              The  agencies  identified  some assertions and  allegations  that  reflect  differences in
       opinions  or preferred outcomes  of  commenters.  Some of those comments  reflected different
       interpretations of study conclusions or DPEIS analyses. In many cases, the commenters provided
       no clarification or  additional data  to support their  assertions. The agencies  reviewed these
       comments but  did  not  agree with  the allegations  of bias.  The bases for the analyses  and
       conclusions for the PEIS are stated throughout the PEIS and including these responses.

       Comments:
              Many sites may have historical significance such as portions of Blair Mountain
              and  the Stanley family  on Kayford Mountain. An assessment  of cultural and
              historic losses is needed.
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       Response:
              If MTM/VF projects may impact historic properties, the projects are coordinated with the
       State  Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which operates  to  protect historic and cultural
       resources consistent with the National Historic Preservation Act  (NHPA). The mission  of the
       SHPO is to encourage, inform, support,  and participate in the efforts of people of the state  to
       identify, recognize, preserve and  protect prehistoric and  historic structures,  objects and sites
       [pageIV.G-2].

       Comments:
              What are the actual costs to the communities and people that suffer the effects of
              MTM/VF? This mining affects the very poor,  the powerless and oppressed people.
              Economic development only reaches 6% of the destroyed mountains.

              Some  commenters requested the agencies identify  and/or provide  detailed,
              additional information, history,  data, and  examples  of specific site  plans,  or
              permit decisions that  support statements, conclusions and/or positions  in  the
              DPEIS.  Other commenters requested an indication  of where,  in  the DPEIS,
              explanations or specific information may be found.

       Response:
              Those comments were  considered but the information requested was either more specific
       than is appropriate for a programmatic document or currently exists in Sections III.U and IV.H
       of the DPEIS.

       Comments:
              Coal companies should not be permitted to destroy local communities  in  the
              process of MTM/VF mining. Community residents with homes and farms should
              be protected from the consequences of such damage. Under current law, a
              homeowner can pursue a damage claim in  court.  The practical problem is the
              cost of hiring attorneys and the litigation costs in hiring expert witnesses.

       Response:
              The impacts of MTM/VF on communities are analyzed throughout Chapters III and IV.
       Concerns about the costs of pursuing remedies under statutes other than the SMCRA and CWA
       are outside the scope of this PEIS.

       Comments:
              The demographic realities of the study  area stress  the  economic and social
              importance of  the  coal   industry.  Coal mining activity creates substantial
              economic activity through  high-paying  wages for  coal miners and demand for
              goods and service  related directly to coal  extraction. The ripple  effect of this
              activity is tremendous and mining is the only economic driving force in a majority
              of the study area. However, mining will never occur on a  scale large  enough to
              eliminate or even substantially impact  the  rich culture and history of Central
              Appalachia.
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       Response:
              Coal mining practices have profoundly affected the communities and residents  of the
       Appalachian coalfields since coal mining  first commenced in the region.  Sections III.U.l.
       through III.U.4. provide an overview of the past and current interaction between the coal mining
       industry and the residents of Appalachia. A decline in the physical state of the community may
       affect the economic status of local residents. Coal companies frequently built and maintained
       local  infrastructure, from housing to plumbing  and even  churches, in the  coal  towns of
       Appalachia in varying degrees of quality. Today, many coalfield communities not only receive
       revenue from taxes on coal property and employment, but also donations of money, land, and
       company equipment to support civic organizations,  [page IV.G-2]

              Setting public policy to balance environmental  protection and energy  needs is not a
       simple matter for Congress, the agencies implementing Federal law, state  legislatures, or state
       agencies  implementing state or Federal law. Normal supply and demand principles govern the
       energy market.  For instance, the type of coal needed to comply with the Clean  Air Act  also
       influences demand. If a  certain type of coal is required to meet clean air requirements  and is
       more expensive to mine, then the cost of electricity to consumers will go up. [page IV.I-1]

              5.2.11 Category: Economic Values

              This category is a grouping of comments related to adverse economic impacts of  new
       regulations to restrict  mining, economic  benefits  of mining and the  economic analysis. This
       category also includes comments on property values. This category corresponds to category 11 in
       the Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              The coal industry and, in turn, the coalfield communities will suffer with  the
              inclusion in  the  PEIS of alternatives  or  actions  that create more stringent
              regulations.

              Alternatives and actions in the PEIS must  consider  the benefits of coal mining
              (i.e. severance taxes,  electricity, employment, etc.) and the adverse impacts that
              any new regulations to restrict mining would have on everyone in the coalfields.
              A long-term economic study  should be conducted about  "everything this is
              costing us, " not just the economic benefits of coal mining. The economic  study
              indicated that even under the most restrictive MTM scenarios,  little adverse
              economic impact would result.

       Response:
              The agencies do not agree that the mere act of including or considering alternatives in a
       PEIS can cause an adverse impact. As indicated in Sections III.Q and IV.I.2 of the DPEIS the
       economic costs  of regulatory compliance  are not significantly different among the alternatives;
       because there were no alternatives carried forward that would adopt new regulations to restrict
       mining. Rather,  the alternatives emphasized  other means to reduce the environmental impacts of
       mining. These two chapters also discuss  the economic benefits of coal  mining operations to an
       area. However the economic studies did show a direct correlation between fill size and shifts in
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       production due to increased  mining costs. Additional information on the economic studies
       conducted can be found in Appendix G.

       Comments:
             A significant failure of the DPEIS is that it fails to analyze in a meaningful way
             the economic impacts of mining restrictions.  The agencies rejected a  2-phase
             economic study that had been prepared specifically for this DPEIS that addressed
             the economic impact based upon differing fill restrictions  alternatives. Since the
             fill restriction alternatives were not carried forward in the DPEIS,  the economic
             studies were described as no longer  being  essential for an analysis of the
             alternatives developed.

       Response:
             The economic studies were not rejected. The studies have been provided in the DPEIS.
       However, the economic reports were not essential for the full development and analysis of the
       alternatives selected for inclusion in the DPEIS.

       Comments:
             The Phase I and Phase II economic studies are seriously flawed and many parts
             of the DPEIS are  not  supported by accurate, fact-based studies.  Conclusions
             drawn in the DPEIS and any actions taken in response to  these conclusions may
             be considered arbitrary and capricious. Any actions taken as a result of this PEIS
             need to be justified by separate,  accurate, fact-based studies and not rely on the
             information in the DPEIS.

             The effects of the 250-acre threshold require more explanation in the PEIS as the
             reader is left with the impression that the limit is impact-free, which it clearly is
             not: reserve bases  are  being reduced and the projected life of particular mine
             sites  are being diminished with coincident reductions in  employment, state tax
             collections etc.

       Response:
             In the cover sheet to Appendix G, the agencies indicated that the site-specific results of
       the Phase I and II  economic studies have limitations and should not be relied on as representative
       of potential future mining and fill areas or as precise with respect to production change estimates.
       It  was recognized in Section IV.I.2 of the DPEIS that implementation of any future agency
       action (e.g.  more stringent fill minimization regulations)  following  the FPEIS  would,  as
       appropriate,  include independent NEPA, legal and regulatory analysis  of the relevant economic
       consequences of any such action.

             No further explanation of the effects of the 250 acre threshold alternative is required for
       the reasons set out in Section II.D.  This alternative was not carried  forward.

       Comments:
             The PEIS should address the impact any decrease in mining would have on the
             Federal  Abandoned Mined Land program  and the UMWA Combined Benefit
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              Funds when looking at the potential loss of mining as a result of the PEIS
              alternatives.

              DP ElS fails to consider the monetary value of eco-system services to the current
              and future economy.

       Response:
              A  programmatic NEPA document such  as this is, by  its very nature, general.  CEQ
       regulations and guidelines on preparing NEPA documents clearly indicate that the level of detail
       of a site-specific project proposal  is not necessary for a broad programmatic EIS. This  PEIS
       document evaluates impacts in a general manner consistent with other  programmatic NEPA
       documents.

       Comments:
              Agencies  have not analyzed the availability of coal resources outside  of
              Appalachia. Therefore the economic analysis is not adequate.

       Response:
              The agencies do  not agree with the commenter's assertion that  the  agencies did not
       consider the availability of coal resources outside of Appalachia, See Sections IV.1.1-2.

       Comments:
              Economic diversification and social  stabilization (by  relocating flood prone
              communities) are real possibilities only if alternative post-mining land uses, other
              than reforestation, are preserved in the regulatory program.

       Response:
              This comment appears to refer to Action 14 (page II.C-83). Changes in  the current
       regulatory program, such as requiring reforestation as the only post mining land  use, would
       require Congressional  action. Such legislation may provide exceptions to reforestation  if another
       land use would provide greater environmental benefits.

       Comments:
              The FPEIS should not focus on the  ability of mitigation to economically
              discourage fill placement, since fill minimization  is already addressed through
              SMCRA and the CWA Section 404(b)(l) Guidelines.

              The reality of increased and what appears to be punitive  mitigation requirements
              (e.g. conservation easements) will not result in further minimized fills, it will only
              add yet another economic constraint on  the ability to mine coal in this region
              because the physical and economic recoverability of coal reserves  is directly
              correlated to the amount of fill space available.

       Response:
              It is correct that fill minimization is already addressed in  SMCRA and the CWA Section
       404(b)(l)  Guidelines.  The agencies,  however, recognize  that compensatory  mitigation  has an
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       economic  cost and may discourage  disturbing  or filling  stream  segments. Conservation
       easements are a mitigation option and not always required.  Compensatory  mitigation is not
       punitive but is designed to offset aquatic resource impacts.

       Comments:
              The analysis of the effects on property values is inadequate.  The PEIS should
              assess property values in communities both before and after mountaintop removal
              operations begin. Property values have decreased dramatically due to the adverse
              effects of surface  mining. In addition, commenters expressed frustrations about
              losing what they  have worked hard to build, and being unable to sell their
              property because it is unwanted in its current condition.

       Response:
              This PEIS addressed economic issues at a programmatic level. Economic issues related to
       site-specific property values before and after start of mining are outside the scope of this PEIS.

       Comments:
              Comments were  offered detailing  the  "takings" implication  of forbidding  or
              severely curtailing mountaintop mining operations.

       Response:
              Alternatives in the PEIS that would, on a programmatic level, impose stricter limits on
       mountaintop mining were not carried forward for detailed analysis.

              5.2.12 Category: Government Efficiency

              This category is a grouping of comments related to  streamlining the permitting process.
       This category corresponds to category 12 in the Public  Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              States should be  encouraged to assume the CWA Section 404 program, and be
              provided with adequate funding.

       Response:
              State assumption of the CWA Section 404 program is outside the scope of the PEIS.

       Comments:
              Valley fills  should be evaluated under CWA Section 404 as individual permits.
              Fees should be increased to hire more personnel  to  do additional studies on
              cumulative aquatic impacts.

       Response:
              Requiring individual permits for most MTM/VF activities is considered in Alternative 1.
       The COE may further study cumulative aquatic impacts in cooperation with other agencies when
       developing actions under Alternative 2, the preferred alternative (see Action 12, page II.C-69).
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       Comments:
              Although supporting the  need for clear, concise definitions and procedures for
              issues such as jurisdictional waters, the DPEISfails to develop such issues/terms.

       Response:
              There are currently different definitions of jurisdictional waters for CWA, SMCRA and
       state law  as  administered by various  state and Federal agencies.  There is  an action  in the
       preferred  alternative in  the  DPEIS that proposes  that the Federal  and/or state agencies will
       develop guidance  or policies,  or institute  rule-making for  consistent definitions of  stream
       characteristics as well as field methods for delineating those characteristics. [Section II.C.2.b]

              5.2.13 Category: Excess Spoil

              This category is a grouping of comments related to excess spoil, construction of fills, fill
       minimization and fill stability. This category corresponds to category 13 in the Public Comment
       Compendium document.

       Comments:
              In  assuming under all the alternatives that excess spoil can be placed in streams,
              the PEIS makes no  provision for analysis of the  benefits  of maintaining the
              current level of protection afforded by the SBZ rule (i.e., precluding placement of
              excess spoil in streams).

       Response:
              The PEIS considered precluding placement of valley fills in waters of the U.S. but that
       alternative was not  carried forward for detailed analysis (see page II.D-8). The SBZ rule is the
       subject of a  separate nationwide rulemaking and nationwide EIS  [see  proposed  rulemaking
       notice: 69 FR1035 (Jan 7, 2004); and Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS: 70 FR35112 (June 16,
       2005)].

       Comments:
              A commenter recommended that more information be provided in Section III.  K. 4
              (Trends in Watershed Size), as to the  usefulness of the excess spoil disposal trend
              analysis and what impacts would be specifically anticipated.

       Response:
              Sections III.K.2 through  5 provide valuable information to assist in characterizing the
       extent  to  which valley  fills have  affected the environment during the period of 1985-2001.
       Impacts that  are associated  with the alternatives that were carried forward are analyzed and
       described  in Chapter IV.

       Comments:
              Excess spoil fills such as valley fills and head-of-hollow fills are integral to
              underground mining in Appalachia  and should be considered in the analysis
              presented in the PEIS.
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       Response:
              On page 1 of the Executive Summary and in Section 1C of the PEIS, the agencies clearly
       indicate that underground  mining activities  are considered to be  beyond the scope  of this
       document.

       Comments:
              Coal extraction methods require the construction of head  of hollow fills and
              valley fills in coal mining operations in the study area. Using valley and head of
              hollow fills  in this region is absolutely  necessary,  because when mining is
              conducted in steep-slope areas  such as Appalachia, the volume of the  spoil
              material is significantly greater than the volume of the overburden excavated
             from its original geological location. This is true whether the mining methods are
              mountaintop mining, contour mining, or even, in many instances, when creating
              the necessary surface area to begin and support an under ground mine.

       Response:
              The agencies described how excess spoil is generated by surface mining operations in
       Appalachia in the PEIS at Sections III.K.I.a and III.K.6. The agencies in the PEIS describe how
       existing regulatory programs require operators to minimize the amount of excess spoil consistent
       with the authorized  post-mining land use, and limit the placement of this spoil in waters of the
       U.S. (see Section II.C.5).

       Comments:
              A concept on  page IV.1-4 related to mitigation  and reduced fill sizes should
             properly acknowledge that operations assure fill  minimization by satisfying the
              AOC mandate of SMCRA and the CWA Section 404(b)(l) analysis.  The cost of
              any required compensatory mitigation would reduce  the economic or practical
              viability of the  operation.

       Response:
              Under the CWA Section 404(b)(l) guidelines, applicants are required to first avoid, then
       minimize, impacts to  waters of the U.S. Any remaining  unavoidable impacts to waters  of the
       U.S. must be replaced through "compensatory" mitigation. During the permitting process, the
       COE generally does not consider the economic impact of such mitigation costs to the applicant
       on the viability of the project.

       Comments:
              The statement concerning long-term valley fill stability  in Section 111.K.I is
              misleading and it should  either be removed from the FPEIS or revised to reflect
              the findings of the PEIS Valley Fill Stability technical study.

       Response:
              The agencies do not agree that the statement concerning long-term valley fill stability in
       Section III.K.l is misleading. In the introduction of Section III.K, the document states, "there is
       also concern regarding long-term fill stability." The statement simply acknowledges that,  as this
       document was being developed, there were concerns expressed related to  stability of valley fills.
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       As discussed in Section III.K.l.c, the lead agencies initiated a study of this issue to determine if
       the issue was one that would rise to the level of significance within the context of NEPA, and
       thus require action(s) to be incorporated within the alternatives considered. The study found that
       there were only a very small percentage  of fills that had experienced stability problems. In
       Section II.A.S.d, the agencies explain their rationale for not developing action(s) for this issue.

       Comments:
              Very isolated opportunities may exist for the placement of generated  spoil on
              adjacent flat areas such as AML benches. However, these occurrences would be
              so rare  and dependent  on such a wide range of factors that they deserve no
              mention as a reasonable alternative to valley fill construction.  No substantial
              amount of coal could ever be produced from an operation that was dependent on
              an AML area for spoil placement.

              Any reference  to  these  two surface mining techniques should be deleted from
              statements in Section IV.1.2.

       Response:
              As  explained  in  Section IV.I.2 of the  PEIS, storage of excess spoil  materials on
       abandoned mine benches,   reclaimed  mine  sites, or active  mining areas provides limited
       opportunities for excess spoil storage that  may reduce either the need for or the  size of valley
       fills. As  such, these possible alternatives must be evaluated as part  of the various regulatory
       permit application processes. It is also worth noting that as discussed in Section III.K.3, between
       1985 and 2001,  a number of permits were issued in the  study area states that did  not include
       valley  fills. Alternative methods of excess spoil disposal  other than valley fills were no  doubt
       part  of the reasons that permits without  valley fills were issued.  As such, these possible
       alternatives must be considered.

              5.2.14 Category: Stream Habitat and Aquatic Functions

              This category  is a grouping of comments  related to mitigation of stream  habitat and
       aquatic function loss.  This category includes comments on functional stream assessments. This
       category corresponds to Category 14 in the Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS fails to analyze the effectiveness of mitigation for stream loss.

       Response:
              Future actions  under the preferred alternative would include monitoring and cumulative
       impact analyses of stream impacts.

       Comments:
              The COE does not  have the  authority nor has it explained the recent shift in
              policy to require no net loss of stream length or functions.
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       Response:
              The COE national mitigation policy is that all impacts to waters of the United States, not
       just wetlands, generally require compensatory mitigation. This policy has been in existence since
       2001 and was required by many COE districts prior to that time. In 2001, Regulatory Guidance
       Letter 01-1 specifically discussed the need for compensatory mitigation for streams. Regulatory
       Guidance  Letter 02-2, which superceded the previous guidance,  reinforced  this  policy.  In
       addition, when  the nationwide permits  were reauthorized on January 15, 2002, compensatory
       mitigation for stream impacts was  included in General  Condition 19 on  mitigation  and in the
       definition  of compensatory mitigation.  The rule-making issuing the nationwide permits went
       through the Administrative Procedures Act as required. Conservation easements are encouraged,
       where possible.

       Comments:
              The  DPEIS fails  to acknowledge  the fact  that  proposed  COE  policy
              changes/procedures would extend far beyond mining into areas such as highway
              construction, etc.

       Response:
              The existing COE policy is to  replace lost functions for all aquatic resource impacts and
       is outside the scope of this PEIS.

       Comments:
              The DPEIS fails to present any methodology for performing functional stream
              assessments. Functional assessments should be presented for public review. They
              may  be  expensive, scientifically unproven and do not accurately measure lost
              stream functions.

       Response:
              Stream assessments are developed using the best data available to identify indicators  of
       aquatic  functions.  The  COE makes  any methodology  for  performing functional stream
       assessments available to the public and accepts comments and new data on a continuing basis.
       The commenter is encouraged to provide this and similar comments to the COE.

              5.2.15 Category: Air Quality

              This category is a grouping of comments related to air quality,  potential health risks from
       mining, blasting dust and fumes, and fugitive dust. This category corresponds to Category 15  in
       the Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              The generation and regulation of fugitive dust and other pollutants from  blasting
              and the  potential health risks associated with these pollutants need additional
              study.
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       Response:
              The agencies do not agree that the PEIS needs to contain additional studies on this issue.
       The following sections of the draft and final PEIS considered these impacts:

              Section  III.V  and  Appendix G contain  a recent  study conducted by  West Virginia
       University on dust and fumes generated  from blasting in the Appalachian region.

              Appendix B of the DPEIS  and in SMCRA  regulations at 30  CFR 816.67, note  that
       citizens may file complaints on blasting dust or fumes, subject to investigation by the regulatory
       authorities, and that the regulatory  authorities do have latitude to  address respirable dust and
       fumes.

              As proposed in  Action 15  of the preferred  alternative,  Section  IV.E.2,  the  DPEIS
       proposes to further evaluate  current programs for controlling dust and blasting fumes from
       mountaintop mining and to develop  BMPs and/or as appropriate, additional regulatory controls,
       to further minimize any adverse effects. The PEIS recognizes that the Mine  Safety and Health
       Administration (MSHA) maintains exposure limits for respirable dust. Furthermore, Action 15 of
       the preferred alternative would evaluate and coordinate current programs for controlling fugitive
       dust and blasting fumes  from MTM/VF operations  and develop  BMPs  and/or additional
       regulatory controls to minimize adverse  effects, as appropriate.

              5.2.16 Category:  Blasting

              This  category  is a  grouping of comments related to  blasting vibration, fly rock  and
       property damage. This category corresponds to category 16 in the Public Comment Compendium
       document.

       Comments:
              SMCRA requires the prevention of damage to property and injury to people but
              blasting is not being conducted within legal limits and protections are inadequate.

       Response:
              As discussed in  the DPEIS  Appendix B, vibration limits  are  set for ground and air
       vibrations. The SMCRA rules require the regulatory authority to reduce the limits, if necessary to
       ensure the prevention of damage or injury. A two-level test  is part  of each  state regulatory
       program. Vibrations must  be within legal limits and off-site  damage must be prevented. If
       vibrations within allowable limits may cause damage (e.g., based on the type of structure or site
       specific conditions) the blast  plan must be changed to lower the limit and ensure damage does
       not occur.

       Comments:
              More than 10 complaints exist in Tennessee for the review period of the Blasting-
              Related Citizen Complaint study of Appendix G.
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       Response:
              Another review of the report reconfirmed that there were only 6 written complaints in the
       files of OSM's Knoxville Field Office during the review period.

       Comments:
              Blasting should be classified as a  "significant" issue. Reports,  anecdotes, site-
              specific  details of blasting complaint information, and newspaper articles are
              given in support of their position that the regulations should be changed.

       Response:
              While any property damage or public safety incident is of great concern, studies confirm
       that existing blasting regulations provide sufficient controls for preventing personal injury and
       damage to property. The regulatory authorities have the latitude and obligation to take action on
       a case-by-case basis in  the  event  a blasting-related incident occurs. The DPEIS outlines the
       rationale for determining the issue not to be significant in Section II. A.3 and further explains the
       basis for this decision in  Section III.W.

              5.2.17 Category: Flooding

              This  category  is a grouping of  comments related to flooding,  contribution of MTM
       operations to flooding, fear  of flooding, and flooding analyses. This category corresponds to
       category 17 in the Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              Mountaintop Mining  (MTM) operations (along with logging) have caused floods
              that are more severe  now than before MTM mining began.  Various explanations
              were given for why  this is happening:  The  change from pre-mining ground
              surface  conditions,  broken rocks  during and after,  unregulated mining and
              logging, streams being filled with  debris from mines, and poorly designed or
              failing sediment ponds. Some cited the studies that showed an increase in peak
              flow from mined areas as proof. While on the other  side  some  cited the same
              studies showing the streams did not come out  of their banks, as  mining did not
              cause flooding. Flooding occurred in areas where there was no mining due to
              intense rainfall, steep hillsides, small narrow  valleys, small road culverts, and
              trash  blocking bridge  openings.  Some  highlighted the  conclusions  in  the
              referenced studies  that found  downstream  flooding  was not  significantly
              increased by existing mining practices if the approved drainage control plans
              were properly applied.

       Response:
              The  fear  of flash flooding  has been  with  most communities that  are  located  in
       mountainous terrain and justifiably so. The amount of water that flows  past any given point is
       dependant on many factors. These factors include  season  of  the  year, weather,  antecedent
       conditions, topography, geology, ground cover, drainage patterns, stream channels configuration,
       and stream channel obstructions. Mountaintop mining will impact  some of these factors within
       the boundaries of its permit area. However,  the hydrologic studies referenced in the PEIS
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       [Section III.G and Appendix H]  do not support the finding that mountaintop  mining causes
       flooding at the mine sites studied. The studies found that these mining operations, using their
       approved mine plans, would increase peak discharges but would not cause an increase in out of
       bank flooding. The studies also found that mining-related flooding issues were generally found
       to be the result of problems associated with implementation and maintenance of the approved
       mining plan and not the mine plan itself. Each mine is unique and must deal with its own set of
       influencing  factors.  A significant effort goes into the  design of drainage control plans for
       mountaintop mining operations. The referenced studies in the PEIS support the  success of this
       design work, but the  studies also show the importance  of having the drainage control plans
       implemented and maintained according to plan.

       Comments:
              The agencies involved should make sure appropriate regulations are in place so
             flooding would not be allowed.

       Response:
              The  preferred alternative proposes the  development of guidelines for calculating peak
       discharges  for design  precipitation  events and evaluating flood risk.  There are regulations
       already in place that address requirements for controlling flood potential.  In Section III.G of the
       PEIS, there is a discussion  of the  regulatory  requirements that address flooding. Action 16,
       described in Section Il.C.lO.b, would further improve the  ability to calculate peak discharges and
       evaluate flooding risk.

       Comments:
              Streams are being filled with rock and debris from the mountaintop mining sites
              due to transport of these materials during flooding and this causes the flooding to
              be worse because the water has nowhere to go.

       Response:
              Mining operations must be designed under  SMCRA to  prevent material  damage offsite
       and the CWA Section 402 also precludes offsite sedimentation. Valley fills and backfills on mine
       sites must also be constructed in  a manner that achieves  short- and long-term stability. Thus,
       erosion or sliding of rocks and debris off of a mining permit  would be violations of existing
       provisions. However, the transport and deposition of rocks and debris is a natural process that
       continually  occurs  in all stream  channels—but  can   be  influenced  by other man-made
       modifications  within the watershed, stream channel, or floodplain.  The DPEIS  studies  (see
       Appendix  H and K) found that when significant rainfall events occur, the  impacts to the peak
       runoff vary from site to site. When mountaintop mining operations are conducted in accordance
       with existing regulatory drainage and sediment controls, they should not  cause transport and
       deposit of rocks and debris offsite.

       Comments:
             Editorial changes to the  executive summary of one of the USGS studies to correct
              the use of a phrase is suggested.
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              Specific additional detailed information about the flooding analyses done by the
              COE be included in the EIS is requested.

       Response:
              The information on COE flooding analyses is not tracked or relevant to the finalization of
       the PEIS. As discussed in the DPEIS, Section III.G, many states conduct flooding analyses as
       part of the  SMCRA review. WVDEP's surface water runoff analysis  (SWROA) requires that
       mining not increase the downstream peak above that which would have occurred without mining
       impacts.

              The alternatives contain an action to develop flooding analysis guidelines that should
       address when flooding analyses are most  appropriate.  Intuitively, mining  sites in  closest
       proximity to residences should receive the most scrutiny; however,  all SMCRA permits must
       include probable hydrologic consequence analyses to demonstrate that the hydrologic balance
       will not be materially damaged as a result of mining (including flooding assessments).

       Comments:
              Ponds  "break" during rainfall events releasing walls of water.  The commenter
              further indicated concern relevant to the construction of slurry impoundments and
              underground mines.

       Response:
              The regulatory authorities (RA) routinely require that ponds be designed to minimize the
       likelihood of failure. The RA conduct site inspections including observation of the construction,
       maintenance, and function of the ponds. The regulations also require that a professional engineer
       certify the proper construction of each pond. These requirements are intended to assure, to the
       extent possible, that ponds constructed at mine sites are stable and function as intended. As
       necessary, enforcement actions are taken to further  minimize the  occurrence of unplanned
       releases of surface runoff. As discussed in Section III.G.2.d of the PEIS, the Citizen Complaints
       Study reviewed complaints records for West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia. Only a very small
       percentage   of these   complaints were  concerned  with   flooding.  The study  found  no
       documentation of sediment ponds at mountaintop mine sites  "breaking" and releasing walls of
       water  into  downstream areas. The study did find that  enforcement actions  were  taken  as
       necessary to correct any drainage control structure issues.

              In a post-study incident in Lyburn, WV, a large amount of backfill material located above
       a pond moved rapidly downslope into the pond. This caused a large volume of water to rapidly
       overtop the pond  embankment and did result in what would have essentially been a "wall of
       water" moving downstream and flooding the downstream area. The pond  embankment did not
       fail (break).  The above-referenced Citizen Complaint  Study confirmed that this type incident is
       rare and that the regulatory requirements of the SMCRA program work well to see that ponds are
       stable and function as designed.

       Comments:
              Ponds  at  mountaintop mining  sites  cause flooding because  they  are  poorly
              maintained and too small.
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       Response:
             The agencies do not agree with the commenter's assertion. The studies referenced in the
       PEIS [Section III.G.2.d] did not find that the ponds at mountaintop mining sites were designed
       and constructed too small to control flooding. The studies did find that in very limited cases, the
       drainage  control  structures were not being  maintained  or constructed in accordance with the
       approved plan. However, where these situations were identified the RA took enforcement action
       to require corrections be made to the drainage control structures.

       Comments:
             There was insufficient information about the SEDCAD 4 analysis in the DPEIS.
             The commenter requested that the detailed data either be included in the PEIS or
             the SEDCAD results be removed from the document.

       Response:
             The plain language summaries of both the HEC-HMS and SEDCAD 4 analysis will be
       retained  as presented in Section III.G.2.a of the PEIS. Both methods were  used to do storm
       runoff modeling.  As indicated in the discussion found in the previously referenced section of the
       PEIS, both models  (SEDCAD 4 and HEC-HMS) used identical topographic, land use,  and
       hydrologic conditions or parameters for input in the model analysis. The detailed SEDCAD 4
       and HEC-HMS data analysis will not be added to this document.  Computer analysis for models
       such as  SEDCAD 4 and HEC-HMS are voluminous, each consisting literally of hundreds of
       pages of technical data. If the commenter or any other interested party wishes to review the
       detailed  supporting data of the SEDCAD 4 modeling or the HEC-HMS modeling, it  can be
       requested from OSM and the COE respectively. Requests for copies of the SEDCAD 4 or HEC-
       HMS modeling runs should be submitted in writing to OSM (SEDCAD 4) at 3 Parkway Center,
       Pittsburgh, PA, 15220  and to the Corps  (HEC-HMS) at Pittsburgh District, US Army Corps of
       Engineers, ATTN: CELRP-EC-WH, 1000 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4186.

       Comments:
             The finding of the study  titled  "Comparison  of Storm Response of Streams in
             Small,  Unmined and Valley-Filled Watersheds" in Appendix H of the PEIS is
             questionable. The commenter is concerned that the location of the data collection
             sites that  were  between the  valley fills and  the sediment pond inappropriately
             negates the effects of the sediment pond.

       Response:
             Given  the purposes  of this study, the agencies do not agree that its findings were
       questionable. The purposes and limitations of this study are discussed in Appendix H. The study
       was clear in describing where the data collection sites were located and why they were chosen.

       Comments:
             The July 2001 Flood Study described in Section III.G.2.C of the PEIS, should not
             be included in the PEIS because some assumptions made as part of the study are
             not correct.
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       Response:
              This study, described in Appendix H, was an  attempt to fill a data void by collecting
       information that was  not available in previous research or studies. The  study  articulated the
       assumptions that it made and the agencies took those assumptions in account in evaluating the
       flooding issues. The commenter's opinion is noted; however, the study will be included in the
       PEIS as it should be considered in an evaluation of the flooding issue.

              5.2.18 Category: Reclamation

              This category  is a grouping  of comments related to reclamation of mine  lands, the
       positive aspects of reclaimed land,  compensatory  mitigation,  reforestation  and reclamation
       practices that favor  introduction of non-native species. This category corresponds to categories
       18 and 19 in the Public Comment Compendium document.

       Comments:
              The EIS should consider the positive aspects of reclaimed land such as aesthetics,
              industrial development, safe housing sites, less severe flooding, and an increase
              in game.

       Response:
              The PEIS does consider the positive aspects of reclaimed lands.  In Chapters III and IV,
       the PEIS provided a great deal of information on the issues of post-mining land use, flooding,
       wildlife and its habitat, and many other issues.  The PEIS evaluated the beneficial and adverse
       effects of mountaintop mining and valley fills and the impacts of the proposed alternatives.

       Comments:
              Reclamation for surface mine impacts on Appalachian and Cumberland Mountain
              hardwood forest must include compensatory mitigation and/or reforestation.

       Response:
              Action 14 (page II.C-83) in the preferred alternative would include Congressional action
       to require reforestation as a post-mining land use. This  action did not indicate whether Congress
       was likely to take such action.

              SMCRA  and the CWA do not require that sites forested prior to  mining would be re-
       forested as a part of the post-mining reclamation requirements.  The PEIS document identifies
       and includes analysis  of two actions related to this issue.  Actions  13 and 14 [Section Il.C.S.b]
       discuss these actions in detail. Section IV.C provides analysis of the anticipated impacts of these
       two actions.

       Comments:
              The PEIS should not imply that forestry is the only desirable use of reclaimed
              mine land.
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       Response:
              The PEIS document does not imply that reforestation of reclaimed mine land is the only
       desirable post-mining land use. The regulatory  limitations related to replanting mined areas
       under the SMCRA and CWA regulatory requirements are discussed in the above comment
       response.

       Comments:
              Approximate original contour (AOC) variance is not applied consistently across
              states and can be abused.

       Response:
              The studies prepared for this PEIS do not document any improper implementation  of
       AOC variance provisions. The commenter did not provide any evidence of such improper  or
       abusive implementation.  SMCRA does not require that all states implement their regulatory
       programs in an identical manner. SMCRA allows states to adapt their regulatory programs to the
       unique circumstances of each  state, so long  as the programs are no less effective  than the
       provisions of SMCRA and its implementing regulations.

       Comments:
              The  ability  to  successfully re-establish trees  on  reclaimed mine sites  is
              questionable.  There is little or no evidence to indicate that hardwood forests (1)
              are  or can be successfully established on reclaimed mine  sites and (2) that if
              established, these forests can equal or exceed  the forests that existed before
              mining.

       Response:
              In Section IV.C.l,  the PEIS discusses on-going research related to the establishment  of
       forest  communities  on  reclaimed mine sites.  This  research, occurring  at  both  Virginia
       Polytechnic Institute  and the University of Kentucky, has demonstrated that forest communities,
       including  a number of  different hardwood  species, can be  successfully  re-established  on
       reclaimed mine  sites.  The  above  referenced PEIS  discussion acknowledges those historic
       problems that research has identified as having inhibited the successful establishment of forests
       on reclaimed mine sites and recognizes that there are likely some forest communities such as the
       cove-hardwood forests that will not be able to be re-established following mining. Although the
       lead agencies recognize and have acknowledged in the PEIS document that all  pre-mining forest
       communities can not be re-established following mining, given the findings of the on-going
       research and the  recent efforts  to emphasize reforestation of mine sites, there can be little doubt
       that valuable forest communities that meet or exceed pre-mining growth rates can be established
       on reclaimed mine sites.

       Comments:
              The  DPE1S  essentially  acknowledges  that current  reclamation  practices,
              particularly as they relate to soils and vegetation,  violate  OSM regulations as
              post-mining soils support lower quality vegetation than did pre-mining soils. In
             failing  to propose any alternative  that would include  a  remedy for  these
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              violations, all the proposed alternatives are  illegal  and are  arbitrary and
              capricious.

       Response:
              The PEIS discusses ongoing efforts to develop new approaches to achieve more effective
       reforestation under SMCRA (see page IV.C-5). In Section IV.C.l, the PEIS provides a historical
       perspective on post-SMCRA reclamation with trees, discussing at some length the problems
       created for the successful establishment of trees in the post-mine environment. The lead agencies
       included actions in this document that  are  intended  to address the identified reforestation
       concerns, which involve growth media concerns. Specifically, the PEIS identifies and includes
       analysis of two actions related to this issue. Actions 13 and 14 [Section Il.C.S.b] discuss these
       actions in detail. Section IV.C provides analysis  of the anticipated impacts of these two actions.
       Existing SMCRA procedures provide remedies for specific alleged violations of reclamation
       requirements. However, the record of this PEIS does not include documentation of any specific
       violations of SMCRA regulatory requirements. Therefore, the agencies have found no basis for
       any additional actions other than those described above and in the PEIS.

       Comments:
              The use of a BMP manual  to merely  "encourage " reforestation as  a means of
              mitigating the effects of deforestation is insufficient to meet the requirements of
              NEPA.  NEPA  requires that  an EIS adequately analyze the effectiveness  of
             proposed mitigation measures. The DPEIS contains no analysis of whether the
              BMP manual will  actually  increase  reforestation and as such, does not meet
              NEPA requirements.

       Response:
              The PEIS document identifies and includes analysis  of two actions  as  part of the
       preferred alternative related to the issue of reforestation of mountaintop mine sites. Actions 13
       and 14 [Section Il.C.S.b] discuss these actions in detail.  While it is true that proposed  Action 13
       includes development of BMP guidance related to this issue, proposed Action 14 is predicated on
       the assumption that regulatory statutes would be changed to require reclamation with trees as the
       post-mining land use. Section IV.C  provides the required  NEPA  analysis of the anticipated
       impacts of these two actions.

       Comments:
              Current reclamation and land use practices create habitat that adversely affects
              wildlife species and favors introduction of non-native species at the expense of
              native flora  and fauna. The  lead agencies should  better coordinate and take
              measures to further reduce  the introduction of non-native and invasive  species
              into the reclamation environment.

       Response:
              As discussed in Section II.A.3.C, the lead agencies commissioned a study that included a
       review of the use and occurrence of non-native and invasive species on reclaimed mountaintop
       mining site. Based on a review of the  study and the applicable SMCRA regulations, the agencies
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       concluded that this was not a "significant issue" in the context of NEPA and as such, no actions
       to address this issue were included in the alternatives considered.

       Comments:
             The  commenter supports proposed alternatives  that include BMPs related to
             reclamation and revegetation, particularly revegetation with native species. The
             commenter is concerned that past revegetation practices that involved certain
             invasive,  non-native species have already resulted in degradation to existing
             native plant communities and habitats throughout the region.

       Response:
             The  lead agencies  considered the many  comments that  were received that  either
       supported or opposed the different actions and/or alternatives that are presented in this PEIS. The
       concerns  relevant to the impact that invasive, non-native species can have on the environment
       are duly noted. However, a study commissioned by the lead  agencies and discussed in Section
       II.A.3.C of the PEIS does not support the concern that mine revegetation practices have already
       degraded existing native plant communities and habitats throughout the region.

       Comments:
             The  PEIS fails to consider the potential  problems  with large-scale land
             disturbance and the encroachment of exotic and non-native species. The potential
             for recolonization of reclaimed mine  sites by aggressive nuisance species is
             extremely high.

       Response:
             The  PEIS  did examine the issue  of reclamation  of  mountaintop mine sites and
       encroachment of exotic and  non-native species.  As discussed in Section  II.A.S.c, the lead
       agencies commissioned a study that included a review of the use and occurrence of introduced
       invasive species on reclaimed mountaintop mining site. The  study did not support the  concern
       that mine revegetation practices have already  degraded existing native plant communities and
       habitats in the region. Based on a review of the  study and the applicable SMCRA regulations, the
       agencies concluded that this was not a "significant issue" in the context of NEPA and as such, no
       actions to address this issue were included in the alternatives considered.

       6.    Errata from  the Draft Programmatic

             Environmental Impact Statement 

             The following are changes to the DPEIS to make it serve as the FPEIS. All references to
       paragraphs and sentences are relative to the page indicated. Subheadings are only indicated when
       the change is on the same page as the subheading. These changes include corrections to minor
       typographical  errors and changes  noted  in the  response to comments. The  appendix is  a
       continuation of the errata that includes finalized versions of technical studies that had been in
       draft form in the DPEIS and studies  referenced in agency responses.
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       •      Executive Summary, page ES-3 third paragraph from the top, second and third sentences,
              should read:
              "Conclusions by the authors of the studies were not altered. Their conclusions in the
              studies do not necessarily reflect the position or view of the agencies preparing this EIS."
       •      Executive Summary, page ES-4, fourth bullet from the bottom, last sentence, should read:
              "Streams with fills generally have lower peak discharges than unmined watersheds
              during most low-intensity storm events; however, this phenomenon appears to reverse
              itself during higher-intensity events."
       •      Executive Summary, page ES-5 Table ES-1, text in the first row second column should
              read:
              "Maintains the regulatory programs, policies,  and coordination processes, as well as
              actions that existed or had been initiated in 2003."
       •      Executive Summary, page ES-6 Table ES-1. Text in the second row, second column, sixth
              line should read.
              "OSM rules would be finalized to clarify the stream buffer zone rule and make it more
              consistent with SMCRA. OSM excess spoil rules would be finalized to provide for fill
              minimization and alternatives analysis, similar to CWA Section 404(b)(l) Guidelines."
       •      Executive Summary, page ES-7, ninth bullet should read:
              Replace the beginning of the sentence with: "Implement existing program requirements,
              as necessary and appropriate, to ensure that MTM/VF is carried out in full compliance
              with the Endangered Species Act."
       •      Section II.A, page II.A-1, block quote in the second paragraph:
              "United States" is spelled incorrectly.
       •      Section II.A, page II.A-2, subsection 2, last sentence should read:
              "These cover sheets are an aid to the reader and do not necessarily reflect the conclusions
              of the agencies."
       •      Section II.A, page II.A-5, last line, of the second paragraph:
              delete the reference, "(see Chapter ID.2)."
       •      Section II. B, page II.B-3, Table II.B-1, text in  the first row, second column should read:
              "Maintains the regulatory programs, policies,  and coordination processes, as well as
              actions that existed or had been initiated in 2003".
       •      Section II.B, page II.B-3, Table II.B-1, text in  the third row, second column, sixth line
              should read:
              "OSM rules would be finalized to clarify the stream buffer zone rule and make it more
              consistent with SMCRA. OSM excess spoil rules would be finalized to provide for fill
              minimization and alternatives analysis, similar to CWA Section 404(b)(l) Guidelines."
       •      Section II.B. 2, page II.B-11, second bullet, should read:
              "Implement existing program requirements, as necessary and appropriate, to ensure that
              MTM/VF is carried out in full compliance with the Endangered Species Act."
       •      Section II. C. 2, page II. C-29 subsection a. 2, last sentence should read:
              "For instance, in West Virginia, the point where the stream segment changes from
              ephemeral to intermittent is located by a field procedure identifying groundwater levels."


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       •      Section II. C.10, page II. C-87, third paragraph, next to last sentence, should read:
              "The USGS Ballard Fork study found that peak discharge from mined watersheds
              exceeded peak discharge from unmined watersheds when rainfall intensity was greater
              than 1 inch per hour."
       •      Section II. C.ll, page II. C-91, this and all other references to a Biological Assessment or
              developing a Biological Assessment for the PEIS, should be amended with the following:
              "In the process of making a determination of effects pursuant to the Endangered Species
              Act, the agencies concluded that the preferred alternative would have no effects on T&E
              species.  In coming to this conclusion, the agencies considered the entire record before
              them, including the fact that in this programmatic EIS, each of the actions in the action
              alternatives in the PEIS calls for developing certain potential measures to minimize
              impacts  from MTM/VF activities. Each action is conceptual, preliminary, and
              undeveloped. The agencies  have not yet determined the specific techniques or
              technologies that would be employed, the specific objectives and measures that would
              apply, or the products, practices, or standards that would result. Because parameters and
              directions for these actions have not been developed, evaluation of the impacts of the
              actions on T & E species and their designated critical habitats  is not yet feasible. Thus,
              until development of any action would occur, there would be no effects from the possible
              action on specific T&E species and their critical habitats."
       •      Section II.D.2, page II.D-8,  subsection c. last sentence:
              "unacceptable"  is spelled incorrectly.
       •      Section III. C. 1, page III. C-l 0, first paragraph, first sentence should read:
              "Fish species present in headwater streams tend to be representative of cold water species
              or pioneer species adapted to live in ephemeral/intermittent streams, and are primarily
              sustained by a diet of invertebrates (Vannote et al,  1980)."
       •      Section III.C.I, page III.C-l 1, insert additional text after the sentence at the top of the
              page:
              "The areas that were studied were important in the radiation of many different fish forms
              (e.g., the six endemic fishes in the New River drainage). It is important to note that
              speciation is not a phenomenon that occurred a million, a thousand, or even one hundred
              years ago and then stopped. It is a dynamic event that continues  to occur (Stauffer and
              Ferreri)"
       •      Section III. C. 1, page III. C-l2, second to last bullet under "Biological, " should read:
              "They enhance fine organic matter transport downstream by breaking down the leaf
              material"
       •      Section III. C. 1, page III. C-l 7, subsection e, third paragraph, third sentence should read:
              "This lake is anticipated to be similar to ponds found in the study area."
       •      Section III. C. 2, page III. C-20, last sentence, should read:
              ".. .may tend to limit the effect of disturbances on the downstream watersheds although
              the streams and ponds do not replace the structure and function of original first and
              second order watersheds (Wallace, B. in EPA et al. March 20, 2000)"
       •      Section III.D. 1, page III.D-3, subsection b. 2:
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              all references to the USGS 2002 Draft "E-point, P-point" study should instead refer to the
              USGS 2003 ephemeral points and perennial points study.
       •       Section III.D. 1, page III.D-5, subsection e, first paragraph, second sentence should read:
              "One study of the impact of valley fills on stream flows was performed by the USGS
              (USGS 200 Ic) on one stream below a valley fill site (at the toe of the valley fill) and one
              stream below an unmined site, and comparing one flow parameter at many streams with
              and without filling in the watershed."
       •       Section III.D. 1, page III.D-7, subsection/.2, first paragraph, second sentence should
              read:
              "These changes include increases in a number of constituents and properties that are
              known to be  associated with surface mining..."
       •       Section III.D. 1, page III.D-9, subsection h. 1, second paragraph, last sentence should
              read:
              "In addition, other metrics that evaluate the  diversity, evenness and degree of pollution
              tolerance..."
       •       Section III.D. 1, page III.D-15,  subsection i,  second paragraph, first sentence should
              read:
              "A study offish communities and the responses to environmental factors..."
       •       Section III.D. Li, page III.D-17, add to the top of paragraph:
              "In 2003 the FWS collected fish in streams downstream of valley fills, where earlier
              water quality analysis [Appendix D] had revealed high selenium concentrations. The
              results demonstrated that the selenium is biologically available for uptake into the food
              chain, and  that violations of the EPA selenium water quality criteria may result in
              selenium concentrations in fish that could adversely affect fish reproduction. In some
              cases, fish  tissue concentrations were near levels believed to pose a risk to fish-eating
              birds. It is  likely that benthic invertebrates in some of these streams would be similarly
              contaminated, thereby posing a risk to birds such as Louisiana waterthrush that depend
              upon aquatic insects as a food supply." (January 16, 2004, letter from David Densmore,
              FWS, to Allyn Turner, WVDEP).
       •       Section III.D.2, page III.D-19,  second paragraph, last sentence should be replaced with:
              "Wallace (EPA 2000) suggested that these types of systems can be important sites of
              nutrient storage and uptake provided that a sufficiently vegetated littoral zone is present,
              and the reconstructed wetland is linked to the downstream watershed. Dr. Wallace stated
              that while these wetlands have value, he does not believe that these constructed wetlands
              replace the pre-mining streams. However, he noted, the wetlands do tend to limit the
              effect of disturbances on the downstream watersheds."
       •       Section III.D, page III.D-21, first paragraph, lines 7-9 delete the statement:
              "However, it is not known whether the organic matter processing that occurs in created
              wetlands would mimic the processing found in a natural stream system" should be
              deleted.
       •       Section III.E.2, page III.E-3, second paragraph, second sentence should read:
              "Aluminum solubility is very low, less than 0.5 mg/L, at pH of approximately 7."
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       •       Section III.E.2, page III.E-5, second paragraph, second sentence should read:
              "In most natural or unpolluted surface waters, soluble iron is either near or less than
              quantifiable concentrations due to its relative insoluble properties in oxidizing and water
              environments at pH of approximately 7."
       •       Section III.E.2, page III.E-5, third paragraph, third sentence should read:
              "In most natural or unpolluted surface waters, soluble manganese is absent due to its
              limited solubility in oxidizing and water environments at pH of approximately 7 similar
              to iron."
       •       Section III.E. 2, page III.E-5, fourth paragraph, second sentence should read:
              "The presence or absence of aluminum is a direct result of pH-dependent solubility, with
              aluminum solubility increasing from, much less than 1 mg/L at pH of approximately 7, to
              greater than 100 mg/1 at pH less than 3 (Stumm and Morgan 1996)."
       •       Section III.E. 3, page III E-6, subsection b, third paragraph, insert before the last
              sentence:
              "Flocculants and precipitates associated with mine drainage can cement substrates and
              contribute to streambed armoring."
       •       Section III.F. 1, page III.F-3, second full paragraph, last sentence:
              change the word, "tress," to "trees."
       •       Section III.F. 3, page III.F-7, subsection a, second paragraph, second sentence should
              read:
              "This change in available habitat has resulted in an increase in the abundance of edge and
              grassland bird species at reclaimed mountaintop mining sites (Wood and Edwards, 2001;
              Canterbury, 2001)"
       •       Section III.F. 3, page III.F-9, subsection c, third paragraph, beginning of'the first
              sentence should read:
              "Herptofaunal species richness and abundance..."
       •       Section III. G. 2, page III. G-4 Insert at the end of the last paragraph:
              "Requests for copies of the SEDCAD 4 or HEC-HMS modeling runs should be submitted
              in writing to OSM (SEDCAD 4) at 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA, 15220 and to the
              Corps (HEC-HMS) at Pittsburgh District, US Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN: CELRP-
              EC-WH, 1000 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4186."
       •       Section III. G. 2, page III. G- 7, subsection b., first sentence of the last paragraph, should
              read:
              "During most of the  recorded storms (low intensity), the peak flows (per unit area) for the
              unmined watershed and the cumulative watershed were greater than the mined
              watershed."
       •       Section III.K. 4, page III.K-38, subsection a, first sentence:
              change the word "competed" to "completed."
       •       Section III.L. 3:
              pages III.L-14 - III.L-17 are missing.  They are reproduced in the appendix.
       •       Section IVD, page IV.D-4, first paragraph, second sentence, add following reference:
              (67 FR65083 (Oct 23, 2002))


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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       •       Section IV. D, page IV.D-5, subsection l.e, first paragraph, last sentence should read:
              "The Federally-listed species and habitat information are summarized in Appendix F of
              this EIS."
       •       Section V, page V-41, insert the following two references before the third reference from
              the bottom:
              "West Virginia Legislative Auditor, Performance Evaluation And Research Division.
              Preliminary Performance Review. The Office of Explosives and Blasting. PE 02-36-268.
              December 2002."
              "West Virginia Legislative Auditor, Performance Evaluation And Research Division.
              Preliminary Performance Review. The Office of Explosives and Blasting. PE 03-23-298.
              November 2003."
       •       Appendix D:
              The Fulk 2003 study should be replaced with the final 2003  version with pagination. This
              study is provided in the errata continuation appendix.
       •       Appendix E:
              The Handel study on the CD version of the EIS and on the website should be replaced
              with the March 2003 version. This study is provided in the errata continuation appendix.
       •       Appendix H:
              The July 2001 USGS flooding study should be part of appendix H. This study is provided
              in the errata continuation appendix.
       The following items are in the errata continuation appendix:
                    Pages III.L-14 - III.L-17 from the DPEIS
                    USFWS letter report
              •      USGS Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin
              •      Handel 2003 study text final version
              •      Fulk 2003 study, final version with pagination
              •      "Amphibian utilization of sediment control structures compared to a natural
                    vernal pool located on mine permitted areas in southern West Virginia."
                    Conducted for Pen Coal by R.E.I. Consultants, report dated 22 April 2000.
              •      "A History of the Benthic Macroinvertebrate and Water Chemistry Studies of two
                    Long-term Monitoring Stations on Trough Fork" Conducted for Pen Coal by
                    R.E.I. Consultants, report dated 20 June 2000.
                    Weakland, Cathy, A., and Wood, Petra Bohall. "Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica
                    Cerulea) Microhabitat and Landscape-level Habitat Characteristics in Southern
                    West Virginia in Relation to Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills". Final Project
                    Report. USGS Biological Resources Division and West Virginia University,
                    Division of Forestry. December 2002.
              •       Selenium Workshop, April 13th, 2004 Charleston, WV. Summary
                    USGS 2001 Flooding Study
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       7.     List Of Preparers
             This document was prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental
       Protection Agency, U.S. Office of Surface Mining, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and West
       Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, with assistance from Gannett Fleming, Inc.
       The individuals listed below had principal roles in the preparation and content of this document.
       Many others  had significant roles  and contributions as well  and their efforts were no less
       important  to  the  development  of  this  FPEIS.  These   others  include  senior  managers,
       administrative support personnel, legal staff, and technical staff.

       Steering Committee Members
       Katherine Trott, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
       John Forren, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Programs,
             Environmental Services Division, Philadelphia, PA
       Michael Robinson, U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Appalachian Regional Coordinating Center,
             Pittsburgh, PA
       Russell Hunter, WV Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Mining and
             Reclamation, Charleston, WV
       Cindy Tibbott, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, PA Field Office, State College, PA


       Assisted Steering Committee
       David Hartos, U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Appalachian Regional Coordinating Center,
             Pittsburgh, PA
       Jeffrey Coker, U.S.  Office of Surface Mining, Appalachian Regional Coordinating Center,
             Knoxville, TN Field Office
       Vermeil Davis, U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Program Support, Washington DC
       Gregory Peck, U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Washington, D.C.
       David Rider, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Programs,
             Philadelphia, PA
       Elaine Suriano, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Federal Activities,
             Washington, D.C.
       David Vande Linde, WV Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Mining and
             Reclamation, Charleston, WV
       Jim Serfis, U.S. Fish and Wildlife  Service, Washington, D.C.
       Marjorie Snyder,  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 5, Hadley, Massachusetts
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       8.     Distribution List 

              The following is a list of agencies, organizations, libraries, and individuals who were sent
       copies of this FPEIS on Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia. This document is also
       available   on   the   World   Wide   Web    at   the   following   Internet   address:
       http://www.epa.gov/region3/mtntop/index.htm.

       Federal Agencies
       Council on Environmental Quality
       Federal Emergency Management Agency
       U.S. Department of Agriculture
             Natural Resources Conservation Service
       U.S. Department of Commerce
             U.S. Department of Defense
             U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
                    HQ, Washington, DC
                    Huntington District
                    Louisville District
                    Nashville District
                    Norfolk District
                    Pittsburgh District
       U.S. Department of Energy
       U.S. Department of Homeland Security
       U.S. Department of the Interior
             U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
                    PA Field Office, State College, PA
                    SW Virginia Field Office, Abingdon, VA
                    VA Field Office, Gloucester, MA
                    TN Field Office, Cookeville, TN
                    KY Field Office, Frankfort, KY
                    WV Field Office, Elkins, WV
                    Regional Director, Region 4, Atlanta, GA
                    Regional Director, Region 5, Hadley, MA
                    Branch of Federal Activities, Arlington, VA
             U.S. Geological Survey
                    Water Resources Division, WV District Office
             U.S. Office of Surface Mining
                    Appalachian Regional Coordinating Center, Pittsburgh, PA
                    KY — Lexington; London; Madisonville; Pikeville
                    TN — Knoxville
                    VA — Big Stone Gap
                    WV — Beckley; Charleston; Morgantown
              Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance
             National Park Service
       U.S. Department of Justice
       U.S. Department of Labor
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                   Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       U.S. Department of State
       U.S. Department of Transportation
             Federal Highway Administration
             U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
             Headquarters, Washington, DC
             Region III, Philadelphia, PA
             Region IV, Atlanta, GA

       Other Agencies
       Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
       Interstate Commerce Commission

       State Agencies
       Kentucky
             Department of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
                    Office of the Commissioner
                    Pikeville; London; Middlesboro; Prestonsburg
       Ohio
             Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
       Tennessee
             Department of Environment and Conservation
       Virginia
             Department of Mines, Minerals & Energy
                    Mined Land Reclamation
                           Keen Mountain; Big Stone Gap
       West Virginia
             Department of Environmental Protection
                    Logan; Nitro; Oak Hill; Philippi; Welch
             Division of Natural Resources
                    Charleston; Elkins

       Libraries
       Kentucky
             Middlesborough-Bell County Public Library, Middlesboro, KY
             Boyd County Public Library, Ashland, KY
             Breathitt County Public Library, Jackson, KY
             Clark County Public Library, Winchester, KY
             Clay County Public Library, Manchester, KY
             Elliott County Public Library, Sandy Hook, KY
             Estill County Public Library, Irvine, KY
             Floyd County Public Library, Prestonsburg, KY
             GreenUp County Public Library, GreenUp, KY
             Harlan County Public Library, Harlan, KY
             Jackson County Public Library, McKee, KY
             Johnson County Public Library, Paintsville, KY
             Knott County Public Library, Hindman, KY
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                     Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


              Knox County Public Library, Barbourville, KY
              Laurel County Public Library, London, KY
              Lawrence County Public Library, Louisa, KY
              Lee County Public Library, Beattyville, KY
              Leslie County Public Library, Hyden, KY
              Martin County Public Library, Inez, KY
              McCreary County Public Library, Whitley City, KY
              Menifee County Public Library, Frenchburg, KY
              John F. Kennedy Memorial Public Library, West Liberty, KY
              Owsley County Public Library, Booneville, KY
              Perry County Public Library, Hazard, KY
              Pike County Public Library District, Pikeville, KY
              Powell County Public Library, Stanton, KY
              Pulaski County Public Library, Somerset, KY
              RockCastle County Public Library, Mount Vernon, KY
              Wayne County Public Library, Monticello, KY
              Whitley County Public Library, Williamsburg, KY
              Wolfe County Public Library, Campton, KY

       Tennessee
              Briceville Public Library, Briceville, TN
              Clinton Public Library, Clinton, TN
              Clinch-Powell Regional Library Center, Clinton, TN
              Lake City Public Library, Lake City, TN
              Betty Anne Jolly Norris Community Library, Norris, TN
              Oak Ridge Public Library, Oak Ridge, TN
              Altamont Public Library, Altamont, TN
              Beersheba Springs Public Library, Beersheba Springs, TN
              Coalmont Public Library, Coalmont, TN
              Monteagle (May Justus Memorial Library), Monteagle, TN
              Palmer Public Library, Palmer, TN
              Tracy City Public Library, Tracy City, TN
              Sequatchie County Public Library, Dunlap, TN
              Jasper Public Library, Jasper, TN
              Beene-Pearson Public Library, South Pittsburg, TN
              Orena Humphreys Public Library, Whitwell, TN
              Bledsoe County Public Library, Pikeville, TN
              Barbara Reynolds Carr Memorial Library, Tazewell, TN
              Caryville Public Library, Caryville,  TN
              Jacksboro Public Library, Jacksboro, TN
              Jellico Public Library, Jellico, TN
              LaFollette Public Library, LaFollette, TN
              Huntsville Public Library, Huntsville, TN
              Oneida Public Library, Oneida, TN
              Winfield Public Library, Winfield, TN
              Coalfield Public Library, Coalfield,  TN
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
              Deer Lodge Public Library, Deer Lodge, TN
              Oakdale Public Library, Oakdale, TN
              Petros Public Library, Petros, TN
              Sunbright Public Library, Sunbright, TN
              Wartburg Public Library, Wartburg, TN
              Art Circle Public Library, Crossville, TN
              Fentress County Public Library, Jamestown, TN

       Virginia
              Buchanan County  Public Library, Grundy, VA
              Wise County Public Library, Wise, VA
              Russell County Public Library, Lebanon, VA
              Tazewell County Public Library, Tazewell, VA
              Scott County Public Library, Gate City, VA
              Lee County Public Library, Pennington Gap, VA

       West Virginia
              Ansted Public Library, Ansted, WV
              Boone - Madison Public Library, Madison, WV
              Bradshaw Public Library , Davy, WV
              Clay  Co. Public Library,  Clay, WV
              Fort Gay Public Library,  Fort Gay, WV
              Gilbert Public Library, Gilbert, WV
              Glasgow Public Library,  Glasgow, WV
              Graigsville Public  Library, Graigsville, WV
              Fayetteville Public Library, Fayetteville, WV
              Fayette County Public Libraries, Oak Hill WV
              Hamlin - Lincoln Co., Hamlin WV
              Kanawha Co. Public, Charleston, WV
              Kermit Public Library, Kermit, WV
              Logan Area Public Library, Logan, WV
              Mingo County Public Library, Delbarton, WV
              McDowell County Public Library, Welch,  WV
              Oceana Public Library, Oceana, WV
              Raleigh Public Library, Beckley, WV
              Sutton Public Library,  Sutton, WV
              Wayne County Public Library, Kenova, WV
              Branch of Wayne County Public Library, Wayne, WV
              Whitesville Public Library, Whitesville, WV
       Organizations
       Arch Coal, Inc.
       Arch Coal, Inc., WV Operations (CSX)
       Bell County Coal Corporation
       Buckeye Forest Council
       Citizens Coal Council
Citizens & Tourists Against Leveling of WV
Coal Operators and Associates, Inc.
Concerned Citizens Coalition
EcoSource, Inc.
Greystone Environmental Consultants
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                                    October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
   Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       Howard Engineering & Geology, Inc.
       Interstate Mining Compact Commission
       Jackson & Kelly, Attorneys at Law
       Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
       Kentucky Coal Association
       Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
       Knott/Letcher/Perry Coal Operators
       Association
       Lone Mountain Processing, Inc.
       Massey Coal Services, Inc.
       Michael Baker Engineering Consultants
       Mountain State Justice, Inc.
       National Mining Association
       Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
       Pittston Coal Management

       Individuals
       Lynn Abbott
       Michael Abraham
       David Brandon Abshes
       Mark Abshire
       Lorranie J. Adams
       Geert Aerts
       Lee Agee
       Sandy Ahlstrom
       Julie Alaimo
       Geri Albers
       George & Frances Alderson
       Deborah C. Allen
       Christopher Ambrose
       Christopher Anderson
       Julie Arlington
       Harvard Ayers
       Janet Ayward
       Tina Bailey
       Jim Baird
       Ray and Arlene Baker
       Isabel Balboa
       Jessica Ballowe
       Carl B. Banks
       Israel Baran
       Leslie Elizabeth Barras
       Richard Baskin
       Susan Bechtholt
       Lawrence T. Beckerle
       Barbara Beer
Progress Coal Company
Samples Mine Complex
Schmid & Company, Inc.
Small Coal Operators Advisory Council
Summit Engineering, Inc.
Tennessee Coal Association
The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy
The Virginia Coal Association, Inc.
Virginia Mining Association
West Virginia Coal Association
West Virginia Mining & Reclamation
Association
West Virginia Environmental Council
WV Rivers Coalition
WV Sierra Club
Tricia Behle
Bob Bell
Gordon Bell
Vaughn Bell
Ella Belling
Arthur C. Benke, University of Alabama
David J. Berkland
Michael Bialas
Bonnie Biddison
Charles R. Biggs
Ida Binney
Cathie Bird
Kathy Birmingham
Stephanie Blessing
Ruth Bleuni
Margaret Block
Kathryn Blume
Julia Bonds
JeffBosley
Douglas Boucher
Brian Bowen, Jr.
Deborah Bowles
Randy Boyd
Gayle Brabec
Julia Brady
Sandra Brady
Paul Brant
Lee Bridges
Linda Brock
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                                   October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
   Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
      Dede Brown
      Megan Brown
      Shale Brownstein
      Mike Brumbaugh
      Mark Bruns
      Stephen Bull
      Doug Burge
      Mark Burger
      Moss Burgess
      Linda Burkhart
      Dianne Burnham
      Judy Burris
      Edmund Burrows
      Rick Cameron
      Beth Campbell
      Ruth Campbell
      Pauline Canterberry
      Nancy Carbonara
      Enid Cardinal
      Mary Lou Carswell
      Jenny Casey
      Sidni S. Cassel
      Don Cassidy
      Philip Castevens
      Billy Caudill
      Herman Caudill
      Therma Caudill
      Dan Chandler
      Dorsey Channel
      John W. and T. J. Chase
      Louise Chawla
      Arthur Childers
      Susan AR Cho
      Martin Christ
      Jerry Ciolino
      Matthew Cleveland
      Sister Mary Brigid Clingman
      Jerry L. Coalgate
      Marlene Cole
      Michael Compton
      James Conroy
      David S. Cooper
      Kennon R. Copeland
      Ruby B. Corbin
      Jennifer Cox
      John Cox
Owen Cox
James Crabb
Carol and Don Creager
Ruth H. Creger
Ryan Crehan
Kathy Cross
April & Jeff Crowe
Kate Cunningham
Marilynn Cuonzo
Marie Cyphert
Bernard L. Cyrus
Janet Dales
Mick Daugherty
Bongo Dave
J. Eric Davis, Jr.
William Dawson
Edna Dillon
Dee Dobben
Ira Dobin, Jr.
Elmer & Angela Dobson
B. Dominey
Gail  Douglas
Linda C. Downs
Waneta Dressier
Phoebe A. Driscoll
Kenneth Dufalla
Morris Dunlop
Bill Dwyer
Craig Edgerton
Edgar & lier Edinger
Dave Edwards
Robert Eggerling
Susan L. Eggert
Clara Else
Susan Emberley
Julie M. Emerson
Lawrence D. Emerson
Linda Lee Emrich
Kathleen Enders
Nancy Erps
Craig Etchison
Bill Ettinger
Alice Evans
McNair Ezzard
Pete  Farino
Estelle Fein
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                                  October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
   Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       Robert Fener
       Denise Ferguson
       Michael Ferrell
       Steve Fesenmaier
       Nathan Petty
       Arthur Figel
       Patrice Fisher
       Gerry & Louise Fitzgerald
       Anthony Flaccavento
       Agatha (Betty) Fleming
       Janet Fout
       Winnie Fox
       Luther E.  Franklin
       Tim Frasine
       Vincent Frazzetta
       Suzan Frecon
       Barbara Fredrickson
       Rachel Frith
       Don Gaines
       Pash Galbavy
       Francis J.  Gallagher
       Sister Marie Gangwish
       J. Steven Gardner
       Dawn Garten
       Mall Gartlan
       Lydia Garvey
       Glenn Gaskill
       Suzanne Gayetsky
       Mary Gee
       Melissa Gee
       Dan Geiger
       Andy Gelston
       Mike George
       Helen Gibbins
       Larry Gibson
       Meagan Gibson
       Jay Gilliam
       Christopher Goddard
       Gay Goforth
       Crystal Good
       Donny Good
       Joanne H. Granzow
       Dana Graves
       Margaret M. Gregg
       Robert Gipe
       Karen Grubb
David L. Haberman, Indiana University
Deirdra Halley
Emilie Hamilton
Hann
Dr. Stephen Handel, Dept of Ecology,
Evolution, & Natural Resources
Karl Hanzel
David Haudrich
Alice Hardin
Jerry Hardt
William Hardy
Roy B. Harless, Jr.
Ronda Harper
Mark Harris
Anne R. Harvey
Erica Harvey
Tracy Hasuga
Marlon Henn
Dan Hensley
Robert Hensley
Caroline Hice
Susan L. Hickman
Sanford Higginbotham
Monica Hill
Marty Killer
Danita Hines
Robert B. Hiser
Paul A. Hodder
Sharon Hodges
Steve Hodges
Andy Hodgman
Dr. Karen Holl, University of California
Mr. Arthur B. Holmes
Mark Homer
John Hopkins
Patricia R. Hopkins
Pierre Howard
Renee Hoyos
Patrick Huber
Robert Huddleston
Mary Hufford, University of Pennsylvania
Barbara Hutchison-Smith
Martha Hutson
Carole Hyre
Robert lies
Michael A. Jablonski
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                                   October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
   Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
      Donnie Jackson
      Gordon James
      Roberta A. James
      Phyllis Jenness
      Sarah A. Jessup, D. O.
      John Jodine
      Emily Johnson
      James Johnson
      Jane Johnson
      Mrs. Eleanor Johnson
      Katie Johnson
      Andrew Jones
      Chelsea Jones
      Deborah Jones
      Lora Jones
      Mary Lou Jones
      Roger Jones
      Tim Jones
      Richard E. Jorgensen
      Tom Joy
      Al Justice
      Edward Kadane
      Ray Kamstra
      Dan Kash
      Barry Katzen
      Robert Keiilback
      Mary Corst Kelley
      Cindy Kendrick
      Oren Kennedy
      Oren Kennedy
      Birtrun Kidwell
      Carol Anne Kilgore
      Sterling Kinnell
      Laura Klein
      William Kling
      Raymond Koffler
      Gerri Kolesar
      Vanessa Kranda
      Jud Kratzer
      Scott Kravitz
      Tom Kruzen
      Glenn Kuehne
      Kara & Kenneth Kukovich
      John L.
      Alexandra Lamb
      Sloane T. Lamb
Melissa Lambert
Denise Lamobaw
Jackie Lancaster
Susan Lander
Jennifer Lantz
Tim Larrick
Phyllis H. Law
F. Carey Lea
Igal Levy
Elizabeth Lewis
Norma Lewis
Tom Lewis
Betta Leyland
Eric Lillyblad
Joan V. Linville
William J.  Linville
Nannie Linville
Josh Lipton
Curt A. Livingston, Sr.
Julie Longman-Pollard
Sherry Lorenz
David and  Marsha Low
Benjamin M. Lowman
Lois A. Ludwig
Tom Luther
The Lynch Family
Ann Lynnworth
Lawrence B. Lyon, Jr.
Dr. Malcolm R. MaePherson
Andy Mahler
Craig Mains
O. Mandrussow
Jay Rog Mar
Carli Mareneck
Thomas Marshalek
Julia Martin
Namon Martin
Rev. Mary McAnally
Dara L. McCarty
Erika McCarty
Leslee McCarty
Don McClung
Kerry McClure
Chelena McCoy
Harold McCurdy
Leah McDonald
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                                  October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
   Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       Howard McFann
       John McFerrin
       Scott McGarrity
       Carol McGeehan
       M. McGeorge
       Margaret McGinnis
       Judith McHugh
       Meagan McKay
       Catherine McKenzie
       Bonni McKeown
       Cathe McLaughlin
       Corinna McMackin
       James & Carla McMillin
       Janet Comperry McReynolds
       Gary Meade
       Shawn Meagher
       Colby Mecham
       Elaine Melnick
       Barbara Mendelsohn
       Ricardo Mendez
       Barbara & Val Menendez
       Jennifer Merrick
       Richard W. Merritt, Michigan State
       University
       Robert A. Mertz
       James & Teresa Mesich
       Alissa Meyer
       Judith L. Meyer, University of Georgia
       Greg Miles
       C. Sue Miles
       Leon & Lualle Miller
       Mary Miller
       Michael Miller
       Regina Miller
       Robin Mills
       Phyllis Mingo
       Georgia Miniard
       Steve Mininger
       Carol Mintz
       Jonathan Mirgeaux
       Denver Mitchell
       Keith Mohn
       William A. Montgomery
       John H. Mooney
       Bryan K. Moore
       Maryhea Morelock
B. Morgan
John Morgan, Morgan Worldwide
Consulting
J. Jeffrey Morris
John C. Morse, Clemson University
Robert Moss
Robert F. Mueller
David Muhly
Dr. Mendi Mullett
Cory Munson
Mark Murphy
Sheldon A. Myers
Grace E. Naccarato
Susan Nadeau
Patricia Napier
Nanette Nelson
Paul Nelson
Joanne Nemec
Mike Newell
Brad Newsham
Duane G. Nichols
Dr. Karl K. Norton
Jason O'Brian
Peggy O'Kane
Ethel Oldham
Russell Oliver
Steven J. Olshewsky
Tony Oppegard
Marilyn Ortt
Clark Orwick
Amanda O'Shea
Jim Ottaviani
Judy Otto
Jon Owens
Richard Packman
Aleta Pahl
Lori Parsley
Lynn Partington
Mary Pasti
Cynthia Patterson & Peter J. Schrand
Leiter Patton
Jerone Paul
K. Payne
Karen Payne
Ray Payne
Dolores Perez
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
   Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       John H. Perez
       Candice C. Peters
       Ian Petersen
       Denise Peterson
       Dean Petrich
       Deborah Brooks Pettry
       Amelia Pickering
       Joseph F. & Helen D. Pickering
       Joseph Presson
       Andrew Price
       Donna Price
       Perrie'Lee Prouty
       Sean Quinlan
       Christine Rafal
       Linda Rago
       Rev. Mary Donelle Ramsay
       Dr. Jan Randall, San Francisco State
       University
       Kevin M. Randall
       M. Rauen
       John S. Rausch
       Lisa Rayburn
       Eric Rechel
       Patricia Reed
       Mrs. Juanita Reese
       Linda Reeves
       Dylan C.  Reid
       Richard Reis
       Jordan Reiter
       John Reppun
       Michelle Reynolds
       James Richard
       Nancy Riley
       Paul Robertson
       Richard Robertson
       Thomas Robertson
       J. W. Robinson, Jr.
       Henri Roca, Marshall University School of
       Medicine
       Hugh Rogers
       Michael Romo
       Ruth Rosenthal
       Greg Roth
       Lionel Ruberg
       Stephen E. Rudolph
       Steve Rutledge
Mark Van Ryzin
Paul Sainato
Sue Anne Salmon
Manuel Sanchez
Bennett Sawyers
Ashlee Say lor
Abraham Scarr
Paul Schaefer
Marsha & Richard S cherub el
Kenny Schmidt
Betty Schnaar
Rose Alma Schuler
Lauren Schwartz
Bruce Scott
William Scott, III
Rebecca Scott
Jason Scullion
Robert Seaver
Linda Sekura
Danny Sergent
Dink Shackleford, VMA
Justine Sharp
Llyn Sharp
Walt R. Sharpe
Sue Sharps
Susan Shriner
Lance Eric  Schultz
June Silverman
Willis E.  Simms
Jeffrey A. Simmons, West Virginia
Wesleyan College
Pat Simpson
John Singleton
Tom Skergan
Harry E. Slack, III
Mr. Francis D. Slider
Deana Steiner Smith
Eric T. Smith
Jill S. Smith
T. Smith
Jonathan  Smuck
Billy R. Smutko
Susan Sobkoviak
Richard Sommer
Constance S. Sowards
Wayne C. Spiggle
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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
   Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       Daniel Spilman
       Joel Spoonheim
       Richard Spotts
       Richard Spotts
       Tom Spry
       Sue Staehli
       Robert Stanley
       Ellender Stanchina
       Dallas Staten
       Steven A. Stathakis
       Fitz Steele
       Edward H. Stein
       Jim Steitz
       Judith Stetson
       Elaine Stoltzfus
       Kathryn Allen Stone
       Kermit Stover & Cindy Stover
       Sally Streeter
       Joseph Strobel
       Jean Agnus Strong
       Keller Suberkropp, University of Alabama
       William D. Sullivan
       Jim Sweeney
       Chetan Talwalkar
       Lesley Tate
       William Taylor
       Darla A. Tewell
       Jackie Thaxton
       Dean Thayer
       Paul Thompson
       Rose Thompson
       Derek & Ershel Thornsberry
       Mildred Thornsberry
       Barry Tonning
       Steve Torrico
       Georgia Townsend
       Philip Tracy
       Roy E. Trent
       Phil Triolo
       Martha A.  Turnquist
       Ellisa Valoe
       Mary C. Vassalls
       Corey Vernier
       Judith Walker
Dr. Bruce Wallace, Professor of
Entomology & Ecology
Patty Wallace
David W. Walters
Richard E. Walters
Barbara A. Walton
Rufus Wanning
Carol E. Warren
Kenneth S. Warren
C. Lee Webb
Matt Webber
Robert L. Weikle, Jr.
Diane Wellman
Eric Wessels
Julya Westfall
Marian Weston
James M. White
Julia Whiteker
Gregory Wilcox
Mae Ellen Wildt
Susan Williams
Suzanne H. Williams
Waimea Williams
Paul Wilson
Sara Wilts
Victoria Wutke
Vickie Wolfe, University of Charleston
Doug Wood
Dr. Petra Wood
Ivan & Jean Woods
Tanya & Jim Woods
Anne Woodsbury
Nancy Hyden Woodward
Daniel Wright
Mingjane Wu
Bryan Wyberg
Chuck Wyrostok
Eleanor & John Yackel
Lynn & Chess  Yellott
Geoffrey M. Young
Walter Young
Mary L. Yunker
David Zeff
Carol Zeigler
Page 95
                                   October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
       9.     References
       Bragg v. Robertson, Civ. No. 2:98-0636 (S.D. W.V.).
       Densmore,  David,  U.S.  Fish  and Wildlife  Service. Letter to Allyn  Turner, West Virginia
             Department of Environmental Protection. 16 January 2004,
       Executive  Order  12898.  "Federal Actions  To Address  Environmental Justice  in  Minority
             Populations and Low-Income Populations". 11 February 1994.
       Executive  Order 13186.  "Responsibilities of Federal Agencies To Protect Migratory Birds".
             10 January 2001.
       Fulk, Florence et al. "Ecological  Assessment of Streams in the Coal Mining Region of West
             Virginia Using Data Collected by the U.S. EPA and Environmental Consulting Firms".
             U.S.  Environmental Protection  Agency,  National  Exposure  Research  Laboratory.
             February 2003.
       Handel,  S.N. "Mountaintop  Removal Mining/Valley  Fill  Environmental  Impact  Statement
             Technical Study Project Report for Terrestrial  Studies: Terrestrial Plant (spring herbs,
             woody plants) Populations  of Forested and Reclaimed Sites" Rutgers University. 2003.
       Kentucky Riverkeeper, Inc. et al. v. Rowlette, etal, CVNo. 05-18 IDLE (E.D. Kentucky).
       Lemly, A. D. "A Teratogenic Deformity Index for Evaluating Impacts of Selenium  on Fish
             Populations". Ecotoxicol. Environ. Safety. 37:259-266. 1997.
       Lemly,  A.  D. "Toxicology  of Selenium  in a  Freshwater  Reservoir:  Implications  for
             Environmental Hazard Evaluation and Safety". Ecotoxicol.  Environ. Safety. 10:314-338.
             1985.
       Messinger,  T., and D. B.  Chambers. "Fish  communities and their relation to environmental
             factors in the Kanawha River  basin, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina,  1997-
             98." USGS Charleston, West Virginia. 2001.
       Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, etal. v. Bulen, etal., Nos. 04-2129(L), 04-2137, 04-2402;
             U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (OVEC vs. Bulen).
       U.S.  Army Corps of Engineers.  "Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement To
             Consider Policies, Guidance, and Processes To Minimize the Environmental Impacts of
             Mountaintop Mining and Valley Fills in the Appalachian Coalfields". Federal Register 64
             FR5778. 5 February 1999.
       U.S.  Army Corps  of Engineers;  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;  Office of Surface
             Mining; and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Memorandum Of Understanding ... for the
             Purpose  of Providing  Concurrent and Coordinated Review and Processing of Surface
             Coal  Mining Applications Proposing Placement of Dredged and/or  Fill Material  in
             Waters Of The United States." February 2005.
       U.S.  Army Corps  of Engineers;  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;  Office of Surface
             Mining; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and West Virginia Department of Environmental
             Protection. Mountaintop  Mining/Valley Fills  in Appalachia,  Draft Programmatic
             Environmental Impact Statement. June 2003.
Page 96                                                                                 October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                   Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       U.S. Army Corps  of  Engineers; U.S. Environmental Protection  Agency; Office of Surface
             Mining; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and West Virginia Department of Environmental
             Protection. "Announcement of Draft  Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
             (DEIS) availability  and notice of public hearings." Federal Register 68 FR 32487. 30
             May 2003.
       U.S. Department Of The Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and  Enforcement.
             "Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement [to analyze the effects
             of possibly revising  our regulations pertaining to excess spoil generation and disposal and
             stream buffer zones.]" Federal Register 70 FR 35112. 16 June 2005.
       U.S. Department Of The Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. "30
             CFR Parts 780, 816, and 817  Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Operations; Excess
             Spoil;  Stream Buffer Zones; Diversions; Proposed Rule". Federal Register 69 1035.  7
             January 2004.
       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Draft Aquatic Life Water  Quality  Criteria for
             Selenium".  Office of Water; Office of Science and Technology.  Online. Available:
             <http: //www. epa. gov/watersci ence/criteri a/sel enium/index. htm> Novemb er 2004.
       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Draft Aquatic Life Water  Quality  Criteria for
             Selenium". March 2002.
       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  "Notice of Availability  of Draft National  Pollution
             Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permits MAG910000 and NHG910000
             for Discharges  From  Groundwater  Remediation and  Miscellaneous  Surface Water
             Discharge Activities in the States of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and Indian
             Country  Lands  in  the  State  of Massachusetts". Federal  Register 69 FR 75541. 17
             December 2004
       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A Survey of the Water Quality of Streams in the Primary
             Region ofMountaintop/ValleyFill Coal Mining. Final Report. April 2002.
       U.S.  Environmental  Protection  Agency.  Public  Comment  Compendium:  Mountaintop
             Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia Environmental Impact Statement. September 2005.
       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Water Quality Standards Handbook. 2nd ed. EPA 823-B-
             94-005a. August 1994.
       U.S. Fish  and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  The Value of Headwater Streams:  Results  of  a
             Workshop, State College, Pennsylvania, April 13,  1999.  Sponsored by the Pennsylvania
             Field Office. April 2000.
       Weakland,  Cathy,  A.,  and Wood,  Petra  Bohall.   "Cerulean  Warbler (Dendroica  Ceruled)
             Microhabitat and Landscape-level Habitat Characteristics in Southern West Virginia in
             Relation to  Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills". Final Project Report. USGS Biological
             Resources Division and West Virginia University, Division of Forestry. December 2002.
       West  Virginia  Legislative   Auditor,  Performance  Evaluation  And  Research Division.
             "Preliminary Performance Review. The Office of Explosives and Blasting.  The Office of
             Explosives  and Blasting is  Not Meeting  All  Required Mandates."  PE02-36-268.
             December 2002.
Page 97                                                                                 October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia
Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
      West Virginia Legislative Auditor, Performance Evaluation And Research Division. Preliminary
             Performance Review.  The Office of Explosives and Blasting. "Although the OEB has
             Made Progress in Achieving Mandates, There  is Still  a Backlog of Claims to be
             Resolved." PE 03-23-298. November 2003.
      Wood,  Petra  Bohall, and  Edwards John  W.  Mountaintop Removal Mining/Valley  Fill
             Environmental Impact Statement Technical Study;  Project Report For Terrestrial
             Studies;  Terrestrial  Vertebrate   (Breeding  Songbird,   Raptor,  Small  Mammal,
             Herpetofaunal) Populations of Forested and Reclaimed Sites. Division of Forestry, West
             Virginia University and Biological Resources Division, USGS. September 2001.
       10.  Reader's Guide to Acronyms  

       ADID       Advanced Identification
       APA        Administrative Procedures Act
       AOC        Approximate Original Contour
       BMP        Best Management Practices
       CEQ        Council on Environmental Quality
       CFR        Code of Federal Regulations
       CHIA       Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Assessment
       CMD        Coal Mine Drainage
       COE        U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
       CWA        Clean Water Act
       DPEIS       Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. This acronym is used when
                   describing or referring to the DPEIS released June 2003.
       EIS         Environmental Impact Statement
       FPEIS       Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. This acronym is used when
                   describing or referring to the FPEIS that incorporates the draft document released
                   June 2003.
       EO          Executive Order
       ESA        Endangered Species Act of 1973
       EPA        United States Environmental Protection Agency
       e.g.          For example
       FR          Federal Register
       FWS        United States Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. Department of the Interior)
       IP           Individual Permit
       JPP         Joint Permit Processing
       MOU        Memorandum of Understanding
       MTM        Mountaintop Mining
       MTM/VF    Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fill
       NEPA       National Environmental Policy Act of 1969,  P.L. 91 -190
       NOI         Notice of Intent
       NPDES      National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
       NWP        Nationwide Permit
       OSM        United States Office of Surface Mining (U.S. Department of the Interior)
       PEIS        Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
Page 98
                               October 2005

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Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fills in Appalachia                    Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement


       PHC         Probable Hydrologic Consequences
       PIR          Public Interest Review
       P.L.          Public Law (of the United States)
       ppb          parts per billion
       SBZ         Stream Buffer Zone
       SMCRA      Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977
       TMDL       Total Maximum Daily Loads
       USGS        United States Geological Survey (U.S. Department of the Interior)
       U.S.         United States
       WVDEP      West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Page 99                                                                                  October 2005

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    Appendix
Errata Continuation

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Pages Missing from DPEIS

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                             III. Affected Environment and Consequences of MTM/VF

                                 Table III.L-5
                 Example MTM/VF Mine Economic Analysis
                            MANPOWER TABLE
 Period: Full Year
         # Production Days = 260 days
C.T. Per M.H.
BCY Per M.H.


7.25
108.90
Manpower
Position
25 yd. Front Shovel
210 Ton Rock Track
Fill Dozer
18% yd. Backhoe
150 Ton Rock Track
Fill Dozer
16 yd. Endloader
150 Ton Rock Track
Fill Dozer
45 yd. Bull Dozer
Development Dozer
Reclamation Dozer
16 yd. Coal Loader
9 yd. Coal Loader
Drillers
Motor Grader
Water Track
Mechanics/Welders
P.M. Technicians
Fueler/Greaser
Blasters
Blasting foreman
Prod. Foreman
Maint. Foreman
Maint. Planner
Prod. Engineer
Superintendant
Total
Day
1
3
1
1
3
1
1
2
1
4
2
1
2
2
4
1
1
2
1
1
6
1
1
1
1
1
1
47
Evening
1
3
1
1
3
1
1
2
1
4
2
1
2
2
3
1
1
6
2
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
42
Total
2
6
2
2
6
2
2
4
2
8
4
2
4
4
7
2
2
8
3
2
6
1
2
2
2
1
1
89
Job
Description
O.B. Loading
O.B. Haulage
Run Fill
O.B. Loading
O.B. Haulage
Run Fill
O.B. Loading
O.B. Haulage
Run Fill
Prod. Dozing
Development
Reclamation
Coal Prep. Ldg.
Coal Prep. & Ldg.
O.B. Drilling
Road Maint.
Dust Control
Maintenance
Maintenance
Maintenance
Blasting
D & B Superv.
Shift Superv.
Maint. Superv.
Maint. Scheduling
Engineering
General Superv.

O.B.
Production
7,500,000


5,800,000


4,100.,000


7,800,000

















25,200,000
#
Prod.
Days
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260
260

Hrs.
Per
Day
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

Total
Manhours
5,200
15,600
5,200
5,200
15,600
5,200
5,200
10,400
5,200
20,800
10,400
5,200
10,400
10,400
18,200
5,200
5,200
20,800
7,800
5,200
15,600
2,600
5,200
5,200
5,200
2,600
2,600
231,400
                                                        Source: Meikle & Fincham, 1999
Mountaintop Mining / Valley Fill DEIS
                                     m.L-14
                                                                             2003

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                            III. Affected Environment and Consequences of MTM/VF

                                Table III.L-6
                Example MTM/VF Mine Economic Analysis of
                     Earnings Before Interest and Taxes

Parameter
Revenues
Revenues Per ton
Total Project
$$
$405.800.604
$24.75
$$ Per BCY
$1.65

$$ Per C.T.
$24.75

Non-Mining Costs:
Sales Related Costs
Intercompany Royalties
Intercompany Commissions
Trucking
Other Transportation Costs
Preparation Costs
Subtotal
Net Realization
$59,771,560
$0
$4,098,996
$33,666,422
$9,837,593
$12,752,441
$120,127,012
$285,673,592
$0.24
$0.00
$0.02
$0.14
$0.04
$0.05
$0.49
$1.16
$3.65
$0.00
$0.25
$2.05
$0.60
$0.78
$7.33
$17.42
Indirect Costs:
Overhead
Reclamation
Subtotal
$8,996,465
$2,459,394
$11,455,859
$0.04
$0.01
$0.05
$0.55
$0.15
$0.70
Mining Costs:
Labor
Supplies
Subtotal
Cash Margin
Cash Margin Per Ton
Cash Cost Per Ton
Direct D.D. & A.
Indirect D.D. & A.
Subtotal
Earnings Before Interest & Taxes
$83,956,796
$112,056,241
$196,013,037
$78,204,696
$4.77
$19.98
$51,691,246
$0
$51,691,246
$26,513,450
$0.34
$0.45
$0.80
$0.32


$0.21
$0.00
$0.21
$0.11
$5.12
$6.83
$11.95
$4.77


$3.15
$0.00
$3.15
$1.62
                                                       Source: Meikle & Fincham, 1999
Mountaintop Mining / Valley Fill DEIS
                                    m.L-15
                                                                           2003

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                           III. Affected Environment and Consequences of MTM/VF

                               Table III.L-7
                Example MTM/VF Mine Economic Analysis
            CAPITAL INVESTMENT STATISTICS ($millions)
Parameter
E.B.I.T.
Taxes @
30%
Commissions
Taxes on
Comm.
Intercompany
Royalty
Taxes on
Intercompany
Tax Savings
Depl.
Net Income
(Add) DD&P
(Less) CapEx
Net Cash
Flow
Initial
Inv.
YearO
SO.OO
$0.00
SO.OO
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$3.86
($3.86)
Year #1
$2.43
$0.73
$0.42
$0.13
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$2.09
$5.29
$37.06
($29.77)
Year
#2
$2.57
$0.77
$0.42
$0.13
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$2.14
$5.29
$0.48
$6.90
Year
#3
$2.64
$0.79
$0.42
$0.13
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$2.14
$5.29
$0.23
$7.21
Year
#4
$2.79
$0.84
$0.42
$0.13
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$2.25
$5.22
$0.48
$6.99
Year
#5
$2.82
$0.85
$0.42
$0.13
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$2.27
$5.23
$2.78
$4.72
Year
#6
$1.45
$0.44
$0.42
$0.13
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$1.31
$6.53
$10.66
($2.82)
Year
#7
$1.55
$0.47
$0.42
$0.13
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$1.38
$6.53
$1.70
$6.21
Year
#8
$1.70
$0.51
$0.42
$0.13
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$1.49
$6.48
$0.00
$7.97
Year
#9
$5.22
$1.57
$0.42
$0.13
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$3.95
$2.97
$2.55
$4.37
Year
#10
$3.33
$1.00
$0.32
$0.10
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$2.56
$2.85
$0.00
$5.41
Year
#11
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
($6.65)
$6.65
N.P.V. @ 5%
N.P.V. @ 8%
N.P.V. @ 10%
I.R.R.
Payback Period
$7.45
$2.26
($0.52)
9.60%
7.56 yrs
Cash Flows 1-11
E.B.I.T.
Net Inc.
Net Cash
$26.51
$21.43
$19.98
                                                    Source: Meikle & Fincham, 1999
Mountaintop Mining / Valley Fill DEIS
                                  m.L-16
                                                                       2003

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                               III. Affected Environment and Consequences of MTM/VF
                                    Table III.L-8
                                  Individual Taxes
                By Total Mine Life Cost and Cost Per Ton of Coal
Taxes
Personal Property Tax
Worker's Compensation
Matching PICA
Unmined Mineral Tax
Franchise Tax
Severance Tax
Black Lung Tax
Federal Reclamation Tax
WV Special Assessment
Federal & State Income Tax
TOTAL
Total Mine Life Cost
$3,132,574
$5,559,085
$3,097,378
$1,173,000
$504,390
$20,290,033
$8,747,264
$5,566,431
$819,798
$9,183,734
$58,073,684
Cost Per Ton of Coal
$0.1 9 per ton
$0.34 per ton
$0.1 9 per ton
$0.07 per ton
$0.03 per ton
$1.24 per ton
$0.53 per ton
$0.34 per ton
$0.05 per ton
$0.5 6 per ton
$3.54 per ton
Individual taxes and tax rates vary between states in the study area.  It is predicted that total taxes
would be $4,189,994 less if this same operation where conducted in Kentucky, and $12,187,134 less
if it were conducted in Virginia.

4.     Mining Method Considerations

Selection of the appropriate mining method(s) for a given site is a complicated, iterative process
during the mine feasibility evaluation and planning stages. Choices are typically driven by the desire
to maximize coal recovery with the least expensive mining method that is practical for a given coal
seam. This section summarizes the basic considerations for mine method selection.
a.
Mine Method Selection Factors
The  two basic  options in mine method selection are surface and underground mining,  or a
combination of the two. For surface operations, contour, area, and mountaintop removal methods
are available individually or in combination, and room and pillar and/or longwall mining are available
for underground operations. The primary factors used for deciding between the individual methods
are summarized in Table in.L-9.
Mountaintop Mining / Valley Fill DEIS
                                        m.L-17
                                                                                   2003

 image: 






USFWS letter report

 image: 






               United States Department of the Interior

                              FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
                                   Pennsylvania Field Office
                                         Suite 322
                                    315 South Allen Street
                                State College, Pennsylvania 16801


                                               January 16, 2004
Allyn Turner
Director, Division of Water and Waste Management
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
414 Summers Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Dear Ms. Turner:

During the spring and summer of 2003, we conducted a survey of selenium in fish, water, and
sediments in various waterbodies in southern West Virginia.  Because U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency studies for the draft Environmental Impact Statement on Mountaintop
Mining/Valley Fills found high selenium concentrations in waters downstream of valley fills,
and selenium is highly bioaccumulative and toxic to fish and wildlife, we were interested in
determining whether the waterborne selenium downstream of valley fills is accumulating in fish
tissues to ecologically relevant levels.  In addition, because mercury is associated with coal and
also bioaccumulates, we initially included mercury in our chemical analysis.

We conducted our sampling May 28-30, and August 19-21, 2003.  Most of the streams we
sampled were previously sampled for selenium in water by EPA or WVDEP. As a cost-saving
measure, we did not collect water samples in those locations; however,  we did collect a sediment
sample at each location.  When sampling stream fish, we targeted primarily creek chubs and
blacknose dace.  These species are efficient bioaccumulators of selenium (bioaccumulation
factors of 4,545 and 4,590, respectively; Mason et al. 2000), and would be expected to serve as a
food source for birds such as the belted kingfisher and great blue heron. Selenium in fish
consumed by these birds could be transferred to offspring in bird eggs, resulting in embryo
mortality or deformity (Lemly 2002).

We also sampled East Lynn and Beech Fork Lakes in Wayne County, and one stream in each of
their watersheds (Trough Fork and Miller's Fork, respectively).  The East Lynn watershed is
heavily mined, while the Beech Fork watershed is relatively undisturbed by mining.  For the
lakes, we targeted bluegill, largemouth bass, gizzard shad, and white crappie.  Samples included
whole fish, fillet (left side, skin on, scaled), and  eggs.

Table 1 provides results for streams in the Little Coal/Coal River, Big Coal River, and Mud
River watersheds, and one sedimentation pond downstream of a valley fill at the head of Trace

 image: 






 Branch.  Table 2 provides results for East Lynn and Beech Fork Lakes, and Trough and Miller's
 Forks.

 Mercury analysis was conducted only on samples collected in May.  Mercury was found in only
 one stream fish sample (creek chubs from Stanley Fork), but was present in many of the lake fish
 samples. Mercury was not found in any of our sediment samples, or in any of four water
 samples. Because of the low incidence of detections in the stream samples, we did not submit
 the August stream samples for mercury analysis.

 Selenium was present in all fish samples. As a guideline for evaluating the ecological
 significance of the selenium concentrations, we used Lemly (2002).  Based on  a synthesis and
 interpretation of scientific literature, Lemly has established "toxic effect thresholds for selenium
 in aquatic ecosystems," which he describes as "levels at which toxic effects begin to occur in
 sensitive species offish and aquatic birds. They are not levels that signify the point at which all
 species die from selenium poisoning" (p. 31). Lemly's values and associated biological effects
 in fish are 8 ppm (dw) for fillets1 (reproductive failure); 10 ppm for eggs (reproductive  failure);
 and 4 ppm for whole fish (mortality of juveniles and reproductive failure).  For  reproductive
 failure in birds, Lemly cites 7 ppm in food chain organisms.

 Creek chubs and blacknose dace collected from Trace Branch, Sugartree Branch, and Stanley
 Fork (where EPA or WVDEP had previously identified selenium water concentrations  above the
 EPA chronic water quality criterion of 5 ug/1) contained selenium at concentrations above
 Lemly's 4 ppm toxic effect threshold level for whole fish. Our water sample from a valley fill
 sedimentation pond at the head of Trace Branch hollow contained 6.44 ug/1 selenium, and
 bluegill captured in the pond contained 6.89 ppm selenium.  Selenium levels in fish samples
 from the Trace Branch pond and Sugartree Branch were just below the 7 ppm threshold value for
 reproductive failure in birds.

 Fish from several streams where other agencies had documented stream selenium concentrations
 greater than the EPA criterion did not exceed the Lemly threshold values.  Among many possible
 explanations for this is evidence that other water quality parameters, especially  sulfates, can
 interfere with selenium uptake (Great Lakes Environmental Center 2002).  In studies related to
 the EIS for mountaintop mining, EPA identified high sulfate concentrations at many sampling
 locations.

No fish or fish eggs collected from Beech Fork Lake or East Lynn Lake contained selenium at
 concentrations above Lemly's thresholds.  However, tissue selenium concentrations were
generally higher in the East Lynn samples, and long-term monitoring of this situation is
 advisable. Selenium concentrations in creek chub samples from both Trough Fork and  Miller's
 Fork were low relative to other streams in our survey.

 Our results show that selenium present in surface waters in southern West Virginia is
bioavailable, and that violations of the EPA selenium water quality criterion may result  in
       Note that Lemly's fillet values are for skinless fillets, and our samples were skin-on.

 image: 






 selenium concentrations in fish that could adversely affect fish reproduction.  In some cases, fish
 tissue concentrations were near levels believed to pose a risk to fish-eating birds.  It is likely that
 benthic invertebrates in some of these streams would be similarly contaminated, thereby posing a
 risk to birds that depend upon aquatic insects as a food supply (e.g., Louisiana waterthrush).
 Accordingly, we believe that the potential for release of selenium during and after mining should
 be assessed to ensure that future permits are not issued where there is a likelihood that selenium
 water quality standards will be violated.  We are aware that the West Virginia Geological Survey
 has analyzed the selenium content of coal in various locations  (www.wvgs.wvnet.edu/
 www/datastat/te/Maps/Semapmax.gif). If those results can be correlated to the selenium water
 and fish data, it may be possible to develop coal and/or overburden analysis requirements for
 permit applicants that would characterize the degree of selenium risk associated with a given
 application.

 If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Cindy Tibbott of my staff at
 814-234-4090, ext. 226.
                                                David Densmore
                                                Supervisor
Literature Cited

Great Lakes Environmental Center.  2002. Draft aquatic life water quality criteria for selenium.
Traverse City, MI.

Lemly, A.D.  2002.  Selenium assessment in aquatic ecosystems: Aguide for hazard evaluation
and water quality criteria. New York: Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.  162 pp.

Mason, R. P., J-M. Laporte, and S. Andres. 2000. Factors controlling the bioaccumulation of
mercury, arsenic, selenium, and cadmium by freshwater invertebrates and fish. Arch. Environ.
Contam.  Toxicol. 38:283-297 (as cited in Great Lakes Environmental Center 2002).

 image: 






Table 1.  Results of sediment, water, and fish tissue analyses for selenium and mercury in samples collected from various
        waterbodies in southern West Virginia.
Location, collection date,
lat/long
Little Coal/Coal River Waters
Spruce/White Oak Branch
28-May-03
37.86289, -81.803831
Coal/Trace Branch Pond
29-May-03
37.87704, -81.84137
Coal/Left Fork Beech
28-May-03
37.905423, -81.846021
Coal/Trace Branch
29-May-03
37.87655, -81.83786
Big Coal River Watershed
Ewing Fork
20-Aug-03
37.91067, -81.32799
Clear Fork/Sycamore Creek
20-Aug-03
37.93762, -81.42299
Clear Fork/Rockhouse Creek
19-Aug-03
37° 57.952, -81° 30.096
White Oak/ Left Fork
1 9-Aug-03
38030.7,81 31 41
Seng Creek
20-Aug-03
37° 59.981, 81° 29.274
Buffalo Fork
20-Aug-03
37.899, -81.331
Other agency
station code
heds
EPA MT 39

EPA MT 34B
WVDEP
WVKC-10-T-19

EPA MT 69
EPA MT 81
WVDEP
WVKC-47A
WVDEP
WVKC-35E
WVDEP
WVKC-42
EPA MT 64
Other agency Se
water (mean, ug/l)

ND
(<2.99)

22.7
6.4

ND
(<2.99)
ND
(<2.99)
<5
7
16
13
Sediment
Se (ppm)

ND
(0.229)
0.525
0.486
ND
(<0.240)

0.221
0.113
0.455
1.49
0.479
0.387
Water Se
and Hg (ug/l)


Hg-ND
(<0.100)
Se- 6.44



Hg1.5
SeND
(<2.5)
Hg 1.01
SeND
(<2.5)




Fish species
(whole fish)

Creek chub
Creek chub
Creek chub
Bluegill
Creek chub
Creek chub
Creek chub

Blacknose dace
Blacknose dace
Creek chub
Blacknose dace
Creek chub
Creek chub
Blacknose dace
Creek chub
Blacknose dace
Mean fish
size (mm)

101
146
72
152
142
159
100

77
71
109
77
92
98
84
135
72
Fish Se
(ppm, dw)

1.86
1.43
3.19
6.89
3.05
5.5
6.04

2.9
2.45
0.845
1.86
1.33
1.73
2.75
2.06
0.91
Fish Hg1
(ppm.dw)

ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND


 image: 






Table 1 (continued).
Location, collection date,
lat/long
Mud River Watershed
Mud/Rushpatch Branch
21-Aug-03
38.04966, -81.93302
Mud/Stanley Fork
30-May-03
38.08506, -81.95601
Mud River
21V\ug-03
38.09191, -81. 97446
Mud/Sugartree Branch
30-May-03
38.09084, -81.95262
Other agency
station code
EPA MT 02

EPAMT15

EPA MT 23
EPAMT18

Other agency Se
water (mean, ug/l)
ND
(<2.99)
12.1

12.9
36.8

Sediment
Se (ppm)
ND
(<0.0679)

ND
(O.245)
0.134
0.192

Water Se
and Hg (ug/l)
Hg 0.952
SeND
(<2.5)





Fish species
(whole fish)
Blacknose dace
Creek chub
Creek chub
Creek chub
Creek chub
Blacknose Dace
Creek chub
Mean fish
size (mm)
59
109
185
84
108
75
104
Fish Se
(ppm, dw)
0.907
O.481
4.13
5.11
1.4
6.52
6.85
Fish Hg1
(ppm.dw)


0.28
ND

ND
ND
1 Mercury detection limits for fish tissue samples ranged from 0.145 to 0.200 ppm. August 2003 fish samples were not submitted for mercury analysis.

 image: 






Table 2. Results of sediment, water, and fish tissue analyses for selenium and mercury in samples collected from East Lynn and
   Beech Fork Lakes, and Trough and Miller's Forks, Wayne County.
Location, collection date, lat/long
East Lynn Lake
June 2, 2003
38.04561, -82.25049







Sediment 1
Se
(ppm dw)
ND
0.238







Water
Se and Hg
(Hg/0
ND
<.0999 Hg
<2.5Se







Fish species & tissue
Bluegill - 5 whole fish
Gizzard shad - 5 whole fish
Largemouth bass - 1 whole fish
(female, eggs removed)
Largemouth bass - 2 whole fish
White crappie - 2 whole fish
Largemouth bass - fillets from 5
fish
Gizzard shad - eggs from 1 fish
Largemouth bass - eggs from 1
fish (remainder analyzed whole
- see above)
Largemouth bass - eggs from 3
fish
Mean fish
size (mm)
89- 113
89 - 100
260
272
201
337
285
260
343
Tissue Se
(ppm, dw)
1.60
3.29
1.72
3.84
0.863
3.25 dw,
0.772 ww
3.54
3.17
4.73
Tissue Hg2
(ppm, dw)
ND
ND
0.340
0.370
0.175
l.OOdw,
0.238 ww
ND
ND
ND

 image: 






Location, collection date, lat/long
Beech Fork Lake
June 3, 2003
38.3133, -82.36219







Trough Fork
June 4, 2003
38.04561, -82.25049
Miller's Fork
June 4, 2003
38.04561, -82.25049
Sediment l
Se
(ppm dw)
ND
(O.238)







ND
(O.248)
ND
(O.243)
Water
Se and Hg
(US/I)
ND
(HgO.100
Se <2.50)









Fish species & tissue
Bluegill - 5 whole fish
Bluegill - 3 gravid females
Largemouth bass - 3 whole fish
White crappie - 5 fish
Largemouth bass - fillets from 1
gravid female
Largemouth bass - fillets from 1
gravid female and 1 male
Bluegill - eggs from 3 fish
Largemouth bass - eggs from 1
fish (same fish used for fillet,
above)
Largemouth bass - eggs from 1
fish
Creek chub
Creek chub
Mean fish
size (mm)
100
149
328.
125
455
400(1)
370 (m)
153
455
400
7.5-10 (5
fish)
7.5-8.5 (5
fish)
Tissue Se
(ppm, dw)
0.600
0.635
0.871
0.600
1.76dw,
0.422 ww
1.26dw,
0.490 ww
1.08
2.06
2.48
0.564
0.713
Tissue Hg2
(ppm, dw)
ND
ND
0.613
0.360
2.16dw,
0.517 ww
0.368 dw,
0.143 ww
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
1  Mercury was not detected in sediments. The detection limits ranged from 0.917 to 0.0990 ppm.




2 Mercury detection limits for tissue samples ranged from 0.145 to 0.200 ppm.

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USGS Water Quality in the
Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






   uses
science for a changing world
Water Quality in the
Kanawha-New River Basin
West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, 1996-98

                                      •^ v .
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Circular 1204

 image: 






 POINTS OF CONTACT AND ADDITIONAL  INFORMATION
The companion Web site for NAWQA summary reports:
http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/
Kanawha-New River Basin contact and Web site:
USGS State Representative
U.S. Geological Survey
Water Resources Division
11 Dunbar Street
Charleston, WV 25301
e-mail: dc_wv@usgs.gov
http://wv.usgs.gov/nawqa/
      National NAWQA Program:
      Chief, NAWQA Program
      U.S. Geological Survey
      Water Resources Division
      12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M.S. 413
      Reston, VA20192
      http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/
Other NAWQA summary reports

River Basin Assessments
Albemarle-Pamlico Drainage Basin (Circular 1157)
Allegheny and Monongahela River Basins (Circular 1202)
Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin (Circular 1164)
Central Arizona Basins (Circular 1213)
Central Columbia Plateau (Circular 1144)
Central Nebraska Basins (Circular 1163)
Connecticut, Housatonic, and Thames River Basins (Circular 1155)
Eastern Iowa Basins (Circular 1210)
Georgia-Florida Coastal Plain (Circular 1151)
Hudson River Basin (Circular 1165)
Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages (Circular 1203)
Las Vegas Valley Area and the Carson and Truckee River Basins
   (Circular 1170)
Lower Illinois River Basin (Circular 1209)
Long Island-New Jersey Coastal Drainages (Circular 1201)
Lower Susquehanna River Basin (Circular 1168)
Mississippi Embayment (Circular 1208)
Ozark Plateaus (Circular 1158)
Potomac River Basin (Circular 1166)
Puget Sound Basin (Circular 1216)
Red River of the North Basin (Circular 1169)
Rio Grande Valley (Circular 1162)
Sacramento River Basin (Circular 1215)
San Joaquin-Tulare Basins (Circular 1159)
Santee River Basin and Coastal Drainages (Circular 1206)
South-Central Texas (Circular 1212)
South Platte River Basin (Circular 1167)
Southern Florida (Circular 1207)
Trinity River Basin (Circular 1171)
Upper Colorado River Basin (Circular 1214)
Upper Mississippi River Basin (Circular 1211)
Upper Snake River Basin (Circular 1160)
Upper Tennessee River Basin (Circular 1205)
Western Lake Michigan Drainages (Circular 1156)
White River Basin (Circular 1150)
Willamette Basin (Circular 1161)

National Assessments
The Quality of Our Nation's Waters—Nutrients and Pesticides (Circular 1225)
Front cover: The Kanawha River at Kanawha Falls, West Virginia. (Photograph by David Fattaleh, West Virginia
Division of Tourism, and used by permission.)
Back cover: Left, Electrofishing on Sewell Creek at East Rainelle, West Virginia (photograph by Edward Vincent,
USGS); right, Mountaintop coal  mine near Kayford, West Virginia (photograph by James H.  Eychaner,  USGS).

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Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin
West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, 1996-98
ByKatherine S. Paybins, Terence Messinger, James H. Eychaner, Douglas B.
Chambers, anc/Mark D. Kozar
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY CIRCULAR  1204

 image: 






U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
GALE A.  NORTON, SECRETARY


U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Charles G. Groat, Director
The use of firm, trade, and brand names in this report is for identification purposes only and
does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Government.
2000
Free on application to the
U.S. Geological Survey
Information Services
Box 25286 Federal Center
Denver, CO  80225

Or call: 1-888-ASK-USGS
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publications Data

Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, 1996-98 / by
Katherine S. Paybins [et al.].
    p. cm. -- (U.S. Geological Survey Circular;  1204)
   Includes bibliographical references.
   ISBN 0-607-95412-4 (alk. paper)
  1. Water quality-West Virginia-Kanawha River.  2. Water quality-Virginia.  3. Water quality-North
Carolina.  I. Paybins, Katherine S., 1966-  II. Geological Survey (U.S.)  III. Series.

TD224.W4 W36 2000
363.739'42'097543-dc21
                                                                       00-049459

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CONTENTS
NATIONAL WATER-QUALITY ASSESSMENT PROGRAM     IV

SUMMARY OF MAJOR FINDINGS     1
   Stream and River Highlights    1
   Ground-Water Highlights    2

INTRODUCTION TO THE KANAWHA-NEW RIVER BASIN   3

MAJOR FINDINGS    5

   Persistent changes in water chemistry and aquatic biology are evident in coal-mined areas      5

     REGIONAL STUDY—Sulfate concentrations and biological communities in Appalachian
        coal fields indicated mining-related disturbances despite a general water-quality
        improvement between 1980 and 1998     9

     NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Effects of mining on invertebrate communities were of similar
        magnitude as the effects caused by urban development and agriculture nationally 11

   Some contaminants are widespread and present at potentially harmful concentrations in
      streambed sediment and fish tissue    11

   Fish communities differ considerably throughout the basin, but non-native species continue
      to expand their range 12

   High concentrations of fecal bacteria remain in streams if sources are close 14

   Nutrient and organic-chemical concentrations in surface water are low in most of the basin   15

   Radon concentrations and bacterial contamination are the principal ground-water-quality
      concerns  16

     NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Radon concentrations in ground water were among the
        highest in the Nation   18

STUDY UNIT DESIGN   20

GLOSSARY    22

REFERENCES  24

APPENDIX—WATER-QUALITY DATA FROM THE KANAWHA-NEW RIVER BASIN IN
   A NATIONAL CONTEXT   27
III

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NATIONAL WATER-QUALITY ASSESSMENT  PROGRAM
  THIS REPORT summarizes major findings about water quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin that emerged
from an assessment conducted between 1996 and 1998 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-
Quality Assessment (NAWQA)  Program. Water quality is discussed in terms of local and regional issues and com-
pared to conditions found in all  36 NAWQA study areas, called Study Units, assessed to date. Findings also are
explained in the context of selected national benchmarks, such as those for drinking-water quality and the protec-
tion of aquatic organisms. The NAWQA Program was not intended to assess the quality of the Nation's drinking
water, such as by monitoring water from household taps. Rather, NAWQA assessments focus on the quality of the
resource itself, thereby complementing many ongoing Federal, State, and local drinking-water monitoring pro-
grams. Comparisons made in this report to drinking-water standards and guidelines are only in the context of the
available untreated resource. Finally, this report includes information about the status of aquatic communities and
the condition of instream habitats as elements of a complete water-quality assessment.
  Many topics covered in this report reflect the concerns of officials of State and Federal agencies, water-resource
managers, and members of stakeholder groups who provided advice and input during this water-quality
assessment. Residents of West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina who wish to know more about water quality
in the areas where they live will find this report informative as well.
                                                                     NAWQA Study Units-
                                                                     Assessment schedule
                                                                     |[1991-95

                                                                        11994-98

                                                                        11997-2001

                                                                     Q^ Not yet scheduled

                                                                        I High Plains Regional
                                                                        GroundWater Study,
                                                                        1999-2004
  THE NAWQA PROGRAM of the USGS seeks to improve scientific and public understanding of water quality
in the Nation's major river basins and ground-water systems. Better understanding facilitates effective resource
management, accurate identification of water-quality priorities, and successful development of strategies that pro-
tect and restore water quality. Guided by a nationally consistent study design and shaped by ongoing communica-
tion with local, State, and Federal agencies, NAWQA assessments support the investigation of local issues and
trends while providing a firm foundation for understanding water quality at regional and national scales. The ability
to integrate local and national scales of data collection and analysis is a unique feature of the USGS NAWQA Pro-
gram.
  The Kanawha-New River Basin is one of 51 water-quality assessments initiated since 1991, when the U.S. Con-
gress appropriated funds for the USGS to begin the NAWQA Program. As indicated on the map, 36 assessments
have been completed, and 15 more assessments will conclude in 2001. Collectively, these assessments cover about
one-half of the land area of the United States and include water resources that are available to more than 60 percent
of the U.S. population.
IV    National Water-Quality Assessment Program

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SUMMARY OF  MAJOR  FINDINGS
                            Appalachian
                              Plateaus
                              Province
   Valley
    and
   Ridge
  Province
  Boone
    EXPLANATION
STREAM DATA-COLLECTION
SITE
 •  Water quality, ecology,
    bed sediment, and
    fish tissue
    Bed sediment and
    fish tissue
GROUND-WATER
STUDY AREA
I  I  Appalachian Plateaus
I  I  Blue Ridge
                                     MILES
                                 KILOMETERS
The Kanawha-New River Basin is generally mountainous, forested,
humid, and rural. Agriculture is concentrated in the southern half of
the basin; major products are cattle and hay. Seven percent of all coal
mined in the United States is produced from the Appalachian Plateaus
Physiographic Province within the basin.
Stream and River Highlights
   The generally low population and intensity of agri-
culture and urban land uses throughout the
Kanawha-New River Basin are reflected in low con-
centrations of nutrients and pesticides in streams and
rivers.
   Streams in the coal region of the Appalachian
Plateaus Physiographic Province generally improved
between about 1980 and 1998 with respect to pH,
total iron, total manganese, and sedimentation. These
improvements were among the regulatory goals of
the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of
1977 (SMCRA). Other unregulated factors, however,
show the effects of continued mining. Mine drainage
in the basin is rarely acidic but has high concentra-
tions of sulfate, which decrease slowly after mining
ends. Stream-bottom sedimentation in mined basins
remains greater than in undisturbed basins.
Streams draining basins that have been mined
since 1980 show increased dissolved sulfate,
decreased median bed-sediment particle size, and
impaired benthic-invertebrate communities com-
pared to streams not mined since 1980. (p. 5-11)

In all basins studied where more than 100,000 tons
of coal per square mile have been mined, the
stream benthic-invertebrate community is
impaired in comparison to rural parts of the basin
where less than 10,000 tons of coal per square
mile have been mined since 1980. Some basins in
which the benthic-invertebrate community is
impaired, however, were not heavily mined.
Benthic invertebrates are sensitive indicators of
many types of disturbance and respond to impair-
ment of either stream chemistry or physical
habitat, (p. 7-8)

Effects on stream benthic-invertebrate communi-
ties caused by coal mining were of similar magni-
tude to the effects caused by urban development
and agriculture elsewhere in the Nation, (p. 11)

Kanawha Falls is the upstream limit for the range
of several fish species. Non-native fish continue to
expand their range in tributaries of the New and
Gauley Rivers, (p.  12-14)
                           Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria concentrations
                           exceeded the national guideline for public swim-
                           ming areas in 26 percent of samples from major
                  rivers and in 43 percent of samples from tributary streams,
                  but no outbreak of waterborne disease was reported during
                  1991-98. Inadequate sewage treatment and manure manage-
                  ment contribute to elevated E. coli concentrations.
                  (p. 14-15)

                  Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) continue to be detected
                  in the Kanawha River downstream from the Charleston met-
                  ropolitan area. (p. 16)

                  Nickel, chromium, zinc, and certain toxic organic com-
                  pounds were found in bed sediment in concentrations that
                  could harm aquatic life. Elevated concentrations of cad-
                  mium, mercury, nickel, selenium, and zinc were measured in
                  fish tissue at some sites, (p. 12)
                                                                              Summary of Major Findings    1

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           Selected Indicators of Stream-Water Quality
                      Small Streams
                                         Major Rivers
 Coal  Agricul-  Forest
Mining    tural
                                           Mixed
                                         Land Uses
      Pesticides1    —


      Nutrients2

      Bacteria3
      Trace
      elements4
      ^| Percentage of samples with concentrations greater
          than or equal to health-related national guidelines for
          drinking water, protection of aquatic life, or contact
          recreation; or above a national goal for preventing
          excess algal growth
        | Percentage of samples with concentrations less than
          health-related national guidelines for drinking water,
          protection of aquatic life, or contact recreation; or
          below a national goal for preventing excess algal growth
          Percentage of samples with no detection
          (* Detected in 1 percent or less of samples)
      — Not assessed
       1  Insecticides, herbicides, and pesticide metabolites, sampled in water.
       2 Phosphorus and nitrogen, sampled in water.
       3  Escherichia coli (E. coif) bacteria, sampled in water.
       4  Nickel, chromium, zinc, and lead, sampled in streambed sediment.

Ground-Water Highlights

   Ground water in the Appalachian Plateaus and
Blue Ridge Physiographic Provinces moves mostly
in a network of narrow fractures within a few hun-
dred feet of the land surface, and drains toward the
nearest stream. Wells normally tap only a few of the
many local fractures. The ridgetops bound each local
aquifer, which generally are affected only by local
contaminant sources. In small areas of the basin
where caves  and solution cavities in limestone bed-
rock are common, wells can have high yields but are
susceptible to contamination from fecal bacteria, pes-
ticides,  and other toxic chemicals.

• Radon concentrations in the Blue Ridge were among the
  highest in the Nation. Almost 90 percent of wells
  sampled there exceeded the proposed U. S. Environ-
  mental Protection Agency (USEPA) primary drinking-
  water standard of 300 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).  One-
  third of these wells contained more than 4,000 pCi/L,
  the proposed alternate drinking-water standard. Radon
  is a radioactive gas that forms during the decay of natu-
  ral uranium, (p. 18-19)
• Modern well construction can prevent fecal bacteria from
  reaching drinking water in most areas of the basin. Bacteria
  were frequently detected only at older wells, (p.  19)

• Potentially explosive concentrations of methane were found
  in water at 7 percent of wells in the coal region of the Appa-
  lachian Plateaus, (p. 17)

• Nutrients, pesticides, and VOCs were detected in low con-
  centrations throughout the basin. In the Blue Ridge, how-
  ever, water from more than 50 percent of wells contained
  pesticides, an indication that the ground water is vulnerable
  to contamination, (p. 19)

• In the Appalachian Plateaus, iron and manganese concentra-
  tions exceeded USEPA drinking-water guidelines in at least
  40 percent of the wells and in about 70 percent of wells near
  reclaimed surface coal mines. Elevated sulfate concentration
  and slightly acidic water were more common at wells within
  1,000 feet of reclaimed mines than elsewhere, (p. 10 and 17)

Major Influences on Ground Water

• Composition of soils and bedrock
• Improper disposal of human and animal wastes
• Current and past mining practices
• Pesticide usage and other toxic chemical releases
                                                       Selected Indicators of Ground-Water Quality

                                                                  Domestic Supply Wells
Appalachian
Plateaus, Mining
Pesticides1 —
Radon
Volatile —
organics
Bacteria3 ^
Nitrate
Appalachian
Plateaus
r
^1
1
f
*
Blue
Ridge
1
4)


a
                                                 ^|  Percentage of samples with concentrations greater
                                                     than or equal to health-related national guidelines for
                                                     drinking water
                                                  •  Percentage of samples with concentrations less than
                                                     health-related national guidelines for drinking water
                                                     Percentage of samples with no detection
                                                 —  Not assessed

                                                  1 Insecticides, herbicides, and pesticide metabolites, sampled in water.
                                                  2 Solvents, refrigerants, fumigants, gasoline, and gasoline additives,
                                                    sampled in water.
                                                  3 Fecal coliform bacteria, sampled in water.
      Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






INTRODUCTION  TO THE  KANAWHA-NEW  RIVER  BASIN
Population and Human Activities
  The Kanawha River and its major tributary, the New
River, drain 12,223 mi in North Carolina, Virginia,
and West Virginia (Messinger and Hughes, 2000).
Most of the total basin population of 870,000 (1990
data) live in rural areas, and industrial and residential
areas cover less than 5 percent of the total area in the
basin (fig. 1). Only about 30 percent of the population
live in towns larger than 10,000 people, including the
25 percent who live in the Charleston, W. Va.,
                   Downtown Charleston
                           in winter
                  82
    Land use
   in 1992-94
Appalachian
  Plateaus
                    Mining and other
                Urban disturbed land
   Valley and Ridge
     Agriculture (15%)
        Forest (82%) V_,
     Blue Ridge  Mining and otheg
              disturbed land
        Urban (1%)  /  (<1%)
  Agriculture (31%) ^{~"\
            7   I  \
                 vForest (67%)

                  50 MILES
            I
            50
                KILOMETERS
 Figure 1. In the mountainous Kanawha-New River Basin, elevation ranges from over
 4,000 feet in the Allegheny Highlands of the Appalachian Plateaus Province and the
 Blue Ridge Province to about 560 feet at the mouth of the river at Point Pleasant,
 W. Va. Forest accounted for 81 percent of the land cover in 1993 (Multi-Resolution
 Land Characteristics Interagency Consortium, 1997). Logging is a major industry
 throughout the basin. The entire basin was logged by the early 20th century, and no
 undisturbed areas remain (Clarkson, 1964). Coal mining is prevalent in the Appalachian
 Plateaus. The Blue Ridge Province contains proportionally more agricultural land than
 the Appalachian Plateaus and Valley and Ridge Provinces. Cattle, hay, and corn grown
 as cattle feed are the primary agricultural products (National Agriculture Statistics
 Service, 1999). Physiographic provinces from Fenneman, 1938.
 * Photograph by Julie Archer, and used by permission.
metropolitan area. The total population has not
changed substantially since the 1950s, mostly because
of emigration from rural parts of the basin to urban
centers in the Midwest and the South.
  The only major industrial area in the basin is along
the terrace  of the Kanawha River, within about 20
miles of Charleston (fig. 2). Chemical industry prac-
tices that profoundly polluted the Kanawha River dur-
ing the 1950s and 1960s have changed, and discharge
of pollutants to streams has greatly decreased, although
                     bed sediment and fish remain
                     contaminated with dioxin and
                     other industrial chemicals
                     (Henry, 1981;  Kanetsky,  1988;
                     West Virginia  Division of Envi-
                     ronmental Protection, 2000).
                       In the Kanawha-New River
                     Basin, most coal is mined in the
                     Appalachian Plateaus in West
                     Virginia (McColloch,  1998).
                     About 7 percent of the coal
                     mined in the United States
                     comes from the Kanawha-New
                     River Basin (Fedorko and
                     Blake, 1998; Messinger and
                     Hughes, 2000). Most coal
                     mined in the basin has a low sul-
                     fur content. Coal production has
                     increased since passage of the
                     Clean Air Act amendments of
                      1990, which mandated a reduc-
                     tion of sulfate  emissions to
                     decrease acid precipitation.

                     Physiography
                       The streams and rivers of the
                     basin drain areas in three physi-
                     ographic provinces: the Blue
                     Ridge (17 percent), the Valley
                     and Ridge (23 percent), and the
                     Appalachian Plateaus (60 per-
                     cent). In the Appalachian Pla-
                     teaus, little of the land is flat,
                     and most flat land is in the flood
                     plains and terraces of streams.
Christmas tree farming in the
Blue Ridge
                                                        Introduction to the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






Figure 2. Coal and motor fuel commonly are transported by
barge on the Kanawha River, downstream from Kanawha Falls.
The Valley and Ridge is characterized by strongly
folded ridges separated by relatively flat, broad valleys.
These two regions are underlain by sedimentary rocks.
The Blue Ridge is characterized by igneous and meta-
morphic rocks that have been folded and faulted.


Water Use
Hydrologic Conditions and Features
  With some exceptions, mean streamflow
during the study was within about 10 percent
of long-term mean flows at most gaging sta-
tions (see records from a representative station
in fig. 3). Major flooding occurred throughout
the Appalachian Plateaus in January 1996,
seven months before sampling began, and
streamflow at several gaging stations within
the Kanawha-New River Basin exceeded the
100-year flood flow (Ward and others, 1997).
A thunderstorm in June 1998 caused flooding
in the northwestern part of the  basin where
flow on a few small streams exceeded the
100-year recurrence interval (Ward and others,
1999). With the exception of these floods, no
other flows exceeded the 10-year recurrence
                                               8,000
    6,000
    4,000
    2,000
          interval. No streams in the basin were in drought con-
          ditions during the study.
            Streamflow varies most through the year in the west-
          ern Appalachian Plateaus, and it varies least through
          the year in the Blue Ridge. On average, streamflow
          throughout the basin is greatest in February and March
          and least in September through October. Maximum
          streamflow does not coincide with maximum precipita-
          tion because summer vegetation uses a large fraction of
          the precipitation.
            The river system in the Kanawha-New River Basin
          is regulated by four major flood-control dams, three
          navigation dams, and several smaller dams. The two
          largest dams are on the Gauley River (Summersville
          Dam) and Elk River (Sutton Dam). The other two
          major dams are on the New River. The navigable reach
          of the Kanawha River is in backwater caused by the
          navigation dams. In this reach,  stream depth is greater
          and velocity is less than in the undammed reaches of
          the major rivers. All pools behind dams in the basin
          collect sediment. Dams are also major barriers to fish
          movement.
  In 1995, 61 percent of the basin's population
depended on surface-water supplies for domestic needs
(Solley and others, 1998). Thirty percent relied on
domestic water wells. The remaining nine percent used
public-supply water wells. In 1995, total withdrawal of
water was about 1,130 Mgal/d (million gallons per
day); total consumptive use was about 118
Mgal/d.                                       10,000 p
Figure 3. After a major flood in January 1996, streamflow from Williams
River at Dyer, W. Va., and precipitation from Richwood, W. Va., were
normal throughout the study period. The long-term average annual
streamflow at Williams River at Dyer, W. Va. is 336 cubic feet per second.
Long-term average precipitation at the Richwood, W. Va. location is
48 inches per year.
 4   Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






MAJOR FINDINGS
Persistent Changes in Water Chemistry and
Aquatic Biology are Evident in Coal-Mined
Areas
  About 7 percent of all coal mined in the Nation
comes from an area of 5,000 mi2 in the Appalachian
Plateaus part of the Kanawha-New River Basin. Pro-
duction of the mostly low-sulfur coal nearly doubled
from 1980 to 1998 as mining technology advanced,
individual mines became larger, and employment
decreased. Total production is about 90 million tons per
year. A coal seam  1 foot thick and 1 mile square weighs
about 1 million tons.
   Most drainage basins within the coal region have
been mined repeatedly as technology has advanced and
economics have changed.  Only three unmined basins
greater than 10 mi  in the coal mining region were iden-
tified in this study. Among mined basins, cumulative
coal production of less than 10,000 ton/mi2 of coal dur-
ing 1980-95 is low. Cumulative production in many
basins ranged from 100,000 to 1,000,000 ton/mi2.
  Most water that drains from coal mines in the
Kanawha-New River Basin is naturally neutral or alka-
line rather than acidic.When iron pyrite in coal and
adjacent rocks is exposed to air and water during min-
ing, a series of chemical reactions produce dissolved
iron and sulfuric acid (Rose and Cravotta, 1998). Natu-
ral or applied limestone, lye, or anhydrous ammonia
can neutralize the  acid (Skousen and others, 1998), but
sulfate ions dissolved in water generally remain as evi-
dence of the reactions. Sulfate concentrations in
streams decrease slowly after mining ends (Sams and
Beer, 2000).

Since 1981, Total  Iron  and Manganese have
Decreased in Stream  Basins where Coal
Mining has Continued, but Sulfate has
Increased
  During low flow in July 1998, water samples from 57
wadeable streams (drainage area less than 1 to 128 mi )
were analyzed once. Samples were collected from
streams in the region of the Appalachian Plateaus
where coal has been mined. At least three analyses were
available for 51 of the sites for 1979-81, before the Sur-
face Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA)
affected regional water quality (Ehlke and others,
1982). Each 1998  analysis was compared to the one
earlier analysis with the closest corresponding stream-
flow. Results were interpreted with respect to cumula-
tive mining history and other land uses in each basin.
  Median concentrations of total iron and total manga-
nese were lower in 1998 than during 1979-81 in 33
basins that had been mined both before and after
SMCRA, but sulfate concentration and specific conduc-
tance were higher (table 1). In 1998, median total man-
ganese, specific conductance, sulfate, and pH were
higher in 37 basins mined since 1980 than in 20 basins
unmined since then; median total iron was lower in the
mined basins, possibly reflecting aggressive treatment
of permitted discharges.

Table 1. Medians of regulated constituents improved between
1979-81  and 1998 in 33 mined basins
[Hg/L, micrograms per liter; ilS/cm, microsiemens per centimeter; mg/L.
milligrams per liter]
                             Median value
                             1979-81   1998
Regulated Constituents
pH (standard units)
Total iron (u.g/L)
Total manganese (u-g/L)
Unregulated Constituents
Specific conductance (u.S/cm)
Sulfate (mg/L)
                    7.1
                  455
                  150

                  360
                   91
  7.5
150
 78

446
150
  At the time the SMCRA and subsequent regulations
were established, acidification and subsequent increase
in metal concentrations, but not sulfate concentration,
were known to degrade stream quality. Regulations,
    10,000
2 ,§ 1,000
°*
<C LU
Sb
      100
       10
        1
       Drinking-water guideline = 250 mg/L
 w


I
I
                    Median = 59 mg/L
            0123456
         BASINWIDE COAL PRODUCTION (MILLIONS OF
          TONS MINED PER SQUARE MILE, 1980 95)

Figure 4. Sites with a low concentration of sulfate drained
basins with little recent coal production. Sites with a high
concentration of sulfate drained basins with a wide range
of recent coal production.
                                                                                      Major Findings  5

 image: 






  EXPLANATION
SULFATE IN STREAMS
In milligrams per liter
     less than 59
     59  250
   • greater than 250
AVERAGE COAL PRODUCTION
BY COUNTY (1980 95)
In thousands of tons per year
  en 0-50
  en 51 -1,000
  • 1,001 -10,000
  H 10,001  20,000
Figure 5. Sulfate concentration in wadeable streams
was highest in counties with the highest coal production.
                                                               10,000
         1,000
           100
           10
                     Drinking-water guideline = 50 ng/L ^
                           Median = 32 ng/L
              COAL PRODUCTION (MILLIONS OF TONS
                MINED PER SQUARE MILE, 1980 95)

     Figure 6. Concentrations of manganese in about
     half of the streams draining heavily mined basins
     were less than the study median.
therefore, were targeted at decreasing mining-related
acidification and concentrations of iron and manga-
nese, but were not designed to decrease sulfate concen-
trations. Sulfate concentrations less than 59 mg/L
(milligrams per liter; study median) were measured
only from basins where less than 142,000 ton/mi2 of
coal were produced during 1980-95 (figs. 4 and 5). In
contrast, manganese concentrations less than 32 |ig/L
(micrograms per liter; study median) were measured at
several heavily mined basins (fig. 6).
  Sulfate concentration in streams draining mined
areas does not correlate strongly with coal production
because sulfate production depends on local geology,
mining practice, and possibly results from activities in
addition to mining. Sulfate concentration is higher than
background, however, in basins with the greatest coal
production. Background sulfate concentration was less
than 25 mg/L in 16 of 20 basins not mined since 1980.
In contrast, sulfate concentration was greater than 250
mg/L in 8 of 15 mined basins drained by streams tribu-
tary to the Coal River. The USEPA guideline for sulfate
in drinking water is 250 mg/L.
  For two years, water chemistry was analyzed
monthly and at high flow at two streams in heavily
mined basins,  and at one stream where no coal had
been mined since 1980. At the mined sites, sulfate, sev-
eral other ions, and specific conductance decreased as
streainflow increased; at the unmined site, major-ion
concentrations were low at all flows (fig. 7). Dissolved
iron and manganese concentrations were virtually unre-
lated to flow at all three sites. At both Peters Creek near
Lockwood and Clear Fork at Whitesville, specific con-
ductance was correlated with sulfate concentration, and
correlations were nearly as strong between specific
conductance and dissolved calcium, magnesium,
sodium, and chloride. The same patterns were found in
data for the sites before the implementation of the
SMCRA.
  Streamflow, water temperature, pH, and specific
conductance were measured hourly at the two mined
sites during the same two years. In the Coal River
Basin at Clear Fork, sulfate concentration (estimated
from the hourly specific conductance) exceeded the
     1,000
— o)
o oT
|_ LU
< b
o: _i
S^
o
o
o
       100
        10
                        Drinking-water guideline = 250 mg/L
                                      Clear Fork near
                                  ^Whitesville (mining)
              Peters Creek near
              Lockwood (mining)
                       Williams River at Dyer,
                       (not recently mined)
          1
                   10
                             100
                                     1,000
                                               10,000
           STREAMFLOW, IN CUBIC FEET PER SECOND
 Figure 7. The concentration of sulfate, like other major ions,
 decreased with flow at two heavily mined sites but was
 consistently low at a site with no recent mining (Clear Fork
 R2= 0.90, Peters CrR2= 0.91, Williams River R  = 0.11).
 6  Water Quality of the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






250-mg/L guideline about 25 percent of the time. Sul-
fate concentrations across a range of flow at Clear Fork
were at least 10 percent greater in 1998 than in 1979-
81.

Coal-mining methods in the Kanawha-New River
Basin
In the Kanawha-New River Basin, half of the coal
comes from underground mines and half from surface
mines. Surface subsidence is expected above longwall
mines, which remove about 90 percent of a coal seam,
but is less common above room-and-pillar mines that
may remove only 60 percent. Surface mines, both
smaller contour mines and larger mountaintop mines,
can remove 100 percent of a series of seams. Surface-
mine operators working in steep-slope areas  cannot
simply replace all waste-rock material within the
boundaries of the mine sites, because broken rock takes
more space than consolidated rock. The excess is
placed in valleys as fill material where the land is flat
enough to provide a stable foundation, but the valley
fills greatly affect the stream environment (U.S. Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency, 2000).


Stream Benthic-lnvertebrate Communities are
Impaired at Mined  Sites
   In all streams sampled that drain areas where large
quantities of coal have been mined, the benthic-
invertebrate community is impaired in comparison to
rural parts of the study area where little or no coal has
been mined since 1980 (fig. 8). Some streams in which
       Epeorus
    (Mayfly nymph)*
 Dolophilodes
(Caddisfly larva)**
        •   Higher MHBI (impaired invertebrate
            community)
                     median
           Lower MHBI (healthy invertebrate
           community)
         0     0.5    1.0   1.5    2.0   2.5    3.0
       BASINWIDE COAL PRODUCTION, IN MILLIONS
       OF TONS MINED PER SQUARE MILE, 1980 95

 Figure 8. Only sites with little recent coal production
 had healthy invertebrate communities as measured
 by low (favorable) scores on the Modified Hilsenhoff
 Biotic Index, although not all impaired sites were in
 areas of high coal production.
  Figure 9. Invertebrates that are intolerant of fine
  sediment were present at unmined sites and sites
  with little coal production since 1980. (Photograph by
  * Jennifer Hiebert, University of Alberta; ** D.B. Chambers,
  USGS; *** Arturo Elosegi, North American Benthological
  Society. All photos reproduced with permission)

the community is impaired drained areas that were not
heavily mined.
  Invertebrate communities were sampled from riffles
at 29 wadeable streams in areas of the Appalachian
Plateaus where coal is or has been mined (Chambers
and Messinger, 2001). The sites were separated into
two groups by statistical comparison of species compo-
sition and abundance. Each group contained communi-
ties that were similar. The communities that included
several insect taxa known for intolerance of fine sedi-
ment were identified as the less impaired group of sites.
These taxa include Epeorus mayflies and Dolophilodes
and Rhyacophila caddisflies (fig. 9). Epeorus is a genus
of relatively large mayflies that cling to the bottom of
large, loosely embedded rocks. Fine sediment can fill
the openings in the stream bottom where they live.
Caddisflies in the genus Dolophilodes spin finely
meshed nets that can be clogged with silt. Rhyacophila
are mobile predators typically found in clean, cool-
water streams. These intolerant taxa were not present in
the invertebrate communities at sites identified as
poorer. In addition, scores from the MHBI (Modified
Hilsenhoff Biotic Index; see glossary) and proportions
of pollution-tolerant taxa from the midge family were
significantly greater at the more impaired group of
sites. The MHBI and other biological metrics are math-
ematical summaries of characteristics that change pre-
dictably in response to environmental stress. They are
used to measure ecological health of a system (Karr
and Chu, 1999).
                                                                                      Major Findings   7

 image: 






Benthic invertebrates are good indicators of overall
stream-water quality
Benthic invertebrates are sensitive indicators of many
types of stream disturbance (Barbour and others,
1999).  Because most have a life span of about a year
and many remain in the same short section of stream
during  most of their lives, they are particularly well
suited for assessments of short-term, local disturbances
within  a watershed. Fish, however, often move
throughout a stream system, enabling them to seek ref-
uge from such disturbances. An impaired invertebrate
community is more than a disruption in the aquatic
food web— it indicates that stream chemistry and (or)
physical habitat are impaired. Stream-chemistry data
provide useful information about the stream's quality
only for the time of sampling, but benthic-invertebrate
communities can show the effects of short-term distur-
bances that can easily be missed when  stream-quality
assessments rely only on chemical measurements.

  Differences in land use, stream habitat, and stream
chemistry between the groups of sites suggest possible
causes  for the different invertebrate communities. The
less impaired group of sites drained basins that were
unmined, or where less than 10,000 ton/mi were
mined during 1980-95. Most basins in the more
impaired group of sites had been mined within the last
20 years by both surface and underground methods;
most contained abandoned mines that pre-dated
SMCRA and produced 100,000 to 1,000,000 ton/mi2 of
coal. Some of the basins in the more impaired group,
however, had not been mined since 1980. Coal produc-
tion during 1980-95 is not an ideal indicator of the
environmental disturbance caused by coal mining, but
it related better to environmental measurements than
did production over a shorter interval, number of aban-
doned mines, or mine discharge permits (Chambers
and Messinger, 2001).
  At the more impaired sites, the proportion of total
land area as strip mines, quarries, disturbed land, or
gravel pits was significantly greater than at the less
impaired sites. In addition, sulfate concentration, spe-
cific conductance, and alkalinity of stream water were
all higher. Stream pH did not differ significantly
between the two groups; pH is  regulated in mine dis-
charges.
  Two basins that were not mined since 1980 con-
tained valley fills similar to those constructed at large
surface mines. The invertebrate community in Mill
    Creek near Hopewell, W. Va., which drains an area
    with few relatively small fills, grouped with the less
    impaired sites. Davis Creek at Trace Creek, W. Va.,
    drains several large fills at a shopping center and was in
    the poorer group.
      Instream habitat structure also differed significantly
    between the two groups. Sites from the less impaired
    group had less sand and silt in the stream bottom.
    Smaller median sediment size correlated with
    decreased  number of taxa of mayflies, stoneflies, and
    caddisflies (EPT taxa) and an increased (more
    impaired)  score on the Modified Hilsenhoff Biotic
    Index (fig. 10; r2 = 0.46 and 0.43, respectively). Among
    the sites sampled, correlations between invertebrate
    metrics and coal production (or factors relating to coal
    mining) were weak, largely because some streams were
    impaired by other land uses. Erosion and sediment dep-
    osition in basins with active mines have decreased
    overall because of controls required under SMCRA,
    but temporal comparisons are not possible. Sedimenta-
    tion in 1998 remained generally greater, however, at
    sites in basins with coal production since 1980 than in
    unmined basins.
      The invertebrate-community degradation repre-
    sented the cumulative effects of mining before and after
    SMCRA, deep mining and surface mining, mines in
    and out of compliance with applicable regulations, and
    all other nonmining disturbances in the basins.
    Impaired sites from this region ranked near the middle
    of an index that ranked NAWQA sites representing dif-
    ferent land uses throughout the United  States. (See dis-
    cussion of effects on invertebrate communities
    nationally, p.  11). Logging and ongoing construction
    probably contribute to sedimentation, but their extent in
    each basin could not be quantified. Logging may con-
    tribute more sediment per disturbed volume of soil than
    mining.
  DQ
  o
      0   40   80   120  160
    MEDIAN STREAMBED-PARTICLE
    SIZE, IN MILLIMETERS
1      10    100   1,000
SULFATE CONCENTRATION,
IN MILLIGRAMS PER LITER
Figure 10. Invertebrate-community metrics show generally better
conditions (lower MHBI) at sites with coarser streambeds and
lower sulfate concentrations, although correlations are weak.
 8  Water Quality of the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






Regional study:  Sulfate concentrations  and  biological communities in
Appalachian coal fields indicated mining-related disturbances despite a
general water-quality improvement between  1980 and  1998
                            39  -
                            37  -
  In a 1998 study to assess              32
regional water-quality effects
of coal mining (Eychaner,
1999), samples representing
the Northern Appalachian coal
field were collected in the
Allegheny and Monongahela
River Basins (ALMN), where
high-sulfur coal is common
and acid mine drainage was
historically severe, and sam-
ples for the Central Appala-
chian coal field were collected
in the Kanawha-New River
Basin (KANA), where acid
drainage is uncommon
(fig.  11).
  Water chemistry in 178
wadeable streams was ana-
lyzed once during low flow, in
July  and August 1998. Drain-
age area for most streams was
between 4 and 80 mi  . Most
(170) of these sites were also
part of a study on the effects of
coal  mining that was con-
ducted during 1979-81 (Herb
and others, 1981a, 1981b;
1983; Ehlke and others, 1982),
before regional water quality was affected by imple-
mentation of regulations from the Surface Mining Con-
trol and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). At 61 sites,
aquatic invertebrates (insects, worms, crustaceans, and
mollusks) also were collected. Ground water was sam-
pled  from 58 wells near coal surface mines and 25
wells in unmined areas. Wells sampled downgradient
from reclaimed surface coal mines reflect the local
effects of mining.

Concentrations of Regulated Constituents
Improved in Stream Base Flow From About
1980 to 1998
  During low-flow conditions, sulfate in more than 70
percent of samples from streams downstream from coal
mines in both coal regions exceeded the regional back-
ground concentration. Background was calculated as
about 21 mg/L sulfate from data for basins with no
                                  0  40 KILOMETERS
                                  0    40 MILES
                                   Lake Erie
                                    • < "
                                        Northern
                                          Coal
                                         Fields
     EXPLANATION

I  I STUDY UNIT
SULFURCONTENTOFCOAL
by county, in percent
   Greaterthan 1.3
   Lessthan 1.3
 • No data
                                                          APPROXIMATE
                                                          BOUNDARY BETWEEN
                                                          APPALACHIAN COAL
                                                          FIELDS
                                                          MAJOR STREAMS
                              Figure 11. Coal seams in the Appalachian coal region
                              vary in sulfur content, and the fields are identified
                              primarily on the basis of this difference (Tully, 1996).
                              The Kanawha  New River Basin contains mostly lower
                              sulfur coal, while the Allegheny and Monongahela
                              River Basins contain mostly higher sulfur coal.
                    history of coal mining. The
                    highest concentrations were
                    measured in basins with the
                    greatest coal production. One-
                    fourth of all samples exceeded
                    250 mg/L, the USEPA drink-
                    ing-water guideline.
                       Total iron, total manganese,
                    and total aluminum also
                    exceeded regional background
                    concentrations (129,  81, and
                    23 |ig/L, respectively) in many
                    streams in mined basins. The
                    median concentrations of total
                    iron in the northern coal region
                    were about equal between
                    mined and unmined basins, but
                    in the central region, concen-
                    trations of median total iron
                    among mined basins were
                    lower than among unmined
                    basins. In both regions, median
                    concentrations of total manga-
                    nese among mined basins were
                    about double that among
                    unmined basins.
                       Median pH increased, and
                    median concentrations of total
                    iron and total manganese
decreased among mined basins between 1979-81 and
1998 in both regions, reflecting that regulations
restricting these constituents in mine drainage are
effective. Even so, stream sites downstream from mines
more commonly exceeded drinking-water guidelines
for sulfate, iron, manganese, and aluminum concentra-
tions than streams in unmined basins (fig. 12).
LU Q ±= OU
a! LU QJ
|§5 4°
O Lufjj 3°
1X1 t t
< I g 20
111'0
EC n
_
-
-
-
-
h
    





D MINED SITES
D UNMINED SITES _
-
-

1


-
n :
                                                              Iron  Manganese  Sulfate  Aluminum
                                                    Figure 12. Stream water more often exceeded
                                                    drinking-water guidelines at mined sites than at
                                                    unmined sites.
                                                                                  Major Findings   9

 image: 






SULFATE,
MILLIGRAMS PER LITER
GREATER
THAN
21
LESS
THAN
21
• NORTHERN COAL FIELDS A CENTRAL COAL FIELDS
MEDIAN
- A ••••••lukMk** A •

1* • A • ••*• 'T"»»« • •
,

                        10
                                  20
                                             30
                  NUMBER OF LARVAL MAYFLY, STONEFLY,
                        ANDCADDISFLYTAXA
Figure 13. Sulfate concentration in stream water was inversely
related to the number of mayfly, stonefly, and caddisfly taxa
found at water-quality sampling sites.

Aquatic Benthic Invertebrate Communities are
Impaired  in Mined Basins
  Aquatic invertebrate communities tended to be more
impaired where there was more coal mining, when
compared to basins where there was little coal mining.
Pollution-tolerant species are more likely to be present
at mined sites than at unmined  sites, whereas pollution-
sensitive taxa were fewer in number or non existent in
heavily mined basins. Increasing coal production corre-
lated with both an increased concentration of sulfate
and a decline in some aquatic insect populations (fig.
13).  Of the 61 sites where aquatic invertebrates were
collected, those sites with sulfate concentrations higher
than the estimated background concentration had the
lower diversity of three groups of sensitive insect spe-
cies (mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies), even though
the pH of the water at all sites was greater than 6.5.
  At the concentrations measured, the sulfate ion is
relatively non toxic to aquatic organisms and may not
represent the cause of the decline observed in mayflies
and stoneflies. Sulfate concentration was, however,
positively correlated with the total coal production
from a basin (Sams and
Beer, 2000). Other land-
scape disturbances asso-
ciated with coal
mining—changes in
streamflow, siltation, or
trace metal contamina-
tion—could affect the
invertebrate community.
Negative effects on com-
munities caused by min-
ing were of similar
magnitude to the effects
 'OC3
Sffi
a«2
^  g

DC
LLI
K
CC
LJJ
Q.
i
^
CD
I
z
LJJ
^
_l
CO

ouu
700
600

500

400
300
200

100,
t
n <


— Drinking-water guideline
— Background level in
unmined areas
« Northern coal region
» Central coal region

,*
*• .*
»
• •
* * » t « »
Ljt-±—*-— t j.
-^-»- " " «      • — i • i i -
          Iron  Manganese Sulfate  Aluminum
Figure 15. Ground-water samples more often
exceeded drinking-water guidelines in mined
areas than in unmined areas.
                                    0    500   1,000  1,500   2,000   2,500  3,000  3,500
                                            DISTANCE FROM MINED AREA, IN FEET
                               Figure 14. Sulfate concentrations in ground water are
                               greater within 1,000 feet of reclaimed surface coal mines
                               and in the northern coal region than at greater distance
                               and in the central coal region.
of urban development, agriculture, large construction
projects, flow alterations, or wastewater
effluent.

Sulfate, Iron, and Manganese Concentrations
were Elevated in Wells Near Reclaimed
Surface Mines
  At mined sites in both coal regions, pH was lower
and sulfate concentration was greater at mined sites
than at unmined sites. Sulfate concentrations in ground
water were higher than background concentrations in
shallow wells within 1,000 feet of reclaimed surface
mines (fig. 14). Samples from wells in the northern
coal region contained more sulfate than wells at
unmined sites in the same region, or at any of the sites
in the central coal region. Iron, manganese, and alumi-
             num were higher than background con-
             centrations  within about 2,000 feet of
             reclaimed surface mines (1,800, 640, and
             11 |ig/L, respectively).
               Water from most wells, except at
             unmined sites in the northern coal region,
             exceeded guidelines for iron and manga-
             nese, which make the water unpleasant to
             drink (fig. 15). The concentrations in
             both regions were higher  near reclaimed
             mines than  at unmined  sites.
                            D MINED SITES
                            D UNMINED SITES
 10  Water Quality of the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






                                            BS  °
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                                      EXPLANATION
                                  • KANAWHA NEW RIVER
                                    BASIN SITES
                                  NAWQA SITES NATIONWIDE
                                                                               T
                                                                              T
10th percentile
25th percentile

Median

75th percentile
90th percentile
    Invertebrate communities at two coal
mining stream sites ranked near the middle
of more than 600 NAWQA sites sampled
nationwide during 1991-98. These sites had
index scores better than national median
scores for urban sites, about the same as
national median scores for agricultural
sites, and worse than national median
scores for undeveloped sites. The  commu-
nity at a forested and undeveloped site in
the  Appalachian Plateaus was within the
best 10 percent of NAWQA sites nationally
and within the best 25 percent of undevel-
oped sites.
    Nationally, invertebrate communities at
heavily agricultural sites were commonly
highly impaired. In the Kanawha-New
River Basin, agriculture is usually of low
intensity and centers on pasturing  small herds of cattle and growing cattle feed. Invertebrate communities at two
agricultural sites, one in the Appalachian Plateaus and one in the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province, were within
the  best 10 percent of all sites nationally.
                                           Sites in undeveloped and agricultural basins in the Kanawha New River
                                           Basin rank among the best sites nationally in the National Invertebrate
                                           Community Status Index. More impaired sites in the Kanawha New River
                                           Basin rank about the same or better than most sites that represent
                                           developed land uses nationally. (Low scores correspond to diverse
                                           invertebrate communities.)
Some Contaminants are Widespread and
Present at Potentially Harmful Concentrations
in Streambed Sediment and Fish Tissue

Ten Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons were Found in
Streambed Sediments in Concentrations that may
Harm Aquatic Life
  Forty samples of Streambed sediment from 36 sites
in the Kanawha-New River Basin were analyzed for
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during
1996-98. PAHs are components of wood smoke, diesel
exhaust, soot, petroleum, and coal. Their toxicity var-
ies, and some are carcinogenic to humans and other
animals. Of the 12 PAHs for which guidelines were
available, 10 were detected at concentrations exceeding
the Probable Effect Level (PEL; see information box
on sediment-quality guidelines), and all were detected
at concentrations exceeding the Threshold Effect Level
(TEL).
   High concentrations of PAHs were present in each
physiographic setting in the basin except for the Blue
Ridge, although the only high concentrations in the
Valley and Ridge/Appalachian Plateaus transition zone
were in basins where coal has been mined. The highest
         Sediment Quality Guidelines
         NAWQA's bed-sediment sampling protocol (Shelton
         and Capel, 1994) is designed to maximize the chance
         of detecting contaminants that have been transported in
         a stream during the previous 1-3 years. The data from
         this study were compared to final Canadian Sediment
         Quality Guidelines (SQGs) rather than the preliminary
         USEPA guidelines. SQGs have been issued by Envi-
         ronment Canada for 8 trace elements and 12 PAHs
         (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment,
         1999). At concentrations below a Threshold Effect
         Level (TEL), contaminants are rarely expected to have
         a toxic effect on aquatic fife. At concentrations above a
         Probabfe Effect Levef (PEL), toxic effects are expected
         frequentfy. Concentrations of substances that exceed
         SQGs may impfy, but not prove, that organisms in the
         streams of interest are at risk from those substances.

         PAH concentrations measured in this study were in the
         Appafachian Pfateaus. Some of the highest PAH con-
         centrations were measured at some of the most heavily
         mined sites in the basin, although the correlation
         between coal production and Streambed PAH con-
                                                                                    Major Findings  1 f

 image: 






centration was weak (r  = 0.52, among 20
wadeable stream sites within the coal
region). Coal samples from several com-
monly mined seams in West Virginia were
between 20 and 85 percent PAH by mass
(W.H. Orem, U.S. Geological Survey, writ-
ten commun., July 2000). Coal particles are
common in sediment from many streams in
the coal fields. The PAHs from the coal par-
ticles, however,  may not be bioavailable
(Chapman and others, 1996). Unlike other
NAWQA study  areas, no correlation was
found between most other land uses and
PAH concentration.
Four Trace Elements were Present in
Streambed Sediment in Concentrations
That May Harm Aquatic Life
  A total of 53 bed-sediment samples from
47 sites in the Kanawha-New River Basin
were analyzed for trace elements during
1996-98. All eight of the trace elements for which cri-
teria were available were found at some sites in con-
centrations exceeding their Threshold Effect Level (fig.
16; see information box on sediment-quality guide-
lines). Nickel, chromium, zinc, and lead were detected
at concentrations exceeding their Probable Effect
Level. Nickel concentrations exceeded the Probable
Effect Level most frequently (in 47 of the 53 samples),
based on the 1995 Sediment Quality Guidelines; a final
SQG was not issued for nickel at the time that other
SQGs were finalized.
  Trace-element concentrations also were determined
in livers of common carp or rock bass in 27 samples
from 18 sites in 1996 and 1997. Some samples con-
tained concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, lead, mer-
cury, nickel, selenium, and zinc that were among the
highest 25 percent of more than 900 NAWQA samples
nationwide (1991-98). Concentrations of cadmium,
mercury, nickel, selenium, and zinc in fish-tissue sam-
ples from the Kanawha-New River Basin ranked
among the highest 10 percent of all NAWQA samples;
six samples contained cadmium concentrations ranking
among the highest 10 percent of all NAWQA samples,
and five samples  contained selenium concentrations
ranking among the highest 10 percent of all NAWQA
samples. One fish-tissue sample, from Kanawha River
at Winfield, contained cadmium at a concentration
ranking in the highest 1 percent of all samples in the
Figure 16.  Some trace element concentrations in stream-bed sediment
exceeded Environment Canada's effects-based criteria at several sites in
the basin. Probable effects levels (PEL) are those concentrations at which
harmful effects to aquatic life are thought to be likely, and were exceeded
most frequently in the Allegheny Highlands and other Appalachian Plateaus
streams. Threshold effects levels (TEL) were exceeded at all sites by nickel
and chromium. "Valley and Ridge sites include transition zones between
provinces.
             Nation. Determining the human health or ecological
             significance of these concentrations is problematic,
             because tissue samples were collected from many dif-
             ferent species and because fish-liver tissue is not nor-
             mally eaten by humans.


             Fish Communities Differ Considerably
             Throughout  the Basin, but Non-native
             Species Continue to Expand Their Range
               Fish communities in the Kanawha-New River Basin
             are complex and vary widely among streams of differ-
             ent size, physiographic setting, and land use. Individual
             species are distributed in patches, particularly upstream
             from Kanawha Falls (Jenkins and Burkhead, 1994).
             This patchy distribution can confound comparisons
             among streams (Strange, 1999). The quality of the
             regional fish community is generally good, although
             the national NAWQA fish index seems to underrate
             that quality because it does not consider the patchy dis-
             tribution.

             Non-native Fish Continue to Expand Their Range in
             Tributaries of the New and Gauley Rivers
             Three fish species were collected for the first time at
             often-sampled sites in tributaries of the New and
             Gauley Rivers (Cincotta and others, 1999). Margined
             madtoms, a popular bait species, were collected for the
 12  Water Quality of the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






first time from Second Creek near the village of Second
Creek. Margined madtoms are native to some parts of
the New River and some of its tributaries, but they had
never before been collected from the Greenbrier River
Subbasin. Telescope shiners (fig. 17), natives of the
Tennessee River Basin, have been collected in the New
River since 1958, and they continue to expand their
range. Telescope shiners were collected from another
often-sampled site, Williams River at Dyer, in the
Gauley River Subbasin; this was their first collection
upstream from Summersville Dam, a large impound-
ment. Telescope shiners also were collected for the first
time from two Meadow River tributaries, also in the
Gauley River Subbasin. Least brook lamprey were col-
lected for the first time from Williams River at Dyer,
their second collection from the Gauley River Subba-
sin. Populations of all these species were well estab-
lished, and the ongoing expansion of their ranges
suggests that all were relatively recent bait-bucket
introductions to the New River system. Two of these
reaches, and all of these streams, had been thoroughly
sampled in the late 1970s (Hocutt and others, 1978,
1979).
Figure 17. Example of a telescope shiner
(Notropis telescopus), a non-native species
in the Kanawha New River Basin.
(Photograph from Jenkins and Burkhead,
1994; used by permission from the Virginia
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries)

  Other fish collected for the first time in the basin
were in tributaries of the Coal River. The new species
in Coal River distribution records were from large trib-
utaries where few or no surveys had been made since
the 1930s. Mottled sculpin, bluebreast darter, river
carpsucker, blacknose dace, and longnose dace all were
collected for the first time from Clear Fork near
Whitesville or Spruce Laurel Fork at Clothier, major
tributaries to the Big or Little Coal Rivers, respectively.
Several of these records represented the most upstream
collections in their respective forks of the Coal River,
although all had been collected from the Coal River
Subbasin.  These new-species records most likely repre-
sent undersampling of streams that have often been
overlooked by investigators rather than new range
expansions.
  In some regions of the United States, the highest pro-
portion of non-native fish are typically present in the
most impaired streams (Maret,  1997; Waite and Car-
penter, 2000). In these regions, unimpaired streams are
typically cold-water streams with complex physical
habitat and low nutrient concentrations. In impaired
streams  where agricultural and urban land uses are
common, stream temperature and nutrient concentra-
tions are high and physical habitat is degraded. Many
non-native fish tolerate these conditions better than
many native species do, enabling the non-natives to
displace the natives. No such relation was found in the
Kanawha-New River Basin, where sedimentation and
increased dissolved solids have impaired  streams, but
where temperature and nutrient concentrations have
remained low (Messinger and Chambers, 2001, in
press). The proportion of introduced fish in the New
River system was high, even though other measures did
not indicate impairment.

Fish Species Common Throughout the Ohio River
Basin are Not Native Upstream from Kanawha Falls
  The New River system, which fisheries biologists
consider to include the Gauley River and its tributaries,
supports a different collection of fish species than the
downstream Kanawha River system, which is part of
the larger Ohio River system (Jenkins and Burkhead,
1994). Kanawha Falls (see front cover), a 24-foot
waterfall 2 miles downstream from the confluence of
the New and Gauley Rivers, is the boundary between
the New River and Kanawha River systems. This
waterfall has been a barrier to upstream fish movement
since glaciers affected streams more than 1 million
years ago. The New River system lacks native species
diversity, and it has unfilled ecological niches. It has
only 46  native fishes and the lowest ratio  of native
fishes to drainage area of any river system in the East-
ern United States.
  The lack of native-species diversity allowed other
species to develop in the New River system, which has
the largest proportion of endemic species (found
nowhere else in the world) in eastern North America (8
of 46). Introduced fish species have prospered in the
New River system; Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) cite
the New River system as having the largest number and
proportion (42 of 89) of introduced freshwater species
                                                                                     Major Findings  13

 image: 






of all major eastern and central North American drain-
ages.
  Although many species have been introduced and
become naturalized throughout the 19th and 20th cen-
turies, the New River fish fauna remain susceptible to
invasion. In contrast, 118 fish species are reported from
the Kanawha River system downstream from Kanawha
Falls (Stauffer and others, 1995); none of these fish
species are endemic to the Kanawha River system, and
only 15  are considered possible, probable, or known
introductions.

Fish Communities are Controlled By a Variety of
Environmental Factors in the Kanawha-New River
Basin
  In testing the possible effects of coal mining on fish
communities, results were less definitive than for
benthic invertebrates (p. 8-9). No common fish metrics
(Karr and Chu, 1999; Harbour and others, 1999) corre-
lated closely with mining  intensity or its surrogate,  sul-
fate concentration. The study included sites both
upstream and downstream from Kanawha Falls, and
differences in many metrics between the two groups
mask differences among land-use categories
(Messinger and Chambers, 2001, in press). However,
fish were collected at only 13 wadeable sites in the coal
region, which did not represent a full gradient of min-
ing intensity.

High Concentrations of Fecal  Bacteria
Remain in Streams if  Sources are Close
  Concentrations of
Escherichia coli (E.
coif) exceeded the
national guideline for
public swimming areas
in 26 percent of sam-
ples from major rivers
in the Kanawha-New
River Basin and in 43
percent of samples
from tributary  streams
(fig. 18); however, no
outbreak of water-
borne disease was
reported from the basin
during 1991-98 (Bar-
wick and others, 2000).
Bacteria concentration
                   Tributary streams
                         in stream water varies widely, reflecting the changing
                         balance between bacterial sources and many factors
                         that help or hinder bacteria transport. Because of the
                         wide variability, comparisons between streams based
                         on only a few samples can be misleading; a few gener-
                         alizations, however, can be made.
                            First, streams contain more bacteria if the sources
                         are close to the stream and the sampling site. Among
                         large rivers, median concentrations of E. coli were low-
                         est in the New River Gorge at Thurmond, in a reach
                         distant from any large city (fig. 18). Concentrations
                         were highest in the Kanawha River downstream from
                         the Charleston metropolitan area at Winfield. In the
                         two tributary basins with the highest median concentra-
                         tions, most homes are clustered close to the streams
                         because the land slopes steeply elsewhere. In contrast,
                         four tributary streams in basins with more moderate
                         slopes, where bacteria sources are more dispersed, had
                         median E. coli concentrations less than half as high.
                         Regardless of slope, direct contamination of a stream
                         by sewage or manure can produce extremely high con-
                         centrations, as Gillies and others (1998) observed in the
                         Greenbrier River.
                            Second, bacteria concentrations exceeding guide-
                         lines are much more common when streamflow is
                         greater than average, so streams generally contain more
                         bacteria in winter than in summer (fig. 19). E. coli con-
                         centrations exceeded guidelines in less than one-third
                         of summer samples from moderate-slope tributaries
                         and less than one-fifth from large rivers. In the three

                                          Large rivers
           Steep Slopes
                     Moderate slopes
                                          New River  Kanawha River
   10,000
  ,
 H  1,000
08
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                 •   •       •   •   •
                                                          EXPLANATION
                                                          •   MEASURED VALUE
                                                              MEDIAN VALUE
                                                              USEPA GUIDELINE
                                                              FOR PUBLIC
                                                              SWIMMING AREAS
            rt?>
          ,0*
          V
                        SAMPLING SITES

         Figure 18. E, coli bacteria concentrations in streams vary widely.
 14  Water Quality of the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 







Tributary streams
Large rivers
Steep slopes Moderate slopes New River Kanawha River
PERCENTAGE OF SAMPLES THAT
EXCEEDED 235 COLONIES OF
/> E. COLI PER 100 MILLILITERS
\. g g g g I


rn







D Summer (May-October)
n Winter (November-April)


•
. , , I

r

,

,r


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 Figure 19. Guidelines for E. coli are exceeded
 more often in winter than in summer for most
 streams.
tributary basins with steeper slope, however, concentra-
tions were higher in summer than winter.
  Finally, streams contain more bacteria if the bacteria
sources are large. Williams River, the tributary basin
with the lowest median concentration of E. coli (fig.
18) is home to only 5 people per square mile, compared
to the average of 71 people per square mile throughout
the entire Kanawha-New River Basin. For twice the
population density, median E.  coli was about 300 per-
cent higher among steep-slope tributaries. Among the
moderate-slope basins, however, including the Blue-
stone River Basin with 201 people per square mile,
median E. coli was only about 10 percent higher for
twice the population density. Neither the estimated
number of cattle nor the percentage of agricultural land
use in the tributary basins showed a relation to the
median bacteria concentrations.

Facts about E. coli
  Escherichia coli (E.  coli) is a bacterium that grows in
the intestines of people, other  mammals, and birds.
Most strains of E. coli  do not cause disease, but they do
indicate water contamination by feces, which could
contain other disease-causing  organisms. The national
guideline for public swimming areas is less than 235 E.
coli colonies per 100 milliliters of water (col/100 mL)
in any single sample (U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, 1986). That level is intended to allow no more
than 8 gastrointestinal illnesses per 1,000 swimmers.
For waters infrequently used for full-body-contact rec-
reation, the guideline is 576 col/100 mL.
Nutrient and Organic-Chemical
Concentrations in Surface Water
are Low in Most of the Basin

Nutrients were Detected at Low Concentrations in
Streams of the Kanawha-New River Basin
  Mean concentrations of nutrients in the Kanawha-
New River Basin were at or below national background
levels. Most concentrations, however, exceed those
measured at a stream-water-monitoring site at Williams
River, which drains mostly National forest. The highest
mean  nitrate concentration measured was 1.5 mg/L.
Flow-weighted mean ammonia concentrations ranged
from less than 0.02 to 0.04 mg/L. Mean total phospho-
rus concentration was less than 0.1 mg/L at nine sites;
the maximum was 0.15 mg/L. Nitrate and phosphorus
are typically increased by agricultural or urban land
uses, and certain nutrients, such as ammonia, can accu-
mulate from natural sources.
  Differences in nutrient concentrations were found
among sites because of differences in land use/land
cover, and physiography. Generally, basins with more
agriculture produced more mean total nitrogen than did
forested basins. The lowest mean total nitrogen con-
centration in streams, 0.71 mg/L was that for mostly
forested tributary basins in the Appalachian Plateaus
produced (fig. 20). The lowest mean concentration in
the basin, or background concentration, was 0.45 mg/L,
at Williams River. Tributary streams with basins mostly
or wholly within the Valley and Ridge Physiographic
Province had the highest mean total nitrogen, 1.04
mg/L. One stream in the Blue Ridge had a mean total
nitrogen concentration of 0.94 mg/L. The mean total
nitrogen concentration was not substantially  different
between large rivers and smaller tributaries (0.83 and
0.90 mg/L respectively).
  Four  sites, draining forest mixed with agriculture or
coal mining, ranked among the best sites in the Nation
in a national Algal Status Index. This index measures
the proportion of algal samples that belong to species
that are tolerant of high nutrient concentrations and
siltation.

Pesticides were Detected at Low Concentrations in
Surface Water
  Pesticides were sampled for 9 to 25 times  at  four
sites in  1997. Two sites were on main-stem, large
streams. The other two sites on tributary streams
drained basins with more than 30 percent agricultural
                                                                                     Major Findings  15

 image: 






                                                                     Figure 20. Because
                                                                     much of the Kanawha
                                                                     New River Basin is
                                                                     forested, surface water
                                                                     and ground water
                                                                     contain low
                                                                     concentrations of
                                                                     nutrients and few
                                                                     pesticides.
land and some urban land. (See Study Unit Design,
p. 20). Time of sampling covered the seasonal spec-
trum of both climate and pesticide application. The
pesticides detected at all sites are routinely detected at
agricultural sites across the Nation.
  Surface-water samples in the Kanawha-New River
Basin contained only a few pesticides at low levels. In
all, 23 of 83 pesticides analyzed for were detected
(Ward and others, 1998). All pesticide detections were
less than 1 |ig/L; concentrations detected did not
exceed USEPA drinking-water standards or aquatic-life
criteria. The most commonly detected pesticides were
atrazine, deethylatrazine (a breakdown product of atra-
zine), metolachlor, prometon, simazine, and tebuthiu-
ron. Atrazine, deethylatrazine, metolachlor and
simazine were detected in more than 90 percent of
samples.
  Dioxin is a particularly toxic contaminant in certain
herbicides formerly manufactured near Charleston and
is a known contaminant in the lower Kanawha River,
but it was not analyzed for this study. Dioxin in the
lower Kanawha River is the target of ongoing regula-
tory investigations by USEPA and other agencies.

Many VOCs Detected in the  Lower Kanawha River
  Numerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have
been detected routinely at low concentrations in the
Kanawha River downstream from the Charleston met-
ropolitan area (Tennant and others, 1992). In this study,
more than 20 VOCs were detected, at concentrations
ranging from 0.015 to 0.3 |lg/L, in each of two samples
collected in late 1997 from the Kanawha River at Win-
field. Each sample was analyzed for 85 compounds
(Ward and others, 1998). The compounds detected at
Winfield, downstream from Charleston, included
chloroform, motor fuel and aromatic compounds such
as benzene, and industrial compounds such as ethers.
In contrast, only a single compound was detected in
one of two samples collected from the Kanawha River
upstream at Kanawha Falls.
  During 1987-96, one or more of 21 VOCs were
detected in 50 percent of all daily samples collected for
the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission
(ORSANCO) from an industrial water intake at St.
Albans, downstream from Charleston (Lundgren and
Lopes, 1999). Benzene and toluene were the two most
frequently detected compounds, and a maximum of 11
compounds was detected in a single sample. Median
concentrations ranged from 0.1 to 2.3 |lg/L. Gasoline
spills or leaks of as little as 10 gallons per day that
reach the river could produce the concentrations mea-
sured at St. Albans.

Radon Concentrations and  Bacterial
Contamination are the Principal Ground-
Water-Quality Concerns

Physiographic Province, Geology, Well Construction,
and Land Use Affect the Quality of Water from
Domestic Wells
Ground water from private wells provides domestic
supply for 30 percent of the people in the Kanawha-
New River Basin. High concentrations of radon are a
concern in the Blue Ridge (p. 18), and private wells can
be contaminated by fecal bacteria throughout the basin
(p. 19), but the occurrence of other contaminants dif-
fers among the physiographic provinces.
 16  Water Quality of the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






APPALACHIAN PLATEAUS PHYSIOGRAPHIC PROVINCE
In the layered sedimentary rocks of the Appalachian
Plateaus, ground water moves mostly in a network of
narrow fractures within a few hundred feet of the land
surface (Wyrick and Borchers, 1981; Harlow and
LeCain, 1993). Individual fractures typically connect to
only a few others, and a well normally taps only a few
of the many fractures nearby.  Recharge comes from
rain and melting snow. Ground water flows generally
toward the nearest stream, forming local aquifers
bounded by the ridgetops. Contamination  of a local
aquifer and its stream is most likely to come from local
sources.
  Water samples were collected from 30 newer domes-
tic wells or similar-capacity public-supply wells
throughout the Appalachian Plateaus (Sheets and
Kozar, 2000) and from 28 generally older domestic
wells close to surface coal mines where reclamation
was completed between 1986 and 1996. Wells near
active mines were not sampled. Most of the wells were
between 40 and 200 feet deep, and most water levels
were between 10 and 90 feet below land surface.
  Concentrations of iron and manganese exceeded
USEPA drinking-water guidelines in 40 and 57 percent,
respectively, of the wells throughout the Appalachian
Plateaus and in about 70 percent of wells near
reclaimed mines. Water that exceeds these guidelines is
unpleasant to drink and can stain laundry and plumbing
fixtures, but it is not a health hazard.
  Potentially hazardous concentrations of methane, an
odorless component of natural gas that is often associ-
ated with coal seams, were detected in water at 7 per-
cent of the wells. At concentrations greater than about
10 mg/L, methane can bubble out of water pumped
from a well. If enough gas collects in a confined space,
an explosion is possible. In the West Virginia coal
fields, any well water that bubbles is a potential meth-
ane explosion hazard.
  Other chemical analyses of ground water samples
collected as part of this study showed the following
water-quality characteristics and conditions. Water
from 61 percent of the wells near reclaimed mines was
slightly acidic (pH less than 6.5) and could leach lead
or copper from water pipes in homes. Only 23 percent
of other Appalachian Plateaus wells produced acidic
water. Radon exceeded the proposed USEPA standard
at half the wells throughout the Appalachian Plateaus
(p. 18). Water from half the wells exceeded 20 mg/L of
sodium, the upper limit that USEPA suggests for peo-
ple on a sodium-restricted diet. Arsenic in water from 7
percent of the wells exceeded the 10-|ig/L standard set
in January 2001, but none exceeded the previous
50-|ig/L standard. Concentrations of radon, sodium,
and arsenic were lower in wells near reclaimed mines
than in wells remote from reclaimed mines. Home
water-treatment techniques can remove lead, copper,
sodium, and arsenic from drinking water.

BLUE RIDGE PHYSIOGRAPHIC PROVINCE
In the igneous and metamorphic bedrock of the Blue
Ridge, as in the Appalachian Plateaus, ground water
moves in a  network of shallow fractures. Local aqui-
fers generally drain toward the nearest stream (Coble
and others,  1985).
   Water samples were collected from 30 newer domes-
tic wells or similar low-capacity public-supply wells
throughout the Blue Ridge. Most of the wells were
between 100 and 350 feet deep, and most water levels
were between 10 and 70 feet below land surface.
   Ground water in the Blue Ridge is susceptible to
contamination. Chlorofluorocarbon concentrations
showed that the water in 89 percent of the wells had
been recharged within the previous 20 years, indicating
that contaminants could be transmitted readily into the
fractured rock aquifers (Kozar and others, 2001).
   Chemical analyses of ground water samples col-
lected as part of this study indicated that concentrations
of radon were among the highest in the Nation (p. 18);
iron and manganese concentrations exceeded guide-
lines at only 17 percent of the wells; sodium exceeded
20 mg/L at 3 percent of the wells; and arsenic did not
exceed 1  |ig/L at any of the sites. Pesticides were
detected at 57 percent of the wells. The presence of the
common  agricultural herbicide atrazine in ground
water, even in low concentrations, shows that potential
contaminants could move quickly from the land surface
into the drinking-water aquifer.
Valley and Ridge Physiographic Province ground-
water conditions can be inferred from studies in similar
settings in the Potomac River Basin, which was one of
the 1991 NAWQA study units. See Lindsey and Ator,
1996 and Ator and others, 1998 for more details.
                                                                                    Major Findings   17

 image: 






                                               Kanawha-New
                                                River Basin
       EXPLANATION
  STUDY UNITS WITH GROUND-WATER
  RADON CONCENTRATION EXCEEDING:
  d 1,000 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) in
    at least 25 percent of samples
  d 600 pCi/L in at least 25 percent of samples
  n 300 pCi/L in at least 25 percent of samples
  d 300 pCi/L in fewer than 25 percent of samples
  n No data
                                                                   River Basin
                                                               Potomac River Basin
     Upper Tennessee
       River Basin
                                                        Allegheny and
                                                       Monongahela Basins
                                                                               Radon is a radioactive gas
                                                                             that forms during the decay
                                                                             of natural uranium. Igneous
                                                                             and metamorphic rocks, like
                                                              Lower Susquehanna  those in the Blue Ridge,
                                                                             commonly contain more ura-
                                                                             nium than other rock types.
                                                                             Radon in the air in homes is
                                                                             the second leading cause of
                                                                             lung cancer; and radon
                                                                             causes 2-3 percent of all
                                                                             cancer deaths in the United
                                                                             States. Homes can be
                                                                             designed or remodeled to
remove radon from both drinking water and interior air. The only way to determine if an individual well or home
exceeds standards, however, is to have the water or air tested. Information on radon testing and removal is avail-
able at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/radon/qal.html and other Web sites.
  Radon concentration exceeds 1,000 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) in at least 25 percent of ground-water samples
collected in many areas of the Eastern United States. In the Kanawha-New River Basin, 30 percent of samples
exceeded 1,000 pCi/L (Appendix, p. 27), making the basin comparable to the Potomac and Lower Susquehanna
River Basins to the northeast. Within the basin, however, radon in two-thirds of samples from  wells in the Blue
Ridge exceeded 1,000 pCi/L, but only in 10 percent of samples from the Appalachian Plateaus. The northern part
of the basin, therefore, is more comparable to the adjacent Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers and Upper
Tennessee River Basins.
Ground-water Radon Concentrations were Highest in
the Blue Ridge
Radon concentrations were greater than 300 pCi/L, the
proposed drinking-water standard (U.S. Environmen-
tal Protection Agency, 1999), in 87 percent of wells
sampled in the Blue Ridge (fig. 21).  The maximum
concentration detected was 30,900 pCi/L (Kozar and
Sheets, 1997). Of the 30 wells  sampled, 10 contained
concentrations of radon greater than 4,000 pCi/L, the
alternate standard USEPA has proposed for regions
where action is taken to decrease airborne radon. As
water is used in a home, radon in the water can lead to
an increase in radon in the air, which is the major
exposure path for people.
  Radon concentrations exceeded 300 pCi/L at 50 per-
cent of wells sampled throughout the Appalachian Pla-
teaus. The maximum in any sample was 2,500 pCi/L
(fig. 21). The area is underlain primarily by sandstone,
shale, coal, and limestone sedimentary rocks, in which
uranium is less common than in igneous and meta-
morphic rocks.
  At 28 wells downgradient from recently reclaimed
surface coal mines, the median radon concentration
was just 115 pCi/L, and the maximum was 450 pCi/L.
         Appalachian
           Plateaus
           Province
  EXPLANATION
  SAMPLED WELLS
      O Subunit survey
      n Mining land-use survey
  RADON CONCENTRATION
  In picocuries per liter
      O Less than 300
     • • 300 4,000
     • • Greater than 4,000
                                  Blue Ridge
                                   Province
  Figure 21. Radon concentrations vary greatly among
  physiographic provinces.
 18  Water Quality of the Kanawha-New River Basin

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In comparison, at 15 wells in the same geologic units
but not near mines, the median concentration was 200
pCi/L.

Modern Well Construction Can Prevent Fecal Bacteria
from Reaching Drinking Water in Most Areas
   Escherichia coli (E. coli) and the broader fecal
coliform group of bacteria indicate the possible pres-
ence of disease-causing organisms. Standards for pub-
lic drinking-water supplies do not permit the presence
of any of these bacteria at detectable levels. Septic sys-
tems or livestock near a well are the probable sources
of bacteria throughout the basin. Proper well construc-
tion can prevent bacteria from reaching the well water
in some settings, and drinking water can be disinfected
with chemicals or ultraviolet light.
   Water from  wells less than 25 years old in the  Appa-
lachian Plateaus  and Blue Ridge was generally free
from fecal bacteria (table 2). The sampled wells were
generally in good condition, with a section of solid pipe
at the top of the well sealed with concrete into the soil
and rock (Sheets and Kozar, 1997). A residential  septic
system typically  was nearby, but no heavy livestock use
was within several hundred yards. Bacteria were found,
however, at one fourth of the wells in a second study in
the Appalachian Plateaus, which included some older
wells and some without seals. Near these wells, there
also may have been bacteria sources other than a septic
system.

Table 2. E. coli or other fecal coliform bacteria were detected
       in few modern wells
          Setting
Percentage of wells where
 bacteria were detected
 Appalachian Plateaus:
   Newer wells
   Older wells

 Blue Ridge (newer wells only)
         3
        26
  Most wells in limestone aquifers in the basin, includ-
ing the Valley and Ridge, are at risk of contamination
by bacteria (Boyer and Pasquarell, 1999), even if septic
systems or livestock wastes are not nearby (Mathes,
2000), because  ground water moves rapidly through
solution channels in the rock. The wide valleys that
typically overlie limestone aquifers are heavily used for
livestock and agriculture.
Volatile Organic Compounds and Pesticides in Ground
Water were Found in Low Concentrations
  Both volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and pesti-
cides were detected at low concentrations in the ground
water of the Kanawha-New River Basin (Appendix, p.
27). Thirteen percent of samples (9 of 60) contained
VOC concentrations greater than 0.1 |ig/L. Of the
seven detected VOCs, however, only three have estab-
lished drinking-water standards. None of the VOCs
identified in samples exceeded these standards. Pesti-
cides were found above a detection limit of 0.001 |ig/L
in 32 percent of samples (19 of 60). Of the 12 detected
pesticides, 4 have established drinking-water standards,
none of which was exceeded.
  Pesticides were detected in 17 of 30 wells sampled in
the Blue Ridge, where 30 percent of the land was being
used for agriculture in 1993. The most commonly
detected pesticides, at one-third of the wells, were atra-
zine and its breakdown product deethylatrazine. The
maximum concentration of all pesticides detected in a
single sample was 0.14 |ig/L. Two other pesticides,
p,p'-DDE and simazine, were present in more than 10
percent of samples at a maximum concentration of
0.025 |ig/L in this province. In the largely non agricul-
tural Appalachian Plateaus, however, pesticides were
detected only at two wells.

Nutrient Concentrations in Ground Water were At or
Below National Background Levels
  Nutrients were prevalent at relatively low concentra-
tions in ground water of the Kanawha-New River
Basin. Nitrate concentration in  1 of 88 wells sampled in
this study exceeded the USEPA drinking-water stan-
dard of 10 mg/L (as nitrogen). Most ground water con-
tained less nitrate than does precipitation in the basin.
Concentrations of other nutrients measured were at or
below national background levels. These findings are
consistent with national findings on nutrients in the
ground water of forested areas, and the Kanawha-New
River Basin is about 80 percent forested.
  In the water of Appalachian Plateaus wells, the rela-
tively high median ammonia concentration for a for-
ested region-0.16 mg/L- is probably a result of
mineralization of organic material. In contrast, ground
water in the Blue Ridge, where a greater percentage of
land is used for agriculture, had ground water with a
higher median nitrate concentration (0.42 mg/L) and  a
higher median dissolved-oxygen concentration (5.1
mg/L).
                                                                                        Major Findings   19

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STUDY  UNIT DESIGN
  Studies in the Kanawha-New River Basin were designed to describe the general quality of water and the aquatic
ecosystem and to relate these conditions to natural and human influences (Gilliom and others, 1995). The design
focused on the principal environmental settings—combinations of geohydrology, physiography, and land
use—throughout the basin. The studies supplement assessment work by State agencies (Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality, 1998; North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1999; West
Virginia Division of Environmental Protection, 2000).
Stream Chemistry and Ecology
  The sampling network was designed to characterize
the effects of land use on stream quality at various
scales. Water chemistry, fish and invertebrate commu-
nities, habitat, and bed-sediment and fish-tissue chem-
istry were used  as indicators of stream quality. Fixed
Sites were chosen on large rivers at the boundary
between the Valley and Ridge and Appalachian Pla-
teaus Physiographic Provinces, downstream from the
Greenbrier and  Gauley Rivers, and near the mouth of
the Kanawha River. Fixed Sites also were chosen on
tributaries to represent the effects of agriculture, coal
mining, forest, and a relatively large human population
in an otherwise rural setting.
                    Appalachian
                     Plateaus
                     Province
                EXPLANATION
            SURFACE STREAM-WATER
            SITE LOCATION
             • Pesticides
             * Coal-mining synoptic study
             • Bed sediment and tissue
             O Water quality and ecology
                                           Valley
                                            and
                                           Ridge
                                          Province
                                              Blue Ridge
                                              Province
     Appalachian
      Plateaus
      Province
    EXPLANATION
  AQUIFER SURVEY WELLS
  • Blue Ridge
  • Appalachian Plateaus

  • MINING LAND-USE
     STUDY WELLS
 Valley
  and
 Ridge
Province
                             Blue Ridge
                              Province
Ground-Water Quality
  The ground-water network was designed to broadly
characterize the resource. Little previous information
was available in the aquifer-survey areas. Aquifer sur-
veys examined more constituents than any previous
study and included a random component in site selec-
tion that allows estimates to be made for the whole
population of similar wells. The land-use study tar-
geted current effects of mining reclamation standards
that have developed since around 1980.
20    Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






Study
component
(Type of site)
What data were collected and why
Types of sites sampled
Number
of sites
Sampling
frequency
and period
STREAM CHEMISTRY AND ECOLOGY
Fixed sites —
General quality of
the water column
Fixed sites —
Dissolved
pesticides
Fixed sites —
General stream
ecology and
habitat
Contaminants in fish
tissue
Contaminants in bed
sediment
Synoptic sites —
Coal mining
Concentration, seasonal variability, and load of major ions,
common metals, nutrients, bacteria, organic carbon,
dissolved oxygen, suspended sediment, pH, specific
conductance, and temperature. Continuous streamflow
monitoring.
Concentration and seasonal variability of 86 organic
compounds in addition to the general water-column
constituents listed above.
Fish, benthic invertebrate, and algae communities were
sampled and physical habitat was described to
determine the presence and community structure of
aquatic species.
To determine the presence of potentially toxic compounds
in food chains that can include humans. Data included
22 elements and 28 organic compounds. Samples were
a composite of at least five fish from one species,
usually rock bass or common carp.
To determine the presence of potentially toxic compounds
attached to sediments accessible to aquatic life. Data
included 44 elements and more than 100 organic
compounds.
To assess the present effects of coal mining in Appalachian
Plateaus streams and the change in stream chemistry
since about 1980. Data included discharge, alkalinity,
acidity, pH, specific conductance, sulfate, chloride, and
dissolved and total iron, manganese, and aluminum.
Coordinated with a similar study in the Allegheny-
Monongahela study unit.
Benthic invertebrate community, physical habitat,
contaminants in bed sediment, and other major
ions in addition to constituents listed above.
Fish community, in addition to constituents listed above.
Large rivers with mixed land use, draining 3,700
to 1 1,800 square miles at sites located between
major tributaries or at boundaries of regional
environmental settings.
Tributary streams draining 40 to 300 square miles
in basins with predominant land uses of agri-
culture, coal mining, forest, and rural
residential.
One large river downstream from the Valley and
Ridge Physiographic Province and one near the
mouth of the Kanawha River.
Tributary streams with extensive agricultural land
use.
Fixed sites where general water-column samples
were collected.
Fixed sites where general water-column samples
were collected, plus contrasting settings in
three large basins with mixed land use and five
tributaries.
Same as sites for contaminants in fish. Composite
samples were collected from depositional
zones, where fine-grained sediments
transported within the past year settle out of the
water.
Streams draining 0.2 to 128 square miles in areas
of known mining history, including unmined
basins. Most of the sites were sampled for
water-column chemistry during 1979-81.
A subset of sites described above, draining 8.8 to
128 mi2.
A subset of benthic invertebrate sites.
4
7
2
2
11
19
19
57, including
3 Fixed
Sites
30
10
Monthly plus storms:
about 30 samples
during October
1996 through Sep-
tember 1998.
Semimonthly to
monthly; 14 or 15
samples in 1997.
Weekly to monthly
during 1997; 9 or
25 samples.
Once, in 1997; three
reaches sampled at
each of three tribu-
tary sites in 1998.
1 or 2 samples per site
and species, during
1996 or 1997; 27
total samples.
1 or 2 samples during
1996 or 1997; 21
total samples.
One sample during
low flow, July
1998.
GROUND-WATER
Aquifer Surveys —
Blue Ridge and
Appalachian Pla-
teaus
Land-use effects,
reclaimed surface
coal mines
General water quality, to determine the occurrence and
distribution of contaminants. Data included major ions,
nutrients, bacteria, organic carbon, 19 trace elements,
47 pesticides, 86 volatile organic compounds, dissolved
oxygen, turbidity, pH, specific conductance, and tem-
perature. Samples from the Blue Ridge were analyzed
for an additional 39 pesticides.
General water quality, to determine effects of present
reclamation requirements. Data included the constitu-
ents from aquifer surveys, without pesticides or volatile
organic compounds. Coordinated with a similar study in
the Allegheny-Monongahela Study Unit.
Domestic and public supply wells 25 years old
and younger, and in good condition.
Domestic wells within 3,100 feet downgradient
from a fully reclaimed surface coal mine.
Reclamation was complete between 2 and 12
years before sampling. None of the sites were
near "mountaintop removal" mines. Included
both old and new wells.
60
28,
compared to
1 0 unmined
aquifer survey
sites.
Once in 1997.
Once in 1998.
Study Unit Design    21

 image: 






GLOSSARY
Aquatic-life criteria—Water-quality guidelines for protec-
     tion of aquatic life. Often refers to U.S. Environmental
     Protection Agency water-quality criteria for protection
     of aquatic organisms.
Aquifer— A water-bearing layer of soil, sand, gravel, or
     rock that will yield usable quantities of water to a well.
Background concentration— A concentration of a sub-
     stance in a particular environment that is indicative of
     minimal influence by human (anthropogenic) sources.
Bed sediment— The material that temporarily is stationary
     in the bottom of a stream or other watercourse.
Benthic— Of, related to, or occurring on the bottom of a
     water body.
Community— In ecology, the species that interact in a com-
     mon area.
Constituent— A chemical or biological substance in water,
    sediment, or biota that can be measured by an analytical
    method.
Criterion— A standard rule or test on which a judgment or
     decision can be based. Plural, Criteria.
Cubic foot per second (ft /s, or cfs)— Rate of water dis-
     charge representing a volume of 1 cubic foot passing a
     given point during 1 second, equivalent to approxi-
     mately 7.48 gallons per second, or 448.8 gallons per
     minute, or 0.02832 cubic meter per second.
Detection limit— The minimum concentration of a sub-
     stance that can be identified, measured, and reported
     within 99 percent confidence that the analyte concentra-
     tion is greater than zero; determined from analysis of a
     sample in a given matrix containing the analyte.
Dissolved constituent— Operationally defined as a constit-
     uent that passes through a 0.45-micrometer filter.
Dissolved solids— Amount of minerals, such as salt, that are
     dissolved in water; amount of dissolved solids is an
     indicator of salinity or hardness.
Downgradient— At  or toward a location farther from the
    source of ground-water flow.
Drainage basin— The portion of the surface of the Earth
    that contributes water to a stream through overland run-
    off, including tributaries and impoundments.
Drinking-water standard or guideline— A threshold con-
     centration in a public drinking-water supply, designed
     to protect human health. As defined here,  standards are
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that
     specify the maximum contaminate levels for public
     water systems required to protect the public welfare;
     guidelines have no regulatory status and are issued in an
     advisory capacity.
Escherichia coli—A common species of intestinal or  fecal
     bacteria.
Fecal bacteria— Microscopic single-celled organisms (pri-
     marily fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci) found in
     the wastes of warm-blooded animals. Their presence in
     water is used to assess the sanitary quality of water for
    body-contact recreation or for consumption. Their pres-
    ence indicates contamination by the wastes of warm-
    blooded animals and the possible presence of patho-
    genic (disease producing) organisms.
Intolerant organisms— Organisms that are not adaptable to
    human alterations to the environment and thus decline
    in numbers where human alterations occur. See also
    Tolerant species.
Major ions—Constituents commonly present in concentra-
    tions exceeding 1.0 milligram per liter. Dissolved cat-
    ions generally are calcium, magnesium, sodium, and
    potassium; the major anions are sulfate, chloride, fluo-
    ride, nitrate, and those contributing to alkalinity, most
    generally bicarbonate and carbonate.
Maximum contaminant level (MCL)— Maximum permis-
    sible level of a contaminant in water that is delivered to
    any user of a public water system. MCLs are enforce-
    able standards established by the U.S. Environmental
    Protection Agency.
Micrograms per liter (|ig/L)— A unit expressing the con-
    centration of constituents in solution as weight (micro-
    grams) of solute per unit volume (liter) of water;
    equivalent to one part per billion in most streamwater
    and ground water. One thousand micrograms per liter
    equals 1 milligram per liter.
Milligrams per liter (mg/L)— A unit expressing the con-
    centration of chemical constituents in solution as
    weight (milligrams) of solute per unit volume (liter) of
    water; equivalent to one part per million in most stream-
    water and ground water.
Minimum reporting level (MRL)— The smallest measured
    concentration of a constituent that may be reliably
    reported using a given analytical method. In many
    cases, the MRL is used when documentation for the
    detection limit is not available.
Modified Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (MHBI)— The Hilsen-
    hoff Biotic Index (HBI) is a benthic invertebrate com-
    munity index developed by W.L. Hilsenhoff. The HBI is
    determined by assigning a pollution tolerance value for
    each family of benthic invertebrates, then  computing
    the average tolerance for a sample. In a modification of
    the HBI developed by R.W. Bode and M.A. Novak, pol-
    lution tolerance values are assigned by genus, which
    provides greater resolution in the average tolerance.
Nutrient— In aquatic systems, a substance that contributes
    to algal growth. Nutrients of concern include nitrogen
    and phosphorus compounds, but not elemental nitrogen.
Picocurie (pCi)— One trillionth (1012) of the amount of
    radioactivity represented by a curie (Ci). A curie is the
    amount of radioactivity that yields 3.7 x 1010 radioac-
    tive disintegrations per second (dps). A picocurie yields
    2.22 disintegrations per minute (dpm), or 0.037 dps.
22     Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)— A class of
    organic compounds with a fused-ring (aromatic) struc-
    ture. PAHs result from incomplete combustion of
    organic carbon (including wood), municipal solid
    waste, and fossil fuels, as well as from natural or
    anthropogenic introduction of uncombusted coal and
    oil. PAHs include benzo(a)pyrene, fluoranthene, and
    pyrene.
Recharge— Water that infiltrates the ground and reaches the
    saturated zone.
Secondary maximum contaminant level (SMCL)— The
    maximum contamination level in public water systems
    that, in the judgment of the U.S. Environmental Protec-
    tion Agency (USEPA), is required to protect the public
    welfare. SMCLs are secondary (nonenforceable) drink-
    ing water regulations established by the USEPA for
    contaminants that may adversely affect the odor or
    appearance of such water.
Sediment— Particles, derived from rocks or biological
    materials, that have been transported by a fluid or other
    natural process, suspended or settled in water.
Specific conductance— A measure of the ability of a liquid
    to conduct an electrical current.
Suspended (as used in tables of chemical analyses)— The
    amount (concentration) of undissolved material in a
    water-sediment mixture. It is associated with the mate-
    rial retained on a 0.45-micrometer filter.
Suspended sediment— Particles of rock, sand, soil, and
    organic detritus carried in suspension in the water  col-
    umn, in contrast  to sediment that moves on  or near the
    streambed.
Taxon— Any identifiable group of taxonomically related
    organisms, such  as a species or family. Plural, Taxa.
Tolerant species— Those species that are adaptable to (tol-
    erant of) human  alterations to the environment and
    often increase in  number when human alterations occur.
Trace element— An  element found in only minor amounts
    (concentrations less than 1.0 milligram per liter) in
    water or sediment;  includes arsenic, cadmium,  chro-
    mium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc.
Upgradient— At or toward a location nearer to the source
    of ground-water flow.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)— Organic chemicals
    that have a high vapor pressure relative to their water
    solubility. VOCs include components of gasoline,  fuel
    oils, and lubricants, as well as organic solvents, fumi-
    gants, some inert ingredients in pesticides, and some
    by-products of chlorine disinfection.
Water-quality standards— State-adopted and U.S. Envi-
    ronmental Protection Agency-approved ambient stan-
    dards for water bodies. Standards include the use of the
    water body and the water-quality criteria that must be
    met to protect the designated use or uses.
Watershed— See Drainage basin.
Babcock Mill at Babcock State Park, WV.
Photograph by Douglas B. Chambers, USGS.
                                                                                                 Glossary     23

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24     Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin

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                                                                                              References     25

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Photograph by Katherine S. Paybins, USGS.
26     Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






APPENDIX—WATER-QUALITY  DATA FROM  THE

KANAWHA-NEW RIVER  BASIN  IN  A NATIONAL  CONTEXT

For a complete view of Kanawha-New River Basin data and for additional information about specific benchmarks used, visit our Web site at
http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/. Also visit the NAWQA Data Warehouse for access to NAWQA data sets at http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/data.
This appendix is a summary of chemical concentrations
and biological indicators assessed in the Kanawha-New
River Basin. Selected results for this basin are graphically
compared to results from as many as 36 NAWQA Study
Units investigated from 1991 to 1998 and to national
water-quality benchmarks for human health, aquatic life, or
fish-eating wildlife. The chemical and biological indicators
shown were selected on the basis of frequent detection,
detection at concentrations above a national benchmark,
or regulatory or scientific importance. The graphs illustrate
how conditions associated with each land use sampled in
the Kanawha-New River Basin compare to results from
across the Nation, and how conditions compare among
the several land  uses. Graphs for chemicals show only
detected concentrations and, thus, care must be taken to
evaluate detection frequencies in addition to concentra-
tions when comparing study-unit and national results. For
example, simazine concentrations in Kanawha-New River
Basin agricultural streams were similar to the national
distribution,  but the detection frequency was much higher
(94 percent compared to 61  percent).
  CHEMICALS IN WATER
  Concentrations and detection frequencies, Kanawha-New River
  Basin, 1996-98—Detection sensitivity varies among chemicals and,
  thus, frequencies are not directly comparable among chemicals

     *  Detected concentration in Study Unit

   66 38  Frequencies of detection, in percent. Detection frequencies
        were not censored at any common reporting limit. The left-
        hand column is the study-unit frequency and the right-hand
        column is the national frequency

        Not measured or sample size less than two

     12  Study-unit sample size. For ground water, the number of
        samples is equal to the number of wells sampled

  National ranges of detected concentrations, by land use, in 36
  NAWQA Study Units, 1991-98—Ranges include only samples
  in which a chemical was detected

                      Streams in agricultural areas
                      Streams in urban areas
                      Streams and rivers draining mixed land uses

                      Shallow ground water in agricultural areas
                      Shallow ground water in urban areas
                      Major aquifers
   Lowest   Middle  Highest
     25    50     25
   percent  percent  percent

  National water-quality benchmarks
  National benchmarks include standards and guidelines related to
  drinking-water quality, criteriaforprotectingthe health of aquatic life, and
  a goal for preventing stream eutrophication due to phosphorus. Sources
  include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Canadian
  Council of Ministers of the Environment

     |   Drinking-water quality (applies to ground water and surface water)

     |   Protection of aquatic life (applies to surface water only)

     |   Prevention of eutrophication in streams not flowing directly into
        lakes or impoundments

     *   No benchmark for drinking-water quality
     **  No benchmark for protection of aquatic life
 Pesticides in water—Herbicides

  Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
     National frequency of detection, in percent
 II
100  88
 --  86
 97  87
                                             Study-unit sample size
        Atrazine (AAtrex, Atrex, Atred, Gesaprim)
 --   30
 20   18
100  75
 --  62
 97  75

 --  39
 --  28
 17  19
        Deethylatrazine (Atrazine breakdown product) *
        Metolachlor (Dual, Pennant)
        Simazine (Princep, Caliber 90)

 --   77
 86   7H

 --   21
 --   18
 10    5
 36  22
 --  39
 52  32

      3

  0   3
        Tebuthiuron (Spike, Tebusan)
'1
 33
  0
 29
                                                           0
                                                           0
                                                          60
                                                          55
                                                           0
                                                          29

                                                           0
                                                           0
                                                          60
                                                          55
                                                           0
                                                          29

                                                           0
                                                           0
                                                          55
                                                           0
                                                          29

                                                           0
                                                           0
                                                          60
                                                          55
                                                           0
                                                          29

                                                           0
                                                           0
                                                          60
             0.001    0.01     0.1      1      10     100

                CONCENTRATION, IN MICROGRAMS PER LITER
 Other herbicides detected
 Acetochlor (Harness Plus, Surpass) * **
 Alachlor (Lasso, Bronco, Lariat, Bullet)  **
 Benfluralin (Balan, Benefin, Bonalan) * **
 Cyanazine (Bladex, Fortrol)
 DCPA (Dacthal, chlorthal-dimethyl) * **
 2,6-Diethylaniline (Alachlor breakdown product) * **
 Dinoseb (Dinosebe)
 Diuron (Crisuron, Karmex, Diurex)  **
 EPIC (Eptam, Farmarox, Alirox) * **
 Fenuron (Fenulon, Fenidim) * **
 Molinate (Ordram) * **
 Napropamide (Devrinol) * **
 Oryzaiin (Surilan, Dirimal) * **
 Prometon (Pramitol, Princep) **
 Triallate (Far-Go, Avadex BW, Tri-allate) *
 Triclopyr (Garlon, Grandstand, Redeem, Remedy) * **
 Trifluralin (Treflan, Gowan,Tri-4,Trific)

 Herbicides not detected
 Acifluorfen (Blazer, Tackle  2S) **
 Bentazon (Basagran, Bentazone)  **
 Bromacil (Hyvar X, Urox B, Bromax)
 Bromoxynil (Buctril, Brominal) *
 Butylate (Sutan +, Genate Plus, Butilate) **
 Chloramben (Amiben, Amilon-WP, Vegiben) **
 Clopyralid (Stinger, Lontrel, Transline) * **
 2,4-D (Aqua-Kleen, Lawn-Keep, Weed-B-Gone)
 2,4-DB (Butyrac, Butoxone, Embutox Plus,  Embutone)"
 Dacthal mono-acid (Dacthal breakdown product) * **
 Dicamba (Banvel, Dianat, Scotts Proturf)
 Dichlorprop (2,4-DP, Seritox 50, Lentemul)  * **
 Ethalfluralin (Sonalan, Curbit) * **
                                                                         Water-Quality Data in a National Context    27

 image: 






Fluometuron (Flo-Met, Cotoran) **
Linuron (Lorox, Linex, Sarclex, Linurex, Afalon) *
MCPA (Rhomene, Rhonox, Chiptox)
MCPB  (Thistrol) * **
Metribuzin (Lexone, Sencor)
Neburon (Neburea, Neburyl,  Noruben) * **
Norflurazon (Evital, Predict, Solicam, Zorial) * **
Pebulate (Tillam, PEBC) * **
Pendimethalin (Pre-M, Prowl, Stomp) * **
Picloram (Grazon, Tordon)
Pronamide (Kerb, Propyzamid) **
Propachlor (Ramrod, Satecid)  **
Propanil (Stam, Stampede, Wham) * **
Propham (Tuberite) **
2,4,5-T **
2,4,5-TP (Silvex, Fenoprop)  **
Terbacil (Sinbar) **
Thiobencarb (Bolero, Saturn, Benthiocarb) * **
Pesticides in water—Insecticides

 Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
     National frequency of detection, in percent
                                                                             Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in  ground water
                                                                             These graphs represent data from 16 Study Units, sampled from 1996 to 1998
II
                                                  Study-unit sample size
        p,p'-DDE
I 8 • •)»*• 1.43'
2 • "
o n | rr
n
2 •      <:»..
72 *m
33
0
29
0
0
60
      0.0001    0.001     0.01      0.1      1       10      100

                  CONCENTRATION, IN MICROGRAMS PER LITER
Other insecticides detected
Carbaryl (Carbamine, Denapon, Sevin)
Carbofuran (Furadan, Curaterr, Yaltox)
Chlorpyrifos (Brodan, Dursban, Lorsban)
Diazinon (Basudin, Diazatol, Neocidol, Knox Out)
alpha-HCH (alpha-BHC, alpha-lindane) **
gamma-HCH (Lindane, gamma-BHC)
Malathion (Malathion)

Insecticides not detected
Aldicarb (Temik, Ambush, Pounce)
Aldicarb sulfone (Standak, aldoxycarb)
Aldicarb sulfoxide (Aldicarb breakdown product)
Azinphos-methyl (Guthion, Gusathion M) *
Dieldrin (Panoram D-31, Octalox, Compound 497)
Disulfoton (Disyston, Di-Syston) **
Ethoprop (Mocap, Ethoprophos) * **
Fonofos (Dyfonate, Capfos, Cudgel, Tycap)  **
3-Hydroxycarbofuran (Carbofuran breakdown product) *
Methiocarb (Slug-Geta, Grandslam, Mesurol) * **
Methomyl (Lanox, Lannate, Acinate)  **
Methyl parathion (Penncap-M, Folidol-M)  **
Oxamyl (Vydate L, Pratt) **
Parathion (Roethyl-P, Alkron, Panthion, Phoskil) *
c/s-Permethrin (Ambush, Astro, Pounce) * **
Phorate (Thimet, Granutox, Geomet, Rampart) * **
Propargite (Comite, Omite, Ornamite) * **
Propoxur (Baygon, Blattanex, Unden, Proprotox) * **
Terbufos (Contraven, Counter, Pilarfox) **
                                                                             Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
                                                                                  National frequency of detection in percent
                                                                                  INCUI
                                                                                                                             Study-unit sample sizt
                                                                                     Methyl ferf-butyl ether (MTBE)
                                                                                   n
                                                                             --   16
                                                                              7    6
                                                                                                                                          size
       0.001     0.01      0.1      1       10     100     1,000   10,000

                 CONCENTRATION, IN MICROGRAMS PER LITER


Other VOCs detected
Benzene
Bromodichloromethane (Dichlorobromomethane)
2-Butanone (Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)) *
Carbon disulfide *
Chlorodibromomethane (Dibromochloromethane)
Chloromethane (Methyl chloride)
1,4-Dichlorobenzene (p-Dichlorobenzene)
Dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC 12, Freon 12)
1,1-Dichloroethane (Ethylidene dichloride) *
1,1-Dichloroethene (Vinylidene chloride)
c/s-1,2-Dichloroethene ((Z)-1,2-Dichloroethene)
Diisopropyl ether (Diisopropylether (DIPE)) *
1,2-Dimethylbenzene (o-Xylene)
1,3 & 1,4-Dimethylbenzene (m-&p-Xylene)
1-4-Epoxy butane (Tetrahydrofuran, Diethylene oxide) *
Ethylbenzene (Phenylethane)
lodomethane (Methyl iodide) *
Isopropylbenzene (Cumene) *
Methylbenzene (Toluene)
2-Propanone (Acetone) *
Tetrachloroethene (Perchloroethene)
Tribromomethane (Bromoform)
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
1,1,1 -Trichloroethane (Methylchloroform)
Trichloroethene (TCE)
Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC 11, Freon 11)
Trichloromethane (Chloroform)
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene (Pseudocumene) *

VOCs not detected
ferf-Amylmethylether (ferf-amyl methyl ether (TAME)) *
Bromobenzene (Phenyl bromide) *
Bromochloromethane (Methylene chlorobromide)
Bromoethene (Vinyl bromide) *
Bromomethane (Methyl bromide)
n-Butylbenzene (1-Phenylbutane) *
sec-Butylbenzene *
ferf-Butylbenzene *
3-Chloro-1-propene (3-Chloropropene) *
1-Chloro-2-methylbenzene (o-Chlorotoluene)
1-Chloro-4-methylbenzene (p-Chlorotoluene)
Chlorobenzene (Monochlorobenzene)
Chloroethane (Ethyl chloride) *
Chloroethene (Vinyl chloride)
1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane  (DBCP, Nemagon)
1,2-Dibromoethane (Ethylene dibromide, EDB)
Dibromomethane (Methylene dibromide) *
frans-1,4-Dichloro-2-butene ((Z)-1,4-Dichloro-2-butene) *
1,2-Dichlorobenzene (o-Dichlorobenzene)
1,3-Dichlorobenzene (m-Dichlorobenzene)
1,2-Dichloroethane (Ethylene dichloride)
frans-1,2-Dichloroethene ((E)-1,2-Dichlorothene)
Dichloromethane (Methylene chloride)
1,2-Dichloropropane (Propylene dichloride)
2,2-Dichloropropane *
1,3-Dichloropropane (Trimethylene dichloride) *
frans-1,3-Dichloropropene ((E)-1,3-Dichloropropene)
c/s-1,3-Dichloropropene ((Z)-1,3-Dichloropropene)
1,1-Dichloropropene *
Diethyl ether (Ethyl ether) *
Ethenylbenzene (Styrene)
Ethyl methacrylate *
28     Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






 Ethyl fert-butyl ether (Ethyl-f-butyl ether (ETBE)) *
 1-Ethyl-2-methylbenzene (2-Ethyltoluene) *
 Hexachlorobutadiene
 1,1,1,2,2,2-Hexachloroethane (Hexachloroethane)
 2-Hexanone (Methyl butyl ketone (MBK)) *
 p-lsopropyltoluene (p-Cymene) *
 Methyl acrylonitrile *
 Methyl-2-methacrylate (Methyl methacrylate) *
 4-Methyl-2-pentanone (Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK))'
 Methyl-2-propenoate (Methyl acrylate) *
 Naphthalene
 2-Propenenitrile (Acrylonitrile)
 n-Propylbenzene (Isocumene) *
 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane *
 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane
 Tetrachloromethane (Carbon tetrachloride)
 1,2,3,4-Tetramethylbenzene (Prehnitene) *
 1,2,3,5-Tetramethylbenzene (Isodurene) *
 1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane (Freon 113) *
 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene *
 1,1,2-Trichloroethane (Vinyl trichloride)
 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (Allyl trichloride)
 1,2,3-Trimethylbenzene (Hemimellitene) *
 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene (Mesitylene) *
                           Trace elements in ground water
                            Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
                             I    National frequency of detection, in percent

                           II
                                                   Study-unit sample size
                                               \        I        I
                                  . Arsenic
                            --  58
                            --  36
                            18  37
                                   Chromium
                                85
                                79
                                73
                                   Zinc
                            --  28
                            --  29
                            55  66
                                                                                                            •imm »»m MI** «»
                                                                                                                                              1
                                                                  0
                                                                  0
                                                                 60
                                                                  0
                                                                  0
                                                                 60
Nutrients in water

  Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
      National frequency of detection, in percent


1  1
         Ammonia, as N '
47  84
--  86
52  75

--  78
--  71
45  70
100  95
 --  97
 99  91

 --  81
 --  74
 62  71
         Dissolved nitrite plus nitrate, as N
Study-unit sample size
 39  92
 --  90
 34  88
         Total phosphorus, as P *
              i
               99
                0
             208
                o
             208
                                                                   0
                                                                 208

                                                                   0
                                                                   0
                                                                  60
               99
                0
              208
                                  0.01     0.1      1       10     100     1,000    10,000   100,000

                                            CONCENTRATION, IN MICROGRAMS PER LITER
 Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
 I    National frequency of detection, in percent


     I   '  '   '   ^~
_L _L Radon-222
                            --  99
                            -- 100
                            87  97
                                                                                                                                 Study-unit sample size
                                                                                                                                               1
                                                                  0
                                                                  0
                                                                 60
                                  0.01     0.1       1       10      100     1,000    10,000   100,000

                                             CONCENTRATION, IN PICOCURIES PER LITER
                           Other trace elements detected
                           Lead
                           Selenium
                           Uranium

                           Trace elements not detected
                           Cadmium
       0.001   0.01     0.1      1      10     100    1,000  10,000  100,000

                  CONCENTRATION, IN MILLIGRAMS PER LITER


 Nutrients not detected
 Dissolved ammonia plus organic nitrogen as N * **


Dissolved solids in water

  Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
      National frequency of detection, in percent                Study-unit sample size
III I I I
I I Dissolved solids * **
100 100
-- 100
100 100
-- 100
-- 100
100 100

I I
0.001 0.01

I I
0.1 1
I I I I
~s?

     .•IMI»»
I I I I
10 100 1,000 10,000
' I
98
0
208
0
60
I
100,000
                  CONCENTRATION, IN MILLIGRAMS PER LITER
                                                                                    Water-Quality Data in a National Context     29

 image: 






   CHEMICALS IN FISH TISSUE

   AND BED SEDIMENT

   Concentrations and detection frequencies, Kanawha-New River
   Basin, 1996-98—Detection sensitivity varies among chemicals and,
   thus, frequencies are not directly comparable among chemicals.
   Study-unit frequencies of detection are based on small sample sizes;
   the applicable sample size is specified in each graph


     * Detected concentration in Study Unit

   66 38 Frequencies of detection, in percent. Detection frequencies
        were not censored at any common reporting limit. The left-
        hand column is the study-unit frequency and the right-hand
        column is the national frequency

        Not measured or sample size less than two

     12 Study-unit sample size


   National ranges of concentrations detected, by land use, in 36
   NAWQA Study Units, 1991-98—Ranges include only samples
   in which a chemical was detected

                       Fish tissue from streams in agricultural areas
                       Fish tissue from streams in urban areas
                       Fish tissue from streams draining mixed land uses

                       Sediment from streams in agricultural areas
                       Sediment from streams in urban areas
                       Sediment from streams draining mixed land uses
    Lowest  Middle  Highest
     25     50     25
    percent  percent  percent


   National benchmarks for fish tissue and bed sediment

   National benchmarks include standards and guidelines related to
   criteria for protection of the health of fish-eating wildlife and aquatic
   organisms. Sources include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
   other Federal and State agencies, and the Canadian Council of
   Ministersofthe Environment

      I    Protection of fish-eating wildlife (applies to fish tissue)

      I    Protection of aquatic life (applies to bed sediment)

      *    No benchmark for protection of fish-eating wildlife

     **   No benchmark for protection of aquatic life
Organochlorines in fish tissue (whole body)
and bed sediment
              Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
                  National frequency of detection, in percent
 Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
     National frequency of detection, in percent
II
 33   38
 --   75
 82   56
  0    9
 --   57
 25   11
                                                 Study-unit sample size
        Total Chlordane (sum of 5 chlordanes)
1
   6
   0
  11
ir
 17   31
 --   53
  0   29
  0   19
 --   38
 12   11
                                                              Study-unit sample size
                     o,p'+p,p'-DDT (sum of o,p'-DDT and p,p'-DDT) *
             67   90
             --   94
             73   93
                     Total DDT (sum of 6 DDTs)
 17   53
 --   42
 45   38

  0   13
 --   30
 12    9
                     Dieldrin (Panoram D-31, Octalox)'
                                                                             0
                                                                            11
                                                                o
                                                               11
                                                                             6
                                                                             0
                                                                            11

                                                                             5
                                                                             0
                     Total PCB 1
             33   38
             --   81
            100   66
  0
 --
 25
                   2
                  21
                   9
                           CONCENTRATION, IN MICROGRAMS PER KILOGRAM
                            (Fish tissue is wet weight; bed sediment is dry weight)
             1 The national detection frequencies for total PCB in sediment are biased low because about
             30 percent of samples nationally had elevated detection levels compared to this Study Unit.
             See http://water.usgs.gov/foradditional information.
Other organochlorines detected
o,p'+p,p'-DDD (sum of o,p'-DDD and p,p'-DDD) *
Dieldrin+aldrin (sum of dieldrin and aldrin) **
Heptachlor epoxide (Heptachlor breakdown product) *
Heptachlor+heptachlor epoxide (sum of heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide)

Organochlorines not detected
Chloroneb (Chloronebe, Demosan) * **
DCPA (Dacthal, chlorthal-dimethyl) * **
Endosulfan I (alpha-Endosulfan.Thiodan) * **
Endrin (Endrine)
gamma-HCH (Lindane, gamma-BHC, Gammexane) *
Total-HCH (sum of alpha-HCH, beta-HCH, gamma-HCH, and delta-HCH)  **
Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) **
Isodrin (Isodrine, Compound 711) * **
p,p'-Methoxychlor (Marlate, methoxychlore) * **
o,p'-Methoxychlor * **
Mirex (Dechlorane) **
Pentachloroanisole (PCA) * **
c/s-Permethrin (Ambush, Astro, Pounce) * **
frans-Permethrin (Ambush, Astro, Pounce) * **
Toxaphene (Camphechlor, Hercules 3956) * **
  0   48
 --   62
 25   39
 67  90
 --  94
 73  92

  0  48
 --  62
 25  39
        o,p'+p,p'-DDE (sum of o,p'-DDE and p,p'-DDE) *
   6
   0
  11


   0
   0
  11
               CONCENTRATION, IN MICROGRAMS PER KILOGRAM
                (Fish tissue is wet weight; bed sediment is dry weight)
                                                                           Semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs)
                                                                           in bed sediment
              Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
                  National frequency of detection, in percent
                                                                                  Anthraquinone
                 21
                 83
                 39
                                                                                                                           Study-unit sample size
                   0.1        1        10       100     1,000     10,000    100,000

                      CONCENTRATION, IN MICROGRAMS PER KILOGRAM, DRY WEIGHT
 30    Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






  Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
       National frequency of detection, in percent
                                                     Study-unit sample size
          Benz[a]anthracene
                                                Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
                                                     National frequency of detection, in percent
                                                                                                                                     Study-unit sample size
                                                                                         I         I
                                                                                         Phenanthrene
                                                                                                            \
 80   I|I|
 --   94
100   62
          9H-Carbazole  **
                                               100  50
                                                --  93
                                               100  66
                                                                                         Phenol
      19
      76
      33
 50   23
  0   12
 --   64
 75   30
       6
 62    7
 40   65
 --   74
100   77
100   91
 --   99
100   95
100   66
 --   97
100   78
  0   22
 --   76
 88   41
 20   11
 --   47
          Dibenz[a,/?]anthracene
» »  » |»
          Dibenzothiophene  **
          Fluoranthene
          9/-/-Fluorene (Fluorene)
          Naphthalene
                                                60  81
                                                --  82
                                                75  80
          1,4-Dichlorobenzene (p-Dichlorobenzene)
          2,6-Dimethylnaphthalene
          bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate **
          N-Nitrosodiphenylamine
                                                                                        0.1        1         10       100      1,000     10,000    100,000

                                                                                          CONCENTRATION, IN MICROGRAMS PER KILOGRAM, DRY WEIGHT
                                               Other SVOCs detected
                                               Acenaphthene
                                               Acenaphthylene
                                               Acridine **
                                               C8-Alkylphenol **
                                               Anthracene
                                               Benzo[a]pyrene
                                               Benzo[ft]fluoranthene **
                                               Benzo[g/?/]perylene **
                                               Benzo[/(]fluoranthene **
                                               Butylbenzylphthalate  **
                                               Chrysene
                                               p-Cresol **
                                               Di-n-butylphthalate **
                                               1,2-Dichlorobenzene (o-Dichlorobenzene)  *
                                               Diethylphthalate **
                                               1,2-Dimethylnaphthalene **
                                               1,6-Dimethylnaphthalene **
                                               3,5-Dimethylphenol **
                                               Dimethylphthalate **
                                               2,4-Dinitrotoluene  **
                                               lndeno[1,2,3-cc(|pyrene **
                                               Isoquinoline  **
                                               1-Methyl-9/-/-fluorene  **
                                               2-Methylanthracene  **
                                               4,5-Methylenephenanthrene **
                                               1-Methylphenanthrene **
                                               1-Methylpyrene **
                                               Phenanthridine **
                                               Pyrene
                                               Quinoline  **
                                               1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene **
                                               2,3,6-Trimethylnaphthalene **

                                               SVOCs not detected
                                               Azobenzene **
                                               Benzo[c]cinnoline  **
                                               2,2-Biquinoline **
                                               4-Bromophenyl-phenylether **
                                               4-Chloro-3-methylphenol **
                                               bis(2-Chloroethoxy)methane **
                                               2-Chloronaphthalene  **
                                               2-Chlorophenol **
                                               4-Chlorophenyl-phenylether **
                                               Di-n-octylphthalate **
                                               1,3-Dichlorobenzene (m-Dichlorobenzene)
                                               Isophorone **
                                               Nitrobenzene **
                                               W-Nitrosodi-n-propylamine  **
                                               Pentachloronitrobenzene **
  0    2
 --   10
 25    4
         0.1        1         10        100      1,000     10,000    100,000

           CONCENTRATION, IN MICROGRAMS PER KILOGRAM, DRY WEIGHT
                                                                                      Water-Quality Data in a National Context      31

 image: 






Trace elements in fish tissue (livers) and
bed sediment
 Study-unit frequency of detection, in percent
     National frequency of detection, in percent
                                                Study-unit sample size
1
33
58
100
100
83
100
100
100
67
83
100
100
100
100
100
100
0
42
100
100
67
83
100
100
67
75
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
1 1 1 1
_L Arsenic *
99 »«• » |
98
97 1 «•<(
Cadmium *
77 _iMi_
95 ^MM^^^^B*^^
98 •«* —
100
98 »»»«•»
Chromium *
62 »«» »
72 -|—
54 «•«—
100
99
100 —
Copper *
100 — •»»
100 ^^—
100 ll»» III
100 «•
99
100 ^-^H
Lead *
100
100
99 — |
Mercury *
59 — ^— •••£—
82 «•» — -)—
Nickel * **
100
100 1
Selenium *


100 <•» ^-
100
100 «««• «*
Zinc *
100
100
100
100
99
100
1 1 1 1
0.01 0.1 1 10
1 ' '1
6
0
12
5
— 0
6
0
«•— 12
0
— 8
6
0
12
«»<» 5
0
^^T^~~ 8
i^^^^_^_ 6
^•^^^^ 0
•» 12
» • i 5
0
^^— ^^— 8
6
0
12
«• 5
— 0

0
0
8
6
0
12
0
4NM» ^ 8

— 0
0
8
«•» 1 5
0
««M» • 8
1 1 1
100 1,000 10,000
BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS
Higher national scores suggest habitat disturbance, water-quality
degradation, or naturally harsh conditions. The status of algae,
invertebrates (insects, worms, and clams), and fish provide a
record of water-quality and stream conditions that water-
chemistry indicators may not reveal. Algal status focuses on the
changes in the percentage of certain algae in response to
increasing siltation, and it often correlates with  higher nutrient
concentrations in some regions. Invertebrate status averages 11
metrics that summarize changes in richness, tolerance, trophic
conditions, and dominance associated with water-quality
degradation. Fish status sums the scores of four fish metrics
(percent tolerant, omnivorous, non-native individuals, and percent
individuals with external anomalies) that increase in association
with water-quality degradation

Biological indicator value, Kanawha-New River Basin, by
land use, 1996-98
  •    Biological status assessed at a site

National ranges of biological indicators, in 16 NAWQA Study
Units, 1994-98
 ^M  Streams in undeveloped areas
 ^m   Streams in agricultural areas
 ^M  Streams in urban areas
 ^M  Streams in mixed-land-use areas
      75th percentile
    25th percentile
                                                                           Undeveloped
                                                                             Agricultural
                                                                                 Urban
                                                                                 Mixed
                                                                            Undeveloped
                                                                             Agricultural
                                                                                 Urban
                                                                                 Mixed
                                                                            Undeveloped
                                                                             Agricultural
                                                                                 Urban
                                                                                 Mixed
                                                                                        Algal status indicator








" ^^^L
                                                                                        Invertebrate states indicator
                                                                                            10   20   30   40
                                                                                        Fish status indicator
                 CONCENTRATION, IN MICROGRAMS PER GRAM
                (Fish tissue is wet weight, bed sediment is dry weight)
32     Water Quality in the Kanawha-New River Basin

 image: 






A COORDINATED EFFORT
Coordination with agencies and organizations in the Kanawha-New River Basin was integral to the success of this
water-quality assessment. We thank those who served as members of our liaison committee.
Federal Agencies
National Park Service
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Office of Surface Mining
U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Agricultural Research Service
    Natural Resources Conservation Service
    Monongahela National Forest

State Agencies
North Carolina Division of Environmental Management
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Virginia Department of Health
Virginia Division of Mineral Resources
Virginia Division of Soil and Water Conservation
West Virginia Bureau for  Public Health
West Virginia Division of  Environmental Protection
West Virginia Division of  Natural Resources
West Virginia Geological  and  Economic Survey
West Virginia Soil Conservation Agency
Universities
Marshall University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
West Virginia University

Other public and private organizations
Cacapon Institute
Canaan Valley Institute
Greenbrier River Watershed Association
National Committee for the New River
New River Community Partners
Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission
West Virginia American  Water Company
West Virginia Citizens Action Group
West Virginia Coal Association
West Virginia Farm Bureau
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy
West Virginia Manufacturers Association
West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association
West Virginia Rivers Coalition
West Virginia Rural Water Association
We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of numerous property owners who provided access to sampling loca-
tions on their land. We also thank the following individuals for contributing data, knowledge, time, and expertise to
this effort.

Dennis Adams, Billy Barton, Steven Bolssen, Melody Bova, Freddie Brogan, Charlynn Sheets Buchanan, John
Buchanan, Daniel Cincotta, Matthew Cooke, Gary Crosby, David Eaton, Michael Eckenwiler, Ronald Evaldi, Carl
Faulkenburg, Patsy Francisco, Georganne Gillespie, Wesley Gladwell, Jeffrey Hajenga, Kristi Hanson, Harold
Henderlite, Curt Hughes, Donna Justus, Lisa Ham Lahti, Melvin Mathes, Kimberly Miller, Dawn  Newell, Jesse  Pur-
vis, Brian Rasmussen, Lary Rogers, Tom Rosier, Benjamin Simerl,  Kimberly Smith, Stephen Sorenson, Janet
Steven, Joan Steven, Edward Vincent, Stephen Ward, David Wellman, Jeremy White, Matthew  Wooten,  Dennis
Wyatt, Humbert Zappia

 image: 






     NAWQA
National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program
      Kanawha-New River Basin
           \ J
            F
         ISBN D-tD7-^s^lE-^
                     ^.

 image: 






Handel Study
Final Version
 March 2003

 image: 






       MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL MINING/VALLEY FILL
 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT TECHNICAL STUDY

        PROJECT REPORT FOR TERRESTRIAL STUDIES

                           March 2003
  Terrestrial Plant (spring herbs, woody plants) Populations
                of Forested and Reclaimed Sites
Principal Investigator:
Steven N. Handel, PhD, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural
      Resources, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
      1 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1582
Project Personnel:
Amy E. K. Long, Field Researcher, Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources, Rutgers
      University
Zachary T. Long, Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution, Rutgers University
Jessica DiCicco, Field Technician, Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources, Rutgers
      University
Kate Burke, Graduate Program in Plant Biology, Rutgers University

 image: 






                            EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

       The data presented in this report were collected in the spring and summer of 2000.
They examine the pattern of revegetation of mountaintop removal and valley fill mining
sites in southern West Virginia. The forests that are being removed by mountaintop
removal and surface mining activities are located in the Mixed Mesophytic Forest
Region. This region has very high biodiversity at the community level, and is among the
most biologically rich temperate regions of the world (Figure 1. Hinkle et al. 1993).
These forested mountaintops are predominantly being replaced by grasslands, although
grasslands are not a naturally occurring habitat in this region (Figure 2. Hinkle et al.
1993). Blocks of young trees, some exotic, are often added to the final revegetation mix
after grass establishment is successful. There is now great interest in developing and
implementing mining practices that will have the least impact on future economic and
ecosystem health.
       Fifty-five transects on sites ranging in age from eight to twenty-six years since
revegetation were visited in southern West Virginia by this investigation team.  Plant
species, sizes, and distribution were recorded across these sites for all woody species.
Data from adjacent, unmined  mature forests were also recorded. Invasion of native
species onto reclaimed mined sites and valley fills was very low and restricted to the first
several meters from the adjacent forest edge. Most of the plants found on mined sites
were in the smallest (<!" diameter) size class, suggesting that the sites are stressful to
plant growth and survival. Many of the species found in adjacent unmined forests are not
present on the mined sites. Poor vegetation development with time was typical of the
sites reclaimed  after the 1977 SMCRA law. Diversity was significantly lower on the
mined sites than in adjacent forests.
       These data and other published studies support the conclusion that mining
reclamation procedures limit the overall ecological health and plant invasion of the site.
Plant invasion and success are dependent upon reclamation practices.  Less soil
compaction, smaller mining areas, healthy soil profiles, and native plant material all
would support a healthier ecosystem return, although full premining biodiversity may be
difficult to achieve. Sites that were  reclaimed with pre-law protocols supported a richer
flora than post-law sites, but this may be attributed to small scale, less compacted mining
procedures. They also contained more native plants and represented all age classes unlike
the post-law sites.
       Herbaceous species were also studied on nineteen transects, in mature forests and
on transects adjacent to mined sites. The loss of spring herbs on engineered sites was
highly significant compared to forests away from mining activity.  Information gathered
from this aspect of the study shows that monitoring the forest herbs adjacent to mining
activity is an additional useful indicator of environmental impact. The heavy compaction
of the artificial slopes created during valley filling also contributes to these slow invasion
rates. Additionally, the grassy vegetation mixes usually installed during revegetation are
known to hinder the ability of the native plant species to establish. The poor invasion and
growth of native vegetation across these study sites support the conclusion that these
lands will take  much longer than the natural time scale observed in old field succession to
return to the pre-mining forest vegetation.

 image: 






Objectives:
       The objective of this study was to determine the patterns of terrestrial vegetation
on areas affected by mountaintop removal mining and valley fills in the southern
Appalachian region, and on adjacent, non-mined areas.  Specific goals were to identify
plant species present, determine the relative numbers of species present, record the size
class distribution based on diameter at base or diameter at breast height of each species,
and to document the pattern of vegetation from toe of slope to top of slope and from
forested areas to mined areas. These data will enable investigators to understand the
potential for re-establishment of native vegetation and document the actual  change in
vegetation since revegetation of the mined sites.

Importance of the objectives:
       It is important to know the fate of the mined lands after reclamation, to determine
the potential for re-establishment of surrounding native vegetation, and to see if a flora
different from the vegetative mix installed upon reclamation can establish.  The soils,
seed pool, and local conditions on mined sites are quite different from the original
conditions. It must be understood if mined areas will develop differently from the
forested terrestrial communities surrounding the mined  sites.  These data are also needed
to assess the quality of the habitat for animals of the region. If current reclamation
methods are creating different habitat types, this must be known precisely, so that
regulatory actions can be created to account for such changes.
                                  METHODS:

Tree and shrub studies - site selection:
       In order to assess the progress of invasion of woody species onto reclaimed mine
lands, sites were selected that had a remnant forest adjacent to the mined area. A remnant
forest is a forest that is directly bordering an active mining site or in this case, reclaimed
sites. They are passively disturbed by mining activity through many ways including
pollution, ground disturbance from blasting, hydrology changes and siltation, and
increased edge area. These reclaimed areas were considered most relevant for this study
because they included a nearby seed source for the mined area, therefore offering an
opportunity for woody species to invade the open, disturbed land. Study of mined lands
adjacent to mature forests, of course, maximizes the potential for invasion of species, and
potentially weighs the data sets towards higher invasion rates. However, it is necessary
to see invasion, and the intensive sampling of edge areas gives the investigator a higher
potential for determining invasion rates.
        Sites across the mining region of southern West Virginia were selected to
represent a wide variety of ages, conditions, and treatments.  The sites in this study were
recommended by EPA, WVDEP, FWS, and mining officials and engineers who worked
for the mining companies that participated in the study. Knowing that the goal of this
study was to record re-establishment of woody vegetation on modern, mountain-top
mined lands, mining officials (list  of personnel can be provided by investigators) directed
our team towards the richest sites available.

 image: 






       All of the recommended sites were studied during our survey, in standing with the
policy to visit every site recommended by stakeholders. Data from all these sites are
included in our tables and analyses, except for one of the first sites visited, a contour
mine at Honey Branch, WV. This site had been planted with dense rows of non-native
autumn olive and with alder trees in the past. To test field methodology, we counted and
identified all woody stems at this site across a 10 x 175 meter transect, through the
plantings, without recording stem size classes.  We found that this method was at once
too time  consuming to allow a broad sampling of the entire West Virginia portion of the
EIS study area (a requirement for this EIS) and not precise enough to understand the
temporal pattern of revegetation. Linking size class to stem identification gives a clearer
analysis  of site fate.  Consequently, at all sites visited and studied after this trial run, we
took the  time to record stem size class, and sampled only at 20m intervals along  the
transect. Because of the differences in sampling methodology, the Honey Branch data
could not be statistically analyzed with the rest of the data set and are not included in the
tables. The raw data from this site are on file and available along with all other data, and
show a revegetation pattern quite similar to the fifty-five transects included in this report.
       For all other sites, at each specific locale, transects were positioned in a
standardized location and vegetative cover and density were similar.  The total number of
forest transects surveyed and reported is 25 and the total number of mined land transects
is 30.  Ten different mine properties were surveyed, with ages ranging from eight to
twenty-six years since revegetation. Emphasis was on surveys of sites that were  older, but
reclaimed after the  1977 surface mining law (SMCRA) was put into effect.  Changes in
reclamation protocols necessitated by that law caused important differences in
reclamation practice (Vories and Throgmorton, 1999). A complete list of study  sites is in
the Appendix (Table 1).

Tree and shrub studies - data collection:
       The first aspect of this study involves twelve transects that were run vertically
down slope from a mined land (i.e. valley fill, mountain-top removal area, backfill, or
contour mine) into an adjacent, mature, remnant forest apparently unaffected by mining
activity  (Figure 3a). (Many of these forested sites were once logged and showed vestiges
of former rough logging roads. Consequently, these forests have been modified by human
activity  and are not considered intact or pristine forests. However, all forested areas
contained large, diverse canopy trees with well-developed stands and unexcavated soil.)
The transect line was continuous from mined area to the adjacent remnant forest, or in
 some instances started in the remnant forest above the reclaimed site and ran down into
the mined land.
        It is important to note the structure and nature of the valley fills.  Transects were
 arrayed  from top of slope to toe of slope (toe of slope in this study was defined as the
 bottom of the hill/fill where the ground leveled off, and/or the stream bank was reached),
 and ran the entire length of the fill.  Because of the triangular geometry of valley fills
 (Figures 3a and 3b), areas at the toe (base) of the slope were surrounded on two  sides by
 remnant forests. They were much moister areas than the top of the fill, due to storm
 water run-off and ground water. Because the toe of slope is wetter, much narrower, and
 much closer to remnant forests (on both sides), we see an increase in stem density that is
 indicative of an "edge effect."  Some of the valley fills had forest remnants at the top of

 image: 






the slope as well as at the bottom, therefore creating two zones of forest edges. Where
this was the case, the top forest remnant was sampled and the bottom one was not.
       There were an additional 43 transects studied where it was not possible to run
continuous transects, as above. In these cases, the forest remnant transect was run
perpendicular or adjacent to the mined area transect, as shown in Figure 3b.
       Data were collected during the year 2000 growing season only. The presence of
woody plants on these sites represents the reproductive performance of many years. The
boundary, or edge, between forests and reclaimed mine land was recorded for each
transect and is the "0" point on all data sets and graphs.  The point-quarter sampling
method was used to survey the woody plant community (Barbour, Burk, et al. 1999).
This technique was used as it allowed the investigating team to cover the most ground,
the most sites, and collect the most data points in the time frame given.  There is a
potential to underestimate rare species with this technique, as a census of all plants in an
area is not done. However, a species effort curve performed on the data indicates that
few, if any, rare species were missed given the large data set that covers thousands of
individual plant records.  Consequently, the field sampling technique is representative of
the woody species on site.

       At each sampling point, located at 20 meter intervals along the transect line, the
area was divided into four quadrats. In each quadrat the distance was measured from the
sample point on the transect line to the nearest woody plant and recorded for three
different size classes, for a potential of twelve individuals per transect point. The size
classes were defined as "small" (0-2.54cm), "medium" (2.54-7.62cm), and "large" (more
than 7.62cm) based on diameter at base of stem. For each of these stems, the nearest
neighbor's distance and species identification were recorded, as well as the distance to
the nearest conspecific (individual of the same species). Trees that were obvious parts of
an implemented planting program (determined by plantation spacing and diameter  at
breast height) were not included in the counts, as these did not naturally arrive on the
sites and are not part of any invasion process.  Any offspring produced by planted
individuals were included in the data, however.  We were not interested in survival of the
planted trees, as all planted species we encountered are either forestry created hybrids or
non-native and in fact illegal to plant in many states. Data were entered on computer
databases for further study. Leaves and stems of questionable plants were collected and
keyed out using herbarium specimens. Occasionally, specimens could not be keyed to
species because they were barren of flowers or fruits; it was impossible, given the rapid
time frame of the study, to return to each site at other seasonal times in the year 2000 to
 search for reproductive specimens.

 Tree and shrub studies -data analysis:
        Comparing the mined sites to the adjacent remnant forests is difficult at best.
Mines are viewed by some as representatives of "primary successional soil/plant
 systems." Comparing them to the "native forest stands [as]  largely secondary
 successional systems" is therefore like comparing apples and oranges. (W. Lee Daniels,
 personal communication). First, the mined lands are not primary successional
 landscapes. Primary succession is defined as "The development of an ecosystem in an
 area that has never had a living community Examples of areas in which a community
 has never lived before would be new lava or a rock from a volcano that makes a new

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island or a new landscape, or a sand bar that arises from shifting sands in the ocean"
(University of North Carolina Wilmington). The question is not how the data were
compared, but the task set before us was to document the invasion process from forest
remnants to reclaimed land, to describe the vegetation and note patterns based on our
knowledge and experience as restoration ecologists. We documented the successes and
failures of natural recruitment onto these early successional landscapes, and analyzed our
findings with statistics that allowed for such comparisons,  which follow.
       As previously mentioned, the objective of this terrestrial study was to determine
the success of woody plant invasion onto the disturbed mining areas.  The data were
examined in several ways. Transects were categorized as one of six types: continuous
forest (CF); remnant forest (RF); valley fill (VF); mountaintop removal area (MTR);
backfill (BF); or contour mine (CM). Continuous forests are forests located away from
mining activity and therefore not significantly impacted by mining activity, whereas
remnant forests,  as previously defined, are forests directly  adjacent to and affected by
mining activity. Remnant forests are typically smaller parcels than the continuous forests,
but this is not a defining characteristic. Data were displayed within each of the six
categories by the three size groupings of plants: small;  medium; and large.  The density
of woody plants by size class was also determined.  These densities were compared in
order to evaluate the progress of the woody invasion. Species lists of forests and mined
areas were developed  and comparisons between native forests and mined lands were
performed.  Plant diversity was estimated using the Shannon-Weiner statistic, which
includes measures of number  of species and their relative abundances. For example, if
you had two  stands with the same number of plants and the same number of species, they
can be distinguished from one another if one stand has these species in more or less equal
proportions; a more diverse stand would have these species in more equal numbers.

Herb studies - site selection:
        Nineteen forested sites, considered to be either "intact" forest (11) or
"engineered" forest (8), were chosen to evaluate the herb community, adjacent to the
EPA aquatic biology team's locations. The terms "intact" and "engineered" forests
comply with EPA terminology and are equated to "continuous" and "remnant",
respectively, as described in the paragraph previously.  Sections of watersheds that had
been mined (the engineered forest) and areas that were distant from mining activity (the
intact forest) were selected. Sites are listed in the Appendix (Table 2).  This protocol
allows comparison and correlation of herb data with the aquatic study, for a more
complete understanding of these sites.

Herb studies - data collection:
        The study team visited all sites during April and May 2000, to sample the spring
 herbaceous vegetation.  Early season sampling of the herb flora was necessary, as many
 spring herbs often complete their life history before the summer months, then persist
 underground until the following year (Schemske, et al., 1978; Bierzychudek, 1982).
 Transects were sampled every 10 meters, starting at the base of the slope, up hill for an
 additional 50 meters.  It was determined by the investigating team that the herb cover
 significantly diminished around 40 or 50 meters from base of slope, and data from a
 broader geographical range could be collected if this was a decided end point.  At each

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sample location, a 5x1 m plot across the face of the slope was censused for all herbs.
Species identity and stem count for each species were recorded for each 5xlm plot.
Samples of species were collected for herbarium records and identification verification.

Herb studies — data analysis:
       Data were summarized to determine relative distribution and number of species
on undisturbed forest slopes compared to forest slopes adjacent to disturbed areas (i.e.
mines and wide road cuts). These data were entered in a database for statistical analyses
to determine vegetation distribution patterns. Shannon-Weiner Index of Diversity was
performed to determine diversity values for both forest types using mean number of
stems counted and mean number of species present in both forest types.
                                   RESULTS:

TREE AND SHRUB STUDIES:
Presence of trees and shrubs on the study sites:
       The  99 species listed in Table 3 were found collectively on the 25 forest transects
and 30 mined transects. Table 4 shows the differences in species composition across
these two types, ranked from most to least commonly present. The species did not have
to be abundant at a particular site to be included, merely present on the site (i.e. whether
the species has one or one thousand individuals, it is recorded as "present").  These
numbers do not  include data that were collected from contour mine sites or their
associated remnant forests, which have been treated and reported separately, so the
sample size here is 23 forest transects and 25 mined transects. Most of the species found
in the majority of forest transects were found on only a few mine transects, with the
exception of Acer rubrum, Liriodendron tulipifera, and Rubus sp., which are regularly
found as small plants in disturbed areas. There are twenty species occurring on the mined
lands that are not found in the forested lands and thirty forest species not found on the
mined lands. Of the twenty unique mine species, many of these are typical early
 successional species (Acer rubrum, Liriodendron tulipifera, Rubus sp.^ and many others
 (Firms sp. and Robinia pseudoacacid) are offspring of the trees planted as part of
 reclamation efforts. Overall, there are ten more species found in the forest than on the
 reclaimed mined lands. This is not unusual given the very different stages of succession
 that these lands  are in.
        The data from Table 4 can also be summarized across sites by richness, defined as
 the number of species found regardless of abundance. Figure 4 shows that the forested
 category always contains more species than the sites in the reclaimed mine category,
 when listed from most to least rich site (i.e., the woody species are not  growing in as
 much variety on the mined sites as in the forests.).  In other words, the forests have higher
 plant species richness and more plant biodiversity than the mine sites (Figure 4).
        Species-presence data can also be arrayed by individual species, in addition to the
 site values  shown in Table 4 and Figure 4.  Figures 5a and 5b illustrate the number and
 percent of transects studied where each species in the data set was found. Forested sites
 have a higher percent of transects represented for the majority of species.  These data

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indicate that woody species occur across the entire forest transect, they are not just
sequestered in a few unusually rich transects that happened to be included in the surveys.
       There is special interest in the major tree species of the forest, as these are of
possible commercial interest.  Figures 6a and 6b display six of the most common
hardwood tree species found by absolute number and percent of all woody stems found
(total of 4,140 stems in the data sets, including all size classes).  These trees are always
more abundant as a proportion of stems on the forested sites. Five of the six are more
common by absolute number on the forested sites; only Acer rubrum has more
individuals on the mined sites, as many seedlings of this species were present. Further
observations should be made on the reclaimed mine lands to see how well these
economically viable species establish and grow.
       Woody species found can also be displayed according to mine type (Table 5), to
more clearly see if there are special determinants associated with species presence.
Again, these numbers are based simply on being present at all, not abundance. Remnant
forests have the most species, and mountaintop removal sites (MTR) have the fewest,
when grouped in this way. However, only four MTR sites were examined as opposed to
twenty remnant forest sites. If one examines the average number of species by site (see
site table in appendix to see number of species per site), MTR's have 6.25 and remnant
forests have 17.7 species on average. Table 5 also illustrates that some species (for
example Acer rubrum and Liriodendron tulipiferd) are more generalist (i.e. are found on
all the site types). Others were found only on mined areas (Lespedeza bicolor) or only in
forests (Acer pensylvanicum, Lindera benzoin). Once again, these species differences can
be greatly attributed to varying successional stages.
        The distribution of species can also be considered in terms of how abundant, or
how frequently,  the species appeared on the site (Table 6). Most species found in great
number in the forests are not found in similar abundance on the mined sites. At the same
time, common woody species on the mined sites, typical of earlier successional stages,
are not found as abundantly in the forests. This is simply a matter of succession. The
reclaimed mine lands are in a much earlier stage of succession or development than the
forests, and one  would expect to find different species compositions as a result of the
various stages.
        The forest community is comprised of a greater number of species.  It is also  a
more diverse community than the mine land communities. More uncommon species
occur in the forest and there is less dominance by a few common species. That is, the
mine sites have a few dominant species making up most of their communities and few
rare species present. Figures 7a and 7b illustrate the number of woody plants found
 during the point quarter sampling. The mine plot in Figure 7b is based on percentages,
which allows a simpler comparison, as sampling effort was unequal between mine and
forestlands.  The mine species distribution starts quite low on the y-axis because there
 were many points, about 1600, where woody stems were not present at all (this very high
 point is not plotted on this graphic).  Absence (not falling within sampling range) of a
 woody plant was rarely experienced on any of the forest sample points. Having more
 species that occur more evenly or frequently (i.e. not having a population dominated by
 only a few species) creates a more diverse environment. For many  of the species found,
 the percent occurrence is high in forests.  Having all the species occur only once or twice,

 image: 






such as on the mine lands, and being dominated by only a few species, creates a less
diverse community.
       There is growing concern over alien and invasive plants across all landscape types
throughout the United States.  This survey encountered very few invasive or alien plant
species on mined-lands or in the forests (Tables 3, 7a and 7b note non-native species).
Most of the non-native individuals observed were those that were planted as part of a
reclamation effort (i.e. Autumn olive is both exotic and very invasive and every mine
visited was using it for reclamation).  There were several other exotic species that were
observed, including Tree-of-heaven, Japanese honeysuckle, Princess-tree, and Multiflora
rose that arrived on site naturally. Japanese Knotweed was also observed along the
stream banks in developed areas.

Distribution of trees and shrubs across the study transects:
       To spatially study the  process of invasion, data were displayed across the x axis in
figures 8-12, where "0" represents the edge, the sharp boundary between forest and
reclaimed mine area. In these graphics, all alien species were removed from the data sets,
as the interest in this study is the reappearance of the native West Virginia plant
community.  These data (in Figures 8-12) are from the twelve continuous transects
described earlier (page 1). There are three Mountain-top Removal (MTR), three Valley
Fill (VF), three Backfill (BF), and three Contour Mine (CM) sites, all with paired forest
remnants.  The following figures graph the mean stem densities per 25m2.
       Figures 8a, 8b, and 8c illustrate the stem densities calculated for the small,
medium, and large size-classes, for woody individuals on nine continuous mine to forest
transects (contour mines not included in total density graphs). A "continuous transect"
(Figure 3a) is a location where only one line was run, going from mine land directly into
the remnant forest, or vice versa.  Figure 8a shows that the small individuals (2.54cm and
smaller diameter at base) are  not regenerating on the mined lands as abundantly as they
do in the forest. Figure 8b shows that establishment of the medium size class individuals
(2.54-7.62cm diameter at base) is not as high on the mined lands as it is in the forests.
(Figure 8c) Large individuals (7.62cm diameter at base) are barely present on the mining
areas. There is little to no growth into this size class. This is not an unreasonable size
class to reach given the age of these mines (range of 8 to 26 years old since revegetation).
       The six most common forest tree species have the following age and size
projections under optimum soil conditions: Acer rubrum can reproduce at an age as early
as 4 years, with a size of 5-20cm diameter at breast height (DBH).  Quercus rubra is 25
years at first reproduction with 60-90cm DBH. Liriodendron tulipifera is 15-20 years  at
first reproduction, with DBH of 17-25cm.  Acer saccharum will reproduce as early  as 22
years, with DBH equal to 20cm. Fagus grandifolia reaches substantial seed production
 at age 40 or with a DBH of 6cm. Magnolia acuminata starts reproducing at age 30,
 optimum at age 50, with DBH unreported (Burns and Honkala, 1990, for these data).
 These data should be carefully interpreted, as they are in optimum conditions, conditions
 that are not experienced on reclaimed mine lands. However, there are no age estimates
 published  for such lands, with similar aspect,  elevation, topography, etc. that we are
 aware of to compare our data to. The age and  size estimates given above are at breast
 height, roughly 1.22m (4') high, for the average adult. The size classes used in this report
 were determined at the base of the plants, as most of the individuals were no taller than

 image: 






61cm.  The reclamation age of many of the mine sites is nearing or has reached the
reproductive age for several of these trees, but this study's data indicates that trees in
mine spoils have not approached the correlated sizes.
       The woody data from reclaimed mine transects can also be divided into the four
mining categories: Mountain-top Removal (MTR), Valley Fill (VF), Backfills (BF), and
Contour Mine (CM). Figures 9a, 9b, and 9c illustrate the stem densities calculated for
woody individuals in all three size-classes, on three MTR sites and the paired remnant
forest transects.  Figure 9a shows that the small individuals (2.54cm and smaller diameter
at base) are not regenerating on the mine lands as they do in the forest, which is expected
given the vast differences in soils. Of the three MTR's surveyed, one was eight years old
since revegetation and the other two were both 17 years since revegetation. It is expected
to see small size-class individuals well before 17 years is reached. The medium
individuals (2.54-7.62cm diameter at base) (Figure 9b) are not present on these mined
lands,  and there are only a few large individuals (7.62cm diameter at base) present on the
surveyed, reclaimed mine lands (Figure 9c).
       Figures lOa, lOb, and lOc illustrate the stem densities calculated for woody
individuals in all three size-classes on three Valley Fill sites, that accompany MTR sites,
and the paired remnant forest transects. The remnant forests of two  of these transects
were located above the fill (Colony Bay: Cazy fill; Hobet Mine: Bragg Fork fill) and the
other was located at the bottom of the fill (Leckie Smokeless: Briery Knob). Due to the
triangular geometry of Valley Fills (Figure 3a), which (a) allows closer proximity to
forest  edge, and (b) provides a moisture gradient created by the drainage ravines at the
toe of the slope, there was an increase in stem densities with decreasing elevation in the
Valley Fill sites. This has apparently increased the presence of the small size-class plants
in this mining area. However, the data for the medium and large size classes shows a
decrease in this trend over time.  Valley fills remain stressful sites for these seedlings,
and slow growth or lack of survival could underlie these low data points.  As these sites
are ages 16, 21, and 25 years, a higher representation in all three sizes would be expected
during successional change, even without optimal soil conditions.
        Figures 1 la, lib, and lie illustrate the mean stem densities calculated for woody
individuals in all three size-classes on three Backfill sites and the paired remnant forest
transects. One Backfill is 14 and the other two are 16 years old since revegetation.
Figure 1 la shows that the small size-class individuals are regenerating along the forest
edge as would be expected, but taper off rapidly beyond 60  meters and are not found
further from  the edge.   An edge effect can also be observed in the medium size-class
(Figure 1 Ib) in the first 20 meters that quickly fades until there are no medium
individuals found beyond that point in great number.  Few large size-class individuals
were found on the mined sites (Figure lie).
        Figures 12a, 12b, and 12c illustrate the stem densities calculated for woody
individuals in all three size-classes, on three Contour Mine sites and their paired remnant
forest transects. All three of these sites are 12 years since revegetation. The contour
 mines that our investigators visited were much shorter in length than the other mine lands
 and were typically less compacted upon completion than flat areas, because of less
 grading activity (Vories and Throgmorton, 1999). Bonferroni T tests (Proc GLM in
 SAS/STAT version 6.12; SAS 1990) were run on the mean densities of the four mine
 types, by size class.  The Contour Mines' plant densities in the small and medium size
                                                                                 10

 image: 






classes were significantly greater than all three other mine types (psmaii -0.0011 and
Pmedium-0.0004) (Figure 13).  Because all four mine types included in this study had so
few large individuals, there was no significant difference among any of the mine
treatments.
       Regeneration of the small size-class individuals on the CMs illustrates the edge
effect of a forest (Figure 12a). The CM's trend of regeneration falls abruptly after 10
meters, and suggests that few woody stems would be present beyond 50 meters (the local
limit of this site).  Figure 12b shows a pattern similar to Figure 12a, the smaller
individuals are surviving into the next size class.  No large individuals occurred within
our sampling efforts on these CMs (Figure 12c).  However, it has only been 12 years
since revegetation at these sites and not many tree species are expected in this size class
from seed this quickly (see maturation information  in previous text).
       Finally, one transect studied represents a unique site where it is possible to
compare three types of land engineering, all at the same age,  to determine what woody
plants have naturally recruited into the site. This site was at Peerless Eagle Mine,  and its
age is estimated between 12 and 17 years.  The top third is mountaintop removal,  the
middle third is a clear-cut forest remnant (apparently cut in preparation for the fill, but
never filled to that height, and has since revegetated), and the bottom third is valley fill
(Figure 14a).  Consequently, the soil in the clear-cut area was only minimally disturbed;
soil was removed or covered in the other areas. Figure 14b illustrates the lack of plant
recruitment into the two engineered areas. During the same time, the central clear-cut
area has fully revegetated, probably due to stump sprouts and germination from the
undisturbed seed bank (Figure 14a).  Soil quality is dramatically drawn into attention at
this site. In the same amount of time, with the same external forces impacting the area,
there is a remarkable lack of vegetation on the engineered sites.

Additional perspectives on trees and shrubs:
       Once again, comparing these data between reclaimed lands and forests is difficult,
in that we do not have a controlled environment or experiment. However, we must
analyze the data to the best of our abilities and within the limits of statistical powers.
       The Shannon-Weiner Index (H) is a measurement of community diversity, a
function of both species number and relative abundance commonly used in vegetation
analysis (Barbour, et al., 1999).  For small, medium and large plant size classes, the
diversity index is significantly higher (paired t test, df = 8, psman = 0.0191, pmedium =
 0.0082, piarge= 0.0033) on the forested parts of the transects (Figure 15), indicating
 greater species diversity than on the reclaimed mine lands.
       Finally, figures 16a, 16b, and 16c compare mine age (since revegetation) and
 average total plant density on each transect site.  Data from all remnant forest transects
 are shown as a mean of values, with standard deviation.  These are displayed across the
 x-axis to allow a visual comparison with all of the values from the mine lands. However,
 this does not represent in any way the actual age of the forested sites; this acts as an
 approximate asymptote to which developing forests in this region might attain. The data
 for the forest were added to give a visual cue of where the average forest density is for
 each size class. Figures 16a, 16b, and 16c illustrate that mine age since revegetation does
 not positively correlate with increasing stem density.  If the densities were increasing
 over time, one would see a positive regression line for the mines. However, for all three
                                                                                 11

 image: 






size classes there is no linear relationship, indicating no increase in number of individuals
over time.
       The last three data points along the x-axis (reclamation ages 23, 25, 26) of figures
16a-c are important to note. The two older mines were revegetated prior to the 1977
SMCRA laws, while the third was reclaimed just two years later, in 1979. The two older
sites have revegetated much more quickly than the third site and all other sites visited.
The medium and large size-class individuals were just within the remnant forest density
mean (or very near the lower end of the range) at these two sites. What happened in two
years to create such a change in reinvasion potential? Possible answers are scale of
mining and reclamation practice (see Conclusions and Executive Summary).

General Conclusions for Trees and Shrubs:
       There is a low number of species and an extremely low number of stems of
woody plants on all mine types in this study compared to forests.  The few native plants
that do invade the mining areas are very close to the edge of the forest and are heavily
concentrated in the smallest size class (less than 2.54cm diameter at base).  The absence
of significant numbers of stems larger than 2.54cm suggests that these are stressful sites,
where very slow growth or high death rates for small plants are typical conditions. These
are very low invasion rates compared to many sites adjacent to mature forests that do not
have  mining as a land use.  As has been noted in many recent studies (e.g. Vories and
Throgmorton,  1999), the combination of poor substrate quality and interference by
inappropriate grass cover restricts the ability of native communities to return to these
extensive land areas.  Stands that have regenerated on pre-SMCRA sites often have
diverse, productive forests (Rodrique and Burger, 2000), but newer protocols challenge
this level of stand development, as is illustrated by these data.
        A 1999 Greenland's article by Skousen et al. evaluated tree growth on surface
mine lands in southern West Virginia. This study examined only three sites, two of
which were pre-SMRCA law, and the third was reclaimed in 1980. Our team included all
three of these sites in this study of 54 sites. Skousen's results clearly support our findings
 in that post-law sites are not regenerating as quickly as they could due to "[herb  species
 suppressing woody seedling establishment], soil compaction and shallow soil depth."
 Similarly, in the pre-law sites that were not seeded with an herbaceous cover plant
 succession is rapid (Skousen 1999).
        An in-press article by Holl (2002) shows the potential for reinvasion and recovery
 on reclaimed  surface mined lands. It is extremely important to note that, like the Skousen
 article, her study was comprised of pre-law sites dating back to 1962 reclamations. She
 does not report how many of the 15 sites were post-law (post 1977), but her three age
 classes for the mines are 1962-1967, 1972-1977, and 1980-1987. Also, the mines in that
 report are small 1A hectare parcels, not comparable to the large mountaintop removal
 areas subject to this study.  The Holl study sites,  only 62.5 x 40m in size, examined areas
 very close to  seed sources, within "5-50 m from unmined forests." It becomes obvious
 that invasion is possible for many species if the landscape setting is different from current
 large-scale practice. We have yet to see evidence that the original community has or will
 return to these seriously degraded landscapes.
        Recently, a new series of West Virginia State regulations was passed to detail
 better procedures for re-establishing forest lands on AOC mine sites. These regulations
                                                                                12

 image: 






include detailed requirements in soil, cover, and landscape requirements to begin getting
productive habitats returning to the land.  These new active regulations could be the
starting point to address the poor stand development seen on the sites recorded in this
study.  However, full return of the rich biodiversity of the historical forests of the region
would require more intervention than the addition of several dominant species, as is
required in the new West Virginia regulations.
       Attempts to encourage woody establishment are being made by some industry
participants.  One of the current practices is to plant rows or blocks of a tree species
(Autumn olive, Black locust, Black alder, pine) in an effort to create corridors - areas that
seed dispersers (birds, mammals) might find inviting for perching, foraging, and
protection, which then introduces seed into the area. Our study found that blocks of olives
and pines had little to no plants establishing underneath them. These trees were usually
planted very close together and both species tend to grow dense and bush-like. Seed was
either excluded from the area or could  not establish due to poorer soil quality or not
enough light and rain penetration. The alder and locust blocks had more success.  These
trees grow much straighter and do not shade out seed-rain, light, or other resources as
much as the other two species. Other attempts have been made as well, like
experimenting with different crop trees.
 HERB STUDIES:
 Presence of herbs on the study sites:
        The herb communities on the forested sites were generally dense and species-rich,
 as is typical of this region (Hinkle et al., 1993).  Eighty-five herbaceous species have
 been identified (Table 7a), and more were found on site, which required flowering
 structures for complete species identification. The presence and composition of the forest
 herb stratum is critical for forest health, as these herbs maintain soil structure and add
 nutrients, and offer habitat and nutrients to many animal species.
        Three of the nineteen transects were on valley fills, the rest in forests. Presence-
 absence of the woodland herbs was recorded at these three valley fill sites, so these data
 are analyzed separately from the remaining data, which follow. Woodland herbs were
 not expected to be observed in open, sunny fields, as most of the herbs on Table 7a
 require the shade and moisture of the forest floor. The species that were recorded on the
 mine sites are on Table 7b.
        Of the remaining sixteen sites, eleven were in mature intact forests and five were
 on lands directly adjacent to mining activities, such as the mine itself, a railroad, or a
 busy vehicular haul road. These are the "engineered" forests.  Table 8 lists herbaceous
 species found on study sites, ranked from most to least present. The engineered forest
 sites are contrasted with the intact forest sites to determine the effects of mining activity
 on adjacent forest herbs. There might not be direct physical destruction of these adjacent
 forest remnants, but the disturbance caused by high activity levels (i.e. mining  equipment,
 blasting, fumes and exhaust from train engines and hauling vehicles),  as well as sun
 shafts cutting through to the forest floor from adjacent human-dominated areas, may
 disrupt the forest community starting with the herbaceous stratum.  Seventeen  fewer
 species are found in engineered forests than on intact forested sites.
                                                                                 13

 image: 






       In analyzing species distribution on the slopes, intact sites have more species at
any point than engineered sites (Figure 17a). This can be seen with a two-way analysis of
variance (ANOVA) (Proc GLM in SAS/STAT version 6.12; SAS 1990) to test for the
effects of treatment type, distance from toe of slope, and the interaction of treatment and
distance on mean number of species. Significant results were found for treatment type
and distance from toe of slope on the species mean (both had a p value = 0.0001),
indicating that both the distance up the hill and the type of site affected the number of
species. There was no significant interaction between environment and distance.
       The herb stratum in the intact sites also contained more stems in study areas than
in the engineered sites along the entire slope (Figure  17b).   A two-way ANOVA was
performed, testing treatment and distance on mean number of herb stems (treatment p -
0.0016 and distance p = 0.125). Treatment type was found to be significant for number of
plants found. There was no significant interaction found for distance from toe of slope on
number of stems. There was no significant effect of treatment and distance collectively
on number of herb stems counted.
       The diversity of the herb stratum follows a similar pattern as described above.
Figure 17c shows that the engineered sites had less diversity than the intact sites at all but
one point along the slope.  ANOVAs show a significant value (p = 0.003) for treatment
type, and a marginally significant result (p = .0989), at a lower level, for distance on
diversity. Once again, there was no significant relation between treatment and distance.
       Tables 9a and 9b record the herbaceous species found at study sites, ranked from
most to least abundant (number of stems counted) in engineered and intact sites and by
percent abundance, respectively. (The two tables record absolute number and percent of
stems on these sites.) Several of the species, which are found most abundantly  on the
intact forest sites, were not present, or were present in very low numbers, on the disturbed
engineered sites.  This indicates that human activity is affecting the forest ecosystem and
changing the community composition. Four of the top ten intact forest herbs are in the
top ten of the engineered sites, however, three of the top ten were not present at all on the
engineered sites.  This might indicate that although some of the heartier species are
persisting, some of the more sensitive species are disappearing.
        Table 10 records herbaceous species found, ranked by abundance (number of
stems counted) in engineered and intact sites. In this table, values have been standardized
by multiplying engineered numbers by 11/5 to even out  differences in the number of sites
sampled. By equalizing the numbers, one can see the abundance of the species from a
level starting point.  (The total number of stems for the engineered and intact forests is
3978 and 8817 respectively.)  The totals indicate, even when the differing number of sites
is compensated for, that the density of herbaceous stems at the engineered sites was less
than half that of the intact forest sites.

General Conclusions for Herbs:
        When mine disturbance is adjacent to a forest (engineered forest), we found the
herb community, important for nutrient status and wildlife values, to be much less dense
and species-rich. Part of the reason for the difference in spring herb abundance and
diversity can be attributed to mining activity. Mining activity (i.e. filling and contour
mining) often results in covering up the toe of the slope, eliminating the most diverse and
rich community habitats. In our study, the engineered sites we visited  may have been the
                                                                                14

 image: 






higher slope regions depicted in Figure 18. Therefore, the habitat may have been drier
and less diverse than the intact forest sites due to the fact that it was the naturally drier,
higher slope community.  Also, because the engineered sites suffer more intense and
frequent disturbance, the quantity of light penetrating the canopy may be increased.  This
increase in light energy reaching the ground can dry out the soil and make conditions less
favorable for the spring herb population. These herbs rarely invade mining lands on the
areas studied, so data sets used for woody plants did not include forest herbs because they
were seldom, if ever, observed. (Dispersal limits and the need for shady, moist
microhabitat are obvious limits to regeneration.) A return to full forest biodiversity of
plants is apparently even more challenged on mining areas when herb species are added
to a concern.
CLOSING STATEMENT:
OSM reviewers pointed out that the unstated goal in mine reclamation in the
Appalachians is to render the land green and stable. Traditionally, attempts are not made
to reclaim the ecology or even the land use capability required by law. This report
addresses what was accomplished, not what could be. What we see is only what is
politically feasible, not technologically possible.
                                                                                 15

 image: 






Literature Cited:

Barbour, M.G., J.H. Burk, W.D. Pitts, F.S. Gilliam, and M.W. Schwartz. 1999.
Terrestrial plant ecology. Third edition.  Addison Wesley Longman, Menlo Park.

Bierzychudek, P. 1982.  Life histories and demography of shade-tolerant temperate forest
herbs: a review. New Phytol. 90:757-776.

Burger, J.A., and J.L. Torbert. 1999. Status of reforestation technology: the Appalachian
region.  Pages 95-123 in Vories and Throgmorton, op. cit.

Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, tech. coords. 1990. Silvics of North
America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.  Agricultural Handbook 654. U.S. Department of
Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, D.C.

Core, Earl L.  1966. Vegetation of West Virginia. McClain Printing Co, Parsons, WV.

Gleason, Henry A., and Arthur Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of
Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, 2nd ed. New York Botanical Garden,
Bronx, NY.

Harris, J., and D. Steer. 1997. DHA soil microbial activity analysis.  Dept. of
Environmental Science, University of East London, U.K.

Hinkle, C.R., W.C. McComb, J.M. Safley, Jr., and P.A. Schmalzer.  1993. Mixed
mesophytic forests.  Pages 203-254 in Martin, W.H., S. G. Boyce, and A.C.  Echternacht,
editors. Biodiversity of the southeastern United States, upland terrestrial communities.
Wiley and Sons, NY.

Roll, Karen D. 2000. The effect of coal surface mine revegetation practices on long-term
vegetation recovery - progress report. 2000 Powell River Project Symposium and
Progress Reports.

Newcomb, Lawrence, and Gordon Morrison. 1977. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide.
Little, Brown and Co., Boston, MA.

Rodrique, J.A., and J.A. Burger. 2000. Forest productivity and woody species diversity
on pre-SMCRA mined  land.  Proc. Amer. Soc. Surface Mining Reclam., pages 205-223.

 Schemske, D.W., M.F.  Willson, M.N. Melampy, et al. 1978. Flowering ecology of some
 spring woodland herbs. Ecology 59:351-366.

 Skousen, J., P. Ziemkiewicz, and C. Venable.  1999. Evaluation of Tree Growth on
 Surface Mined Lands in Southern West Virginia.  Greenlands, vol. 29(1): 43-55.
                                                                              16

 image: 






Strausbaugh, P. D., and Earl L. Core. 1977. Flora of West Virginia, 2nd ed. Seneca Books.
Morgantown, WV.

Torbert, J.L.,  and J.A. Burger. 1996. Influence of grading intensity on herbaceous ground
cover, erosion, and tree establishment in the southern Appalachians. Pages 639-646 in
Successes and failures: applying research results to insure reclamation success. ASSMR,
and Powell River Project of Virginia Tech Univ.

Venning, Frank D., and Manabu C. Saito. 1984. A Guide to Field Identification:
Wildflowers of North America. Golden Press, New York, NY.

Vories, K.C., and D. Throgmorton, editors. 1999. Proceedings of: Enhancement of
reforestation at surface coal mines: technical interactive forum. USDI OSM, Alton, IL,
and Coal Research Center, SIU, Carbondale EL 274 p.
                                                                              17

 image: 






                                                    *  X
Figure 1. The blackened area illustrates the Mixed Mesophy tic Forest Region
of the southeastern United States. Taken from Hinlde et. al in Biodiversity of the
southeastern United States, upland terrestrial communities.
                                                                                             18

 image: 






Figure 2. The naturally occurring grasslands of the southeastern
United States. Taken from HinHe et. al in Biodiversity of the
southeastern United States, upland terrestrial communities.
                                                                                      19

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Figure 3a. Diagram of valley fill geometry. Arrows indicate relative location and
direction of transect lines on the valley fill and into the adjacent forest remnant. Darker
line indicates how the 12 continuous transects were run from mined land to remnant
forest.
       Forest Remnant
Figure 3b.  Diagram of valley fill geometry when continuous line could not be run.
Arrows indicate relative location and direction of transect lines on the valley fill and into
the adjacent forest remnant. Darker lines indicates how the mined transect and forest
transect were run.  Only one forest transect was run, either on the left or the right, not
both.
 Forest Remnant
Forest Remnant
                                                                                20

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    Figure 4.  Woody species richness on all study sites. Sites are ranked not in pairs,

    but in decreasing species richness. Contour mine data not included.
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                                                                               22

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      2808 mine data points). Contour mine data not included.
                                                                                    23

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          Contour mines excluded.
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                                                                                            29

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         Figure 13.  Mean stem density vs. mine type, by size-class. We tested if
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         and compared mean density within size class with Bonferroni adjusted
         multiple comparisons (Proc GLM in SAS/STAT version 6.12; SAS 1990).
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Figure 14a,  Peerless Eagle site. MIR «i top,
then clear-cut, then VF, Taken simmer 2000,
                                                     31

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Figure 14b.  Peerless Eagle Transect. Stem density vs. distance. This is a
unique site, with a mountain-top removal at the top of slope, moving into a
clear-cut remnant forest and into a valley fill. Age estimated to be 12-15
years.
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Clear-cut revegetation
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                                                                       32

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Figure 15. Shannon-Weiner diversity Index (H) for woody trees in all three size classes.
Comparison of mined lands to forest remnants (contour mines excluded). A paired t test
was performed with df= 8, t (small) = 2.92, t (medium) = 3.49, t (large) = 4.13.
                     Small
Medium
Large
             Forest H
             Mine H
                                                                               33

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          Figures 16a, 16b, 16c. Site age vs. mean stem densities of 30 mined sites compared to the
          average of 25 forest remnants. Forest mean is displayed between the dotted lines (standard
          error bars). Age is not implied for forest sites. Small size-class on top (16a), then medium
          (16b) and large (16c).
                                                                                        34

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Number of locations (E, I)
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       Figures 17a-17c. Mean number of spring herb species (17a), stems (17b), and estimate of biodiversity

       (H) (17c) for spring under story herbs in engineered forested and intact forested sites vs. distance from

       toe of slope.  Two-way ANOVA results: treatment effect in 17ap=0.0001,17bp=0.0016, 17cp=0.0030;

       distance effect 17a p=0.0001, 17b p=0.125,17c p=0.0989; treatment and distance effect 17 a p=0.26,17b

       p=0.9,17cp=0.3680.
                                                                                                    35

 image: 






Figure 18.  Diagram of mining activity eliminating toe of slope, compared to an intact
forest's position of toe. This situation is hypothetical. All values are arbitrary. Dashed
line indicates valley fill.  Brackets indicate area sampled.
..70..met.ers...fro.m...b.as.e..
 INTACT FOREST
ENGINEERED FOREST
                                                                               36

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Table 1. West Virginia woody plant study sites. Age equals years since revegetation and were calculated for 2002.
-r'ransect
Number
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
^ 28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
Site Name
olony Bay: Cazy remnant forest
olony Bay: Cazy VF
Colony Bay: forest remnant
Colony Bay: planted slope VF
Colony Bay: WVU plots
)altex Mine: continuous forest - MT 32
Daltex Mine: Zapata remnant forest
Daltex Mine: Zapata VF
Hobet Mine: continuous forest
Hobet Mine: Bragg Fork plateau
lobet Mine: Bragg Fork remnant forest
lobet Mine: Bragg Fork VF
Hobet Mine: Lick Creek MTR
•lobet Mine: Lick Creek remnant forest
Hobet Mine: Lick Creek VF
Hobet Mine: Stanley Fork MTR
•lobet Mine: Stanley Fork remnant forest
Hobet Mine: Stanley Fork VF
sland Creek: L
sland Creek: L remnant forest
sland Creek: R
sland Creek: Valley fill
Leckie Smokeless: Briery Knob cluster planting
Leckie Smokeless: Briery Knob cluster planting rem. for.
Leckie Smokeless: Briery Knob forest strip
Leckie Smokeless: Briery Knob prairie
.eckie Smokeless: Briery Knob prairie remnant forest
Leckie Smokeless: Briery Knob remnant forest
Leckie Smokeless: Briery Knob ROPS backfill
Leckie Smokeless: Briery Knob VF
Leckie Smokeless: Pollock Knob 1
Leckie Smokeless: Pollock Knob 1 remnant forest
Leckie Smokeless: Pollock Knob 2
.odestar Energy: MT 75 remnant forest
Lodestar Energy: MT 75 VF - "Green Heron Pond"
Peerless Eagle Mine: remnant forest
Peerless Eagle Mine: valley fill
Pen Coal: 3 Remnant forest
Pen Coal: Alnus
Pen Coal: Alnus remnant forest
Pen Coal: continuous forest
Pen Coal: Elaeagnus
Pen Coal: Frank Branch Pond site
Pen Coal: Frank Branch remnant forest
Pen Coal: no planting 3L
Pen Coal: no planting 3R
Pen Coal: VF Robinia
Pigeon Roost: continuous forest - MT 45
Rockhouse: continuous forest- MT 25B
Sample Mine: Mynu VF
Samples Mine: Mynu remnant forest
Wylo Mine: Amherst remnant forest
Wylo Mine: Amherst VF
Wylo Mine: Amherst VF2
Wylo Mine: remnant forest 2
County
Boone/Logan line
toone/Logan line
Boone/Logan line
Joone/Logan line
Joone/Logan line
.ogan
-ogan
Logan
.incoln
.incoln
.incoln
Jncoln
.incoln
Jncoln
Lincoln
Lincoln
Lincoln
Lincoln
Nicholas
Nicholas
Nicholas
Nicholas
Greenbrier
Greenbrier
Greenbrier
Greenbrier
Greenbrier
Greenbrier
Greenbrier
Greenbrier
Greenbrier
Greenbrier
Greenbrier
Raleigh
Raleigh
Nicholas
Nicholas
Lincoln/Wayne line
Lincoln/Wayne line
Lincoln/Wayne line
Lincoln/Wayne line
Lincoln/Wayne line
Lincoln/Wayne line
Lincoln/Wayne line
Lincoln/Wayne line
Lincoln/Wayne line
Lincoln/Wayne line
Logan
Logan/Boone line
Kanawha/Boone line
Kanawha/Boone line
Logan
Logan
Logan
Logan
Site
Type
RF
VF
RF
VF
VF
CF
RF
VF
CF
VF
RF
VF
MTR
RF
VF
MTR
RF
VF
BF
RF
BF
VF
MTR
RF
RF
MTR
RF
RF
BF
VF
BF
RF
BF
RF
VF
RF
VF
RF
CM
RF
CF
CM
CM
RF
CM
CM
VF
CF
CF
VF
RF
RF
VF
VF
RF
Paired
Samples
*
*







**
**




***
***

•
#


»»
««
»••
*
*
<.*
»»»
*«
«**
***





•
••
••


•••
•••

•









Site
Age
~
21
._
7
17
—
...
25
—
25
—
25
13
—
13
8
—
8
14
—
14
14
17
...
_.
17
—
—
16
16
16
—
16
_.
10
—
???
—
12
—
—
12
12
—
12
12
12
—
—
26
—
—
23
10

#Spp
Found
16
15
22
22
14
23
19
19
15
4
20
11
8
15
12
11
26
12
10
25
15
6
2
18
8
4
16
17
1
3
5
11
4
23
13
13
17
12
12
16
19
10
6
25
19
13
15
22
20
22
16
19
20
14
17
Planted
—
Y
—
Y
Y
—
—
Y
—
Y
...
Y
Y
—
Y
Y
—
Y
N
—
N
Y
Y
—
—
N
~-
—
Y
N
Y
—
Y
—
Y
—
N
—
Y
—
—
Y
Y
—
N
N
Y
—
—
Y
—
—
Y
N

                                                                                                                            37

 image: 






Table 1 (Con't)
           Date
         IVisitedlsite Characterization
                   continuation from VF transect into woods
                  obinia pseudoacacia, Eleagnus umbellate, Paulownia tomentosa planted; longest landfill (1.2miles)
                  ocated adjacent to VF
                  lopes planted w/ different sp; olive, alder, locust, oak, sycamore, crabapple, persimmon, pine; RoPs seeded
                  WU experiment w/ treatments;R. pseudoacacia, P. virginiana, P. strobus, Quercus sp, A. glutinosa planted
                  oadside site, behind retention pond; same site as spring sampling (site w/ electrical lines running through)
                  orest remnant located adjacent to VF
                  leagnus umbellata & Robinia pseudoacacia plantings
                  ransect started at top of forested slope; dry woods, little leaf litter
                  lateau very compact from trucks filling BFs; located below RFs; very large & long VF hydroseeded w/ RoPs
                  orest remnant is adjacent to VF
                  ydroseeded w/ Robinia pseudoacacia
                  yiTR continues into RF below (VF is adjacent); planted w/ Fraxinus sp (not doing well) & £. umbellata
                  ransect runs up from VF bottom, through forest.
                  ransect runs down VF w/ forest at base; planted w/ Pinus virginiana, Eleagnus umbellata, Fraxinus sp
                  toove the forest remnant transect; 7 rows of Eleagnus umbellata planted
                  'ransect is adjacent to fill, runs up slope through forest and continues through MTR site above
                 Eleagnus umbellata planted in blocks, on slopes as opposed to terraces
                  tolling, grass dominated backfill; not planted, forest remnant at top
                  'orest remnant at top of transect L
                      at top and to side; not planted
                 Robinia pseudoacacia and Alnus glutinosa plantings
                g Experimental Westvaco plantings include Aspen, Pine hybrids, Alnus glutinosa', large, flat MTR site
                ig A continuation of the MTR transect, located to the right of the cluster plantings,
                ig A very thin forest strip (37m wide) located above the backfill
                g Not planted w/ woodies
                  .ocated to the left of the prairie; a very flat forest
                  rorest remnant located below the VF & small abondoned road
                  tydroseeded Robinia pseudoacacia, continues up from VF transect
                ig A continuation of the remnant forest below; dense grass cover, no plantings
                ig Rolling refuse hills; top planted w/ pine, Alnus glutinosa, Eleagnus umbellata, Robinia pseudoacacia
                ig A continuation of the rolling refuse hill transect, at top of hill
                 Robinia pseudoacacia & pine planted
                  Located across the county road from the VF site
                  Robinia pseudoacacia planting
                  Forest remnant located next to "unique" transect
                  Jnique site = BF, then regenerating cut, then VF; not planted
                  :orest remnant located above transect 3R
                  Alnus glutinosa  planted in blocks, transect runs through  blocks, gaps b/t planting blocks & forest edge
                  A continuation of above CM transect, into woods
                  CF transect found on edge of mine property, by offices
                  E.  umbellata planted in 37m wide block; transect runs through block; gap b/t planting block & forest edge
                   M located below forest remnant; top of slope planted very densely w/ Eleagnus umbellata
                  A continuation of above contour mine transect, into forest; Eleagnus umbellata block comes to forest edge
                  Transects 3L and 3R are 25m apart, w/ RF above them;  CM not planted w/ woodies
                  Transects 3L and 3R are 25m apart, w/ RF above them;  CM not planted w/ woodies
                  A VF with terraces planted with Robinia pseudoacacia
                  Same site as spring site
                  Not same site as spring sample, but was at a stream sample point.
                  Retention pond at base, VF is adjacent to forest; planted w/ Robinia pseudoacacia
                  Forest remnant is adjacent to VF
                  Forest remnant located adjacent to fill
                  Planted w/ scattered fruit trees & Robinia pseudoacacia
                  A very large VF, not planted
                  Forest remnant located adjacent to fill
20-Sep
20-Sep
19-Sep
19-Sep
20-Sep
22-Jul
17-Jul
17-Jul
23-Jul
20-Jul
20-Jul
20-Jul
22-Jun
23-Jun
23-Jun
22-Jun
22-Jun
22-Jun
21-Aug
21-Aug
21-Aug
21-Aug
19-Aug
19-Aug
17-Aug
19-Aug
19-Aug
17-Aug
17-Aug
17-Aug
20-Aug
20-Aug
20-Aug
18-Aug
15-Aug
22-Aug
22-Aug
17-Jun
18-Jun
18-Jun
24-Ju
17-Ju
14-Ju
14-Ju
16-Ju
17-Ju
15-Ju
22-Ju
23-Ju
18-Ju
18-Ju
21 -Ju
19-Ju
25-Ju
25-Ju
c
oi
oc
lo
\N\
lo
:OI
fe
ra
la
0
y<
Ml
re
n
Ab
Trj
Ek
Ro
Fo
RF
Re
Ex
A
A
Nc
Lo
Fc
Hy
A
Re
A
R<
Lc
R(
Fc
U
Fc
Al
A
C
~
C
A
T
T
A
S
N
R
F
F
P
A
F
                                                                                                                           38

 image: 






Table 2. West Virginia spring herbaceaous study sites (2000).

       (m) = mine
       (both) = mine and forest
       (f)  = forest
       *** = no stem count conducted
Site*
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Site*
1
/ 2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Site name
Cabin Creek MT51
White Oak MT 39
Old House Branch MT 42
Digeon Roost
Spruce Forks Mine, Left fork of Beach Creek MT32
Cookhouse Creek VF
Cow Creek, MT 107
Cow Creek Roadside Mt 52
Spruce Forks Mine roadside/RR side site B
Mud River VF + forest edge transect
Mud River VF
Site 2
Lodestar Energy: MT 75
Buffalo Fork
Toney Fork
Hughes Fork
Twentymile Creek
Peerless Eagle: Radar Fork
Peerless Eagle: Neff
County
Logan
Logan
Logan
Logan
Logan
Logan
Logan
Logan
Logan
Boone
Boone
Raleigh
Raleigh
Raleigh
Raleigh
Kanawha
Kanawha
Nicholas
Nicholas
Engineered
N
N
N
N
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
N
N
N
Y
N
N
# Spp Found
28
29
35
28
20
16
27
26
27
14
12
28
15(m), 5(both), 9(f)
21
26
28
28
33
35
# Stems
547
1401
784
1115
323
***
739
335
650
117
***
609
***
213
441
514
349
1446
1204
Date Visited
4/24/2000
4/25/2000
4/25/2000
4/25/2000
4/25/2000
4/25/2000
4/26/2000
4/26/2000
4/27/2000
4/27/2000
4/27/2000
5/1/2000
5/2/2000
5/2/00
5/2/2000
5/3/2000
5/3/2000
5/4/2000
5/4/2000
Site characteristics
ots of litter, old trees, healthy seedling & sapling cover
very rich & complete woods
lots of moss, moist woods
rich site; lots of herbivore damage
potential edge effect location for woody invasion
VF invasion site; RF was located above VF; in a 20m wide swath down the 68m slope, no woodland herbs were invading
sunny, cool slope
sunny, unmined slope
very degraded site. . . VF above & all over, tons of vines & weeds; large thicket under powerlines preventing further sampling
very sunny, dry, open slope w/ planted olive, lots of leaf litter, many grass spp; no woodland invaders 50+ m up VF
woody vegetation; very sunny, dry, open slope w/ planted olive, many grass spp, thickets
much herbivory at this site, heavy litter w/ many seedlings & saplings
VF area, mostly grasses & planted black locust, white pine
cow pasture nearby
very sunny, fairly open forest; very rich and large floodplain
very different forest from others so far, full of hemlock & rhododendron, rich, mesic
very dry, disturbed area, not many species, lots of sassafras seedlings/saplings
very dark, mesic forest
across road from stream, off left of main haul road, down the smaller log road some distance on right
                                                                                                                               39

 image: 






Table 3. List of woody species found on West Virginia study transects (a indicates alien species)
    SCIENTIFIC NAME
    Acernegundo
    Acer pensylvanicum
    Acerrubiwn
    Acer saccharum
    Aesculus octandra
    Aesculus sp.
a   Ailanthus altissima*
a   Albizzia julibrissin*
a   Alnus glutinosa*
    Amelanchier arborea
    Amelanchier sp.
    Aristolochia macrophylla
    Azalea sp.
    Betula alleghaniensis
    Betula lenta
    Betula sp.
    Carpinus caroliniana
    Carya cordiformis
    Car/a glabra
    Carya ovata
    Carya sp.
    Carya tomentosa
    Castanea dentata
    Cercis canadensis
    Comus florida
    Corylus americana
    Crataegus  sp.
 a  Eleagnus umbellata*
    Epigaea repens
    Fagus grandifolia
    Fraxinus americana
    Fraxinus nigra
    Fraxinus pennsylvanica
     Fraxinus sp.
     Hamamelis virginiana
     Hydrangea arborescens
     Hydrangea sp.
     Juniperus  virginiana
     Kalmia latifolia
 a   Lespedeza bicolor*
     LJndera benzoin
     LJriodendron tulipifera
 a   Lonicera japonica*
     Magnolia acuminata
     Magnolia grand/flora
     Magnolia fraseri
 a   Magnolia soulangeana*
     Magnolia tripetala
     Magnolia virginiana
     Moms sp.
     Oplopanax horridus
     Ostrya virginiana
     Oxydendrum arboreum
     Parthenocissus quinquefolia
 a  Paulownia tomentosa*
COMMON NAME
Boxelder
Striped maple
Red maple
Sugar maple
Yellow buckeye
Buckeye
Tree-of-heaven
Silk tree, mimosa
Black alder
Downy serviceberry
Serviceberry, shadbush
Dutchman's pipe
Azalea
Yellow birch
Black birch
Birch
Musclewood, ironwood
Bittemut hickory
Pignut hickory
Shagbark hickory
Hickory
Mockemut hickory
American chestnut
Redbud
Flowering dogwood
American hazelnut
Hawthorne
Autumn olive
Trailing arbutus
American beech
White ash
 Black ash
 Red ash
 Ash
 Witch hazel
 American hydrangea
 Hydrangea
 Eastern red cedar
 Mountain laurel
 Japanese bush clover
 Spice-bush
 Tulip-tree, yellow poplar
 Japanese honeysuckle
 Cucumber-tree
 Southern magnolia
 Mountain magnolia
 Saucer magnolia
 Umbrella-tree
 Sweetbay magnolia
 Mulberry
 Devil's club, Devil's walking stick
 Hop-hornbeam
 Sourwood
 Virginia creeper
 Princess-tree
                                                                                                                  40

 image: 






Table 3. (con't)
Pinus echinata
Pinus resinosa
Pinus rigida
Pinus strobus
Pinus virginiana
Platanus occidentalis
Populus balsamifera
Populus grandidentata
Pmnus pensylvanica
Prunus serotina
Prunus sp.
Pnjnus virginiana
Quercus alba
Quercus bicolor
Quercus coccinea
Quercus marilandica
Quercus prinus
Quercus rubra
Quercus velutina
Quercus sp.
Rhododendron maximum
Rhus copallinum
Rhus glabra
Rhus typhina
Robinia hispida
Robinia pseudoacacia
Rosa caroliniana
Rosa multiflora*
Rubus allegheniensis
Rubus recurvicutatus
Rubus sp.
 Sassafras albidum
 Smilax glauca
 Smilax sp.
 Tilia americana
 Toxicodendron radicans
 Tsuga canadensis
 Ulmus rubra
 Vaccinium angustifolium
 Vaccinium pallidum
 Vaccinium sp.
 Viburnum acerifolium
 Vitis aestivalis
 Vitis sp.
Shortleaf pine
Red pine
Pitch pine
White pine
Scrub pine, Virginia pine
Sycamore
Balsam poplar
Bigtooth aspen
Fire cherry, Pin cherry
Black cherry
Cherry
Choke cherry
White oak
Swamp oak
Scarlet oak
Black-jack oak
Chestnut oak
Northern red oak
Black oak
Oak
Great rhododendron
Shining sumac
Smooth sumac
Staghorn sumac
Bristly locust
Black locust
Pasture rose
Multiflora rose
Common blackberry
Dewberry
Bramble
Sassafras
Saw brier
Catbrier
Basswood, American linden
Poison ivy
American Hemlock
Slippery or red elm
Common lowbush blueberry
Hillside blueberry
Blueberry
Maple-leaf viburnum
Summer grape
Grape
                                                                                                               41

 image: 






Table 4: Woody species found on study sites ranked from most to least present. Does not include
     contour mines. * denotes alien/non-native species
Ranked by most to least common on forest sites.       Ranked by most to least common on mined sites.

Transect type
Number of transects
Species
Acer rubrum
Acer saccharum
Quercus rubra
Liriodendron tulipifera
Smilax sp.
Fagus grandifolia
Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Rubus sp.
Betula lenta
Toxicodendron radicans
Magnolia acuminata
Vitis sp.
Cornus florida
Tilia americana
Viburnum acerifolium
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Carya cordiformis
Carpinus caroliniana
Acer pensylvanicum
Oxydendrum arboreum
Prunus serotina
Lindera benzoin
Robinia pseudoacada
Sassafras albidum
Quercus alba
Magnolia tripetala
Cercis canadensis
forest
total
23

19
19
19
18
18
16
15
14
13
12
12
10
10
10
10
9
9
9
9
8
8
8
7
7
7
7
7
Hamamelis virginiana | 7
Ailanthus altissima* II 5
Vaccinium sp. I 5
Quercus prinus 5
Hydrangea arborescens | S
Ostrya virginiana
Carya glabra
Betula alleghaniensis
Quercus velutina
Quercus marilandica
Carya tomentosa
Carya ovata
Aesculus octandra
Magnolia virginiana
Magnolia soulangeana*
Magnolia fraseri
Crataegus sp.
Carya sp.
5
5
4
4
4
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
Eleagnus umbellata* | 2
Rosa multiflora* || 2
mined
total
25

18
9
2
13
5
3
8
19
9
9
2
5
3
2
0
10
0
0
0
13
6
0
19
1
1
1
1
0
3
2
2
"i I
0
0
4
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
15
8
forest
total
23

14
7
19
2
18
8
9
19
13
12
15
2
2
1
8
0
18
10
1
0
4
16
10
5
1
0
19
12
10
5
5
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7
7
7
7
5
4
2
mined
total
25

19
19
18
15
13
13
10
9
9
9
8
8
8
8
6
6
5
5
5
5
4
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

ransect type
Number of transects
Species
Rubus sp.
Robinia pseudoacada
Acer rubrum
Eleagnus umbellata*
Liriodendron tulipifera
Oxydendrum arboreum
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Acer saccharum
Betula lenta
Toxicodendron radicans
Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Prunus sp.
Rosa multiflora*
Platanus occidentalis
Prunus serotina
Lespedeza bicolor*
Smilax sp.
Vitis sp.
Rhus typhina
Alnus glutinosa*
Betula alleghaniensis
Fagus grandifolia
Cornus florida
Ailanthus altissima*
Amelanchier sp.
Populus grandidentata
Quercus rubra
Magnolia acuminata
Tilia americana
Quercus prinus
Vaccinium sp.
Fraxinus americana
Prunus pensylvanica
Acernegundo
Fraxinus sp.
Lonicera japonica*
Oplopanax horridum
Paulownia tomentosa*
Pinus rigida
Pinus virginiana
Cercis canadensis
Magnolia tripetala
Quercus alba
Sassafras albidum
Hydrangea arborescens
Quercus velutina
Fraxinus nigra
                                                                                                       42

 image: 






Table 4 (con't)



Ranked by most to least common on forest sites.
Ranked by most to least common on mined sites.

ransect type
Number of transects
Species
Prunus sp.
Prunus pensylvanica
Fraxinus americana
Fraxinus nigra
Vaccinium angustifoiium
Castanea dentata
Azalea sp.
Platanus occidentalis
Rhus typhina
Amelanchier sp.
Rubus allegheniensis
Ulmus rubra
Tsuga canadensis
Rosa caroliniana
Rhododendron maximum
Quercus bicolor
Prunus virginiana
Worus sp.
Magnolia grand/flora
Katmia latifolia
Aristolochia macrophylla
Lespedeza bicolor*
Alnus glutinosa*
Populus grandidentata
Pinus virginiana
Pinus rigida
Paulownia tomentosa*
Oplopanax horridum
Lonicera japonica*
Fraxinus sp.
Acernegundo
Rubus recurviculatus
Robinia hispida
Rhus glabra
Rhus copallinum
Quercus coccinea
Populus balsamifera
Pinus strobus
Pinus resinosa
Pinus echinata
Juniperus virginiana
forest
total
23

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
mined
total
25

8
2
2
1
0
0
0
8
5
3
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
6
5
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
forest
total
23

1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
10
9
9
9
8
7
5
5
4
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
mined
total
25

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Transect type
Number of transects
Species
Rubus allegheniensis
Juniperus virginiana
Pinus echinata
Pinus resinosa
Pinus strobus
Populus balsamifera
Quercus coccinea
Rhus copallinum
Rhus glabra
Robinia hispida
Rubus recurviculatus
Viburnum acerifolium
Acer pensylvanicum
Carpinus caroliniana
Carya cordiformis
Lindera benzoin
Hamamelis virginiana
Carya glabra
Ostrya virginiana
Aesculus octandra
Carya ovate
Carya tomentosa
Quercus marilandica
Carya sp.
Crataegus sp.
Magnolia fraseri
Magnolia soulangeana*
Magnolia virginiana
Azalea sp.
Castanea dentata
Vaccinium angustifoiium
Aristolochia macrophylla
Kalmia latifolia
Magnolia grand/flora
Morus sp.
Prunus virginiana
Quercus bicolor
Rhododendron maximum
Rosa caroliniana
Tsuga canadensis
Ulmus rubra
                                                                                                      43

 image: 






Table 5: Woody species found at study sites by category. * denotes alien/non-native species
  CF = Continuous forest  MTR = Mountaintop removal BF = backfill
  RF = Remnant forest    VF = Valley fill              CM = contour mine

ransect type
Number of transects
Species
Acernegundo
Acer pensylvanicum
Acer rubrum
Acer saccharum
Aesculus octandra
Ailanthus altissima*
Alnus glutinosa*
Amelanchier sp.
Aristolochia macrophylla
Azalea sp.
Betula alleghaniensis
Betula lenta
Carpinus caroliniana
Carya cordiformis
Carya glabra
Carya ovata
Carya sp.
Carya tomentosa
Castanea dentata
Cercis canadensis
Cornus florida
Crataegus sp.
Eleagnus umbeltata*
Epigaea repens
Fagus grandifolia
Fraxinus americana
Fraxinus nigra
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Fraxinus sp.
Hamamelis virginiana
Hydrangea arborescens
Juniperus virginiana
Kalmia latifolia
Lespedeza bicolor*
LJndera benzoin
Liriodendron tulipifera
Lonicera japonica*
Magnolia acuminata
Magnolia grandiflora
Magnolia fraseri
Magnolia soulangeana*
Magnolia tripetala
Magnolia virginiana
Morus sp.
Oplopanax horridum
Ostrya virginiana
FOREST
CF
5



3
5
3
3

1


2
1
2
3
2
2
1


3
5



4


3

2
1



3
5

5
1

1
2




RF
20


9
18
14
1
2


1
2
2
12
7
6
5
2
2
4
2
5
6
4
2

13
2
2
6

5
4

1

5
14

9

3
2
5
3
1

5
MINED
MTR
4



2



2




1










2




2







1










VF
16

2

13
7

3
3
2


3
6







1
3

11

3
2
1
8
2

1
1

6

10

2



1


1

BF
5



3
2



1


1
2










2












2
2







1

CM
5

1

5











1
1
1
1




4


1

1







1

3








FOREST
TOTAL
25

0
9
21
19
4
5
0
1
1
2
4
13
9
9
7
4
3
4
2
8
11
4
2
0
17
2
2
9
0
7
5
0
1
0
8
19
0
14
1
3
3
7
3
1
0
5
MINED
TOTAL
30

3
0
23
9
0
3
5
3
0
0
4
9
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
3
0
19
0
3
3
1
11
2
0
1
1
0
6
0
14
2
5
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
0
                                                                                                       44

 image: 






Table 5. (con't)

Transect type
Number of transects
Species
Oxydendrum arboreum
Parthenocissus quinquefoli
Paulownia tomentosa*
Pinus echinata
Pinus resinosa
Pinus rigida
Pinus strobus
Pinus virginiana
Platanus occidentals
Populus balsamifera
Populus grandidentata
Prunus pensylvanica
Prunus serotina
Prunus sp.
Prunus virginiana
Quercus alba
Quercus bicolor
Quercus coccinea
Quercus marilandica
Quercus prinus
Quercus rubra
Quercus velutina
Rhododendron maximum
Rhus copallinum
Rhus glabra
Rhus typhina
Robinia hispida
Robinia pseudoacacia
Rosa caroliniana
Rosa multiflora*
Rubus allegheniensis
Rubus recurviculatus
Rubus sp.
Sassafras albidum
Smilax glauca
Smilax sp.
Tilia americana
Toxicodendron radicans
Tsuga canadensis
Ulmus rubra
Vaccinium angustifolium
Vaccinium sp.
Viburnum acerifolium
Vitis sp.
FOREST
CF
5

1
5










2


2


1
1
2











1
1

5
3
4

1

1
3
1
RF
20

8
11



1

1
1


2
6
2
1
6
1

4
4
18
4
1
2

1

7
1
2
1

14
8
1
14
7
10
1

3
4
7
9
MINED
MTR
4

2




1




1

1
1

1







1


1
3

1


2




2






VF
16

9
7
2
1
1
1
1
2
6
1
1

4
5



1

1
2
1


1
5

12

7
1
1
13
1

4
1
7





5
BF
5

2
1






2

1
2
1
2





1







4




4


1
1




2


CM
5

5
4





1
1






2

1
1

1
1

2

1



2
2

5
2
1
2

2


1
1

1
FOREST
TOTAL
25

9
16
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
2
8
2
1
8
1
0
5
5
20
4
1
2
0
1
0
7
1
2
1
0
15
9
1
19
10
14
1
1
3
5
10
10
MINED
TOTAL
30

18
12
2
1
1
2
1
3
9
1
3
2
6
8
0
3
0
2
1
2
3
2
0
3
1
6
1
19
0
10
3
1
24
3
1
7
2
11
0
0
1
3
0
6
                                                                                                                    45

 image: 






Table 6. Woody species ranked by abundance in forested and mined sites. Contour mines excluded.
(There were 33 forest transect points and 1601 mined points where no individual was found in range.)
* denotes alien/non-native species
Ranked by abundance on forested sites.

Species
Acer saccharum
Acer rubrum
Fagus grandifolia
Liriodendron tulipifera
Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Magnolia acuminata
Toxicodendron radicans
Quercus rubra
Oxydendrum arboreum
Smilax sp.
Acer pensylvanicum
Magnolia tripetala
Quercus prinus
^ubus sp.
Tilia americana
Betula lenta
Robinia pseudoacacia
Prunus serotina
Quercus alba
Sassafras albidum
Lindera benzoin
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Vitis sp.
Fraxinus americana
Comus florida
Aesculus octandra
Hamamelis virginiana
Vaccinium sp.
Eleagnus umbellata*
Ailanthus altissima*
Carya cordiformis
Carpinus caroliniana
Castanea dentata
Magnolia fraseri
Carya ovata
Viburnum acerifolium
Prunus sp.
Carya sp.
Prunus pensylvanica
Cercis canadensis
Carya glabra
Carya tomentosa
Hydrangea arborescens
Magnolia grandiflora
Ostrya virginiana
Quercus bicolor
Betula alleghaniensis
Quercus velutina
Fraxinus nigra
Number of
forest mine
206
127
70
68
58
51
37
37
34
34
33
31
30
28
28
27
25
22
21
20
20
16
15
14
14
14
14
12
11
11
11
10
10
10
9
9
8
8
7
7
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
4
4
24
221
4
62
8
1
13
4
60
6
0
1
1
187
2
19
217
17
0
4
0
39
9
6
3
0
0
2
106
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
17
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
8
5
2
Ranked by abundance on mined sites.
Number of
forest mine
127
25
28
11
68
34
16
0
1
206
27
0
22
8
1
37
0
15
58
4
0
34
14
4
0
0
70
37
20
11
7
3
0
0
14
1
0
28
12
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
51
31
30
221
217
187
106
62
60
39
28
26
24
19
19
17
17
14
13
11
9
8
8
7
6
6
5
5
5
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1

Species
Acer rubrum
Robinia pseudoacacia
Rubus sp.
Eleagnus umbellate*
Liriodendron tulipifera
Oxydendrum arboreum
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Lespedeza bicolor*
Rhus typhina
Acer saccharum
Betula lenta
Rosa multiflora*
Prunus serotina
Prunus sp.
Platanus occidentalis
Toxicodendron radicans
Pinus strobus
Vitissp.
Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Betula alleghaniensis
Pinus virginiana
Smilax sp.
Fraxinus americana
Quercus velutina
Pinus echinata
Rubus recurviculatus
Fagus grandifolia
Quercus rubra
Sassafras albidum
Ailanthus altissima*
Prunus pensylvanica
Rubus allegheniensis
Fraxinus sp.
Oplopanax hom'dum
Comus florida
Pinus rigida
Paulownia tomentosa*
Tilia americana
Vaccinium sp.
Fraxinus nigra
Acernegundo
Amelanchier sp.
Juniperus virginiana
Populus balsamifera
Populus grandidentata
Rhus glabra
Magnolia acuminata
Magnolia tripetala
Quercus prinus
                                                                                                 46

 image: 






Table 6. (con't)
Ranked by abundance on forested sites.
                 Ranked by abundance on mined sites.

Species
Magnolia soulangeana*
Magnolia virginiana
Rubus allegheniensis
Crataegus sp.
Quercus marilandica
Vaccinium angustifolium
Aesculus sp.
Hydrangea sp.
Prunus virginiana
Rhus typhina
Platanus occidentalis
Pinus rig/da
Aristolochia macrophylla
Azalea sp.
Betula sp.
Kalmia latifolia
Magnolia sp.
Morus sp.
Rhus copallinum
Tsuga canadensis
Ulmus rubra
UNK- yellow fruit
UNK-w/photos
Lespedeza bicolor*
Rosa multiflora*
Pinus strobus
Pinus virginiana
Pinus echinata
Rubus recurviculatus
Fraxinus sp.
Oplopanax horridum
Paulownia tomentosa*
Acernegundo
Amelanchier sp.
Juniperus virginiana
Populus balsamifera
Populus grandidentata
Rhus glabra
Amelanchier arborea
Lonicera japonica *r*
Pinus resinosa
Quercus sp.
UNK-Amelanchier
UNK-shrub w/green-red berrie
Number of
forest mine
4
4
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
26
14
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
28
19
11
7
5
5
4
4
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
 Total data points
Number of
forest
0
0
0
0
0
0
33
21
20
14
14
11
10
10
10
9
9
8
7
5
5
5
5
5
5
4
4
3
3
3
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
mine
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Species
Amelanchier arborea
Lonicera japonica *r*
Pinus resinosa
Quercus sp.
UNK-Amelanchier
UNK-shrub w/green-red berries
Acer pensylvanicum
Quercus alba
Lindera benzoin
Aesculus octandra
Hamamelis virginiana
Carya cordiformis
Carpinus caroliniana
Castanea dentata
Magnolia fraseri
Carya ovata
Viburnum acerifolium
Carya sp.
Cercis canadensis
Carya glabra
Carya tomentosa
Hydrangea arborescens
Magnolia grandiflora
Ostrya virginiana
Quercus bicolor
Magnolia soulangeana*
Magnolia virginiana
Crataegus sp.
Quercus marilandica
Vaccinium angustifolium
Aesculus sp.
Hydrangea sp.
Prunus virginiana
Aristolochia macrophylla
Azalea sp.
Betula sp.
Kalmia latifolia
Magnolia sp.
Morus sp.
Rhus copallinum
Tsuga canadensis
Ulmus rubra
UNK- yellow fruit
UNK-w/photos
1299   1207
1299   1207  Total data points
                                                                                              47

 image: 






  Table 7a: List of West Virginia herbaceous species found on transects sampled for
  the EIS terrestrial analyses (2000). (a indicates aiien species)
  SCIENTIFIC NAME
  Actaea pachypoda
  Adiantum pedatum
  Agrimonia striata
  Allium tricoccum
  Anemonella thalictroides
  Antennaria plantaginifolia
  Arisaema triphyllum
  Asarum canadense
a Asparagus officinalls*
  Aster sp.
  Botrychium sp.
  Carex blanda
  Carex plantaginea
  Carex sp.
  Caulophyllum thalictroides
  Chimaphila maculata
  Claytonia caroliniana
  Delphinium tricome
  Dentaria maxima
  Dentaria multifida
  Dicentra cucultaria
  Dioscoria quaternata
  Disporum languinosum
  Epifagus virginiana
  Erythronium americanum
  Fragaria virginiana
  Galium aparine
  Gallum circaezans
  Galium sp.
  Galium tinctorum
  Galium triflorum
  Geranium maculatum
 a Glechoma hederaea*
  Good/era repens
  Hepatica acutifoba
  Hydrophyllum macrophyllum
  Impatiens capensis
  Lactuca sp.
 a Lamium purpureum*
  Lycopus virginicus
  Medeola virginiana
  Meehania cordata
  Mltchella repens
  Osmorhiza claytonii
  Panax trifolium
  Pedicularis canadensis
  Phlox sp.
  Phlox stolonifera
  Podophyllum peltatum
  Polemonium reptans
  Polygonatum biflorum
  Polygonum sp.
  Polystichum acrostichoides
  Potentilla canadensis
COMMON NAME
White baneberry
Maidenhair fern
Woodland agrimony
Wild leek/ ramps
Rue anemone
Plantain pussytoes
Jack-in-the-pulpit
Wild ginger
Wild asparagus
Aster sp.
Rattlesnake fern
Charming sedge
Plantain-like sedge
Sedge sp.
Blue cohosh
Striped wintergreen
Spring beauty
Dwarf larkspur
Large toothwort
Fine-leaved toothwort
Dutchman's breeches
Four-leaved wild yam
Fairy bells
Beechdrops (epifagus)
Trout lily
Strawberry
Cleavers
Wild licorice
Galium sp.
Clayton's bedstraw
Sweet scented bedstraw
Wild geranium
Gills-over-the-ground
 Dwarf rattlesnake plantain
 Sharp-lobed  hepatica
 Broad-leaved waterleaf
 Impatiens, Spotted touch-me-not
Wild lettuce
 Purple dead  nettle
 Virginia bugleweed
 Indian cucumber root
 Meehania
 Partrtdgeberry
 Hairy sweet Cicely
 Dwarf ginseng
 Wood betony, lousewort
 Phlox
 Creeping phlox
 Mayapple
 Greek valerian (Jacob's ladder)
 Smooth Solomon's seal
 Polygonum sp.
 Christmas fern
 Dwarf cinquefoil
                                                                                                        48

 image: 






 Table 7a. (cent)
 SCIENTIFIC NAME
 Potentilla sp.
 Ranunculus sp.
 Sanguinaria canadensis
 Sedum tematum
 Senecio aureus
 Senecio obovatus
 Silene virginica
 Smilacina racemosa
 Smilax sp.
 Solidago sp.
 Stellaria media
i Stellaria pubera*
 Tiarella cordifolia
 Trillium grandiflorum
i Tussilago farfara*
 Urtica dioica
 Vicia caroliniana
 Viola blanda
 Viola canadensis
 Viola macloskeyi (V. pallens)
 Viola papilionacea
 Viola pedata
 Viola pennsylvanica
 Viola rostrata
 Viola rotundifolia
 Viola sp.
 Viola striata
 Waldsteinia fragarioides
 Zizia aurea
COMMON NAME
Potentilla sp.
Buttercup sp.
Bloodroot
Wild stonecrop
Golden ragwort
Round-leaved ragwort
Fire pink
False Solomon's seal
Catbrier
Golden rod
Common chickweed
Star chickweed
Foamflower
Large-flowered trillium
Coltsfoot
Stinging nettle
Wood vetch
Sweet white violet
Stemmed white violet
Wild white violet
Common blue violet
Bird's-foot violet
Smooth yellow violet
Long-spurred violet
Round-leaved yellow violet
Violet sp.
Creamy violet
Barren strawberry
Golden Alexanders
Grass sp.
 Mustard sp.
  Observed in area, but not in data
  Carex sp.
  Hieracium venosum
  Houston/a longifolia
  Iris cristata
  Mitella diphylla
  Obolaria virginica
  Phlox divaricata
  Ranunculus recurvatus
  Ranunculus sceleratus
  Smilax herbacea
a Stellaria aquatica
a Stellaria hoiostea*
  Zizia aptera
 Sedges
 Rattlesnake weed
 Long-leaved Houstonia
 Wild crested iris
 Bishop's cap
 Pennywort
 Wild blue phlox
 Hooked crowfoot
 Cursed crowfoot
 Carrion flower
 Giant chickweed
 Easter bell
 Heart-leaved Alexanders
                                                                                                           49

 image: 






Table 7b. List of West Virginia spring herbaceous species observed on three valley fills.
* indicates alien/non-native species.
       AHiaria petiolata *
Asarum canactense
Aster sp.
Brassicaceae
Coronilla varia*
Galium aparine
Galium tinctorum
Grass sp.
Lamium purpureum*
Lespedeza bicolor*
Phlox sp.
Polygonum sp.
Polystichum acrostichoides
Potentilla canadensis
Ranunculus sp.
Silene virginica
Stellaria pubera
Trifolium sp.*
Tussilago farfara*
Unk.
 Vicia caroliniana
 Viola sp.
Waldsteinia fragarioides
Zizia aurea
Garlic mustard
Wild ginger
Aster species
Mustard species
Crown vetch
Cleavers
Clayton's bedstraw
Grass species
Purple dead nettle
Bush clover
Phlox species
Polygonum species
Christmas fern
Dwarf cinquefoil
Buttercup species
Fire pink
Star chickweed
Clover species
Coltsfoot
Dandelion-like milky weed
Wood vetch
Violet species
Barren strawberry
Golden Alexanders
                                                                                      50

 image: 






 Table 8. Herbaceous species found on study sites, ranked from most to least present.
   idicates alien/non-native species
_^anked by most to least common in intact forest sites.            Ranked by most to least common in engineered sites.

Species
Stellaria pubera*
Anemonella thalictroides
Polygonum sp.
Viola sp.
Tiarella cordifolia
Smilacina racemosa
Aster sp.
Geranium maculatum
Lactuca sp.
Sedum tematum
Osmorhiza claytonii
Arisaema triphyllum
Podophyllum peltatum
Polygonatum biflorum
Polystichum acrostichoides
Trillium grandiflorum
Fragaria virginiana
Asarum canadense
Botrychium sp.
Dentaria multifida
Erythronium americanum
Galium circaezans
Sanguinaria canadensis
Actaea pachypoda
~>isporum languinosum
lydrophyllum macrophyllum
' Galium triflorum
Claytonia caroliniana
Medeola virginiana
Mitchella repens
Urtica dioica
Caulophyllum thalictroides
Chimaphila maculata
Dicentra cucullaria
Hepatica acutiloba
Viola rostrata
Dioscoria guatemata
Galium aparine
Potentilla canadensis
Viola papilionacea
Glechoma hederaea*
Impatiens capensis
Viola blanda
Viola pennsylvanica
Delphinium tricome
Viola rotundifolia
Carex plantaginea
Dentaria maxima
Meehania cordata
Carex sp.
Viola canadensis
Galium sp.
Goodyera repens
Pedicularis canadensis
°Wox sp.
IPolemonium reptans
Smilax^).
Solidago sp.
ntact forest
(11 sites)
11
11
10
10
10
10
9
9
9
9
9
8
8
8
7
7
6
6
6
6
6
5
5
5
5
5
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
engineered
(5 sites)
4
1
4
4
2
1
4
3
3
3
1
3
3
1
3
2
3
2
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
4
3
2
2
2
1
1
0
0
2
2
0
0
0
4
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
intact forest
(11 sites)
11
10
10
9
3
1
9
9
9
8
8
7
6
3
10
7
6
5
5
4
3
3
3
2
2
1
0
0
11
10
9
8
6
6
6
5
5
5
4
4
4
4
3
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
engineered
(5 sites)
4
4
4
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

Species
Stellaria pubera*
Polygonum sp.
Viola sp.
Aster sp.
Viola rostrata
Carex sp.
Geranium maculatum
Lactuca sp.
Sedum tematum
Arisaema triphyllum
Podophyllum peltatum
Polystichum acrostichoides
Fragaria virginiana
Dioscoria quatemata
Tiarella cordifolia
Trillium grandiflorum
Asarum canadense
Galium circaezans
Sanguinaria canadensis
Galium triflorum
Galium aparine
Potentilla canadensis
Viola papilionacea
Delphinium tricome
Viola rotundifolia
Viola canadensis
Agrimonia striata
Senecio aureus
Anemonella thalictroides
Smilacina racemosa
Osmorhiza claytonii
Polygonatum biflorum
Botrychium sp.
Dentaria multifida
Erythronium americanum
Actaea pachypoda
Disporum languinosum
Hydrophyllum macrophyllum
Claytonia caroliniana
Medeola virginiana
Mitchella repens
Urtica dioica
Glechoma hederaea*
Impatiens capensis
Galium sp.
Goodyera repens
Pedicularis canadensis
Phlox sp.
Polemonium reptans
Smilax sp.
Solidago sp.
Zizia aurea
Unk composite
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Carex blanda
Ranunculus sp.
Senecio obovatus
Stellaria media
                                                                                                                           51

 image: 






Table 8. (cont)
Ranked by most to least common in intact forest sites.
Ranked by most to least common in engineered sites.

Species
Zizia aurea
Unk composite
Adiantum pedatum
Allium tricoccum
Asparagus officinalis*
Epifagus virginiana
Lycopus virginicus
Panax trifolium
Phlox stolonifera
Potentilla sp.
Viola macloskeyi (V. pallens)
Waldsteinia fragarioides
Carex, narrow
Carex , pale & broad
Unk — very hirsute
Unk — round leaf
Unk- 3 mitten leaf
Unk 3-3 leaf
Unk fern
Unk -geranium like
Unk ground cover
Unk - purple flower "rue"
low 3-leave
Agrimonia striata
Senecio aureus
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Carex blanda
Ranunculus sp.
Senecio obovatus
Stellaria media
Viola pedata
Viola striata
Unk - tomentose
Unk 6 thin-leaved galium
Unk ground cover, purple
Unk heart leaf herb
intact forest
(11 sites)
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
engineered
(5 sites)
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
intact forest
(11 sites)
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
4
4
4
3
3
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
engineered
(5 sites)
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Species
Viola pedata
Viola striata
Unk - tomentose
Unk 6 thin-leaved galium
Unk ground cover, purple
Unk heart leaf herb
Caulophyllum thalictroides
Chimaphila maculate
Dicentra cucullaria
Hepatica acutiloba
Viola Wanda
Viola pennsylvanica
Carex piantaginea
Dentaria maxima
Meehania cordate
Adiantum pedatum
Allium tricoccum
Asparagus officinalis*
Epifagus Virginians
Lycopus virginicus
Panax trifolium
Phlox stolonifera
Potentilla sp.
Viola macloskeyi (V. pallens)
Waldsteinia fragarioides
Carex , narrow
Carex , plae & broad
Unk — very hirsute
Unk — round leaf
Unk- 3 mitten leaf
Unk 3-3 leaf
Unk fern
Unk -geranium like
Unk ground cover
Unk -purple flower "rue"
low 3-leave
                                                                                                                  52

 image: 






Table 9a. Herbaceous species found at study sites, ranked from most to least abundant (number of stems counted) in engineered
and intact forests. * indicates alien/non-native species
Ranked by abundance in intact study sites.
Ranked by abundance in engineered study sites.

Species
Sedum ternatum
Tiarella cordifolia
Dicentra cucullaria
Aster sp.
Urtica dioica
Fragaria virginiana
Osmorhiza claytonii
Erythronium americanum
Dentaria maxima
Viola sp.
/leehania cordate
Stellaria pubera*
Botrychium sp.
Asarum canadense
Polygonum sp.
Podophyllum peltatum
Arisaema triphyllum
Polystichum acrostichoides
Anemonella thalictroides
Glechoma hederaea*
Claytonia caroliniana
Geranium maculatum
Trillium grandiflorum
Lactuca sp.
Smilacina racemosa
Delphinium income
Impatiens capensis
Viola blanda
Galium aparine
Dentaria multifida
Hydrophyllum macrophyllum
Medeola virginiana
Caulophyllum thalictroides
Hepatica acutiloba
Polygonatum biflorum
Viola rostrata
Lycopus virginicus
low 3-leave
Galium sp.
Mitchella repens
Unk 3-3 leaf
Panax trifolium
Sanguinaria canadensis
Galium triflorum
Actaea pachypoda
Phlox stolonifera
Dioscoria quatemata
Galium circaezans
Viola papilionacea
Disporum languinosum
Altium tricoccum
Polemonium reptans
Carex plantaginea
Carex , narrow
Potentilla canadensis
Viola canadensis
intact
8897 stems)
1043
872
702
377
305
292
292
279
270
256
245
241
236
215
192
182
179
172
171
149
143
139
136
107
99
94
92
89
85
77
76
75
73
65
57
52
50
50
47
38
38
36
35
27
26
26
24
23
23
23
21
18
17
17
16
16
engineered
1840 stems)
180
82
0
92
1
17
9
7
0
70
0
94
7
71
113
60
41
25
35
19
1
51
18
64
1
71
10
0
35
1
10
13
0
0
6
60
0
0
29
6
0
0
6
5
1
0
9
55
28
14
0
91
0
0
36
12
intact
(8897 stems)
1043
192
241
377
18
872
0
215
94
256
107
182
52
23
139
179
3
16
171
85
47
23
12
172
149
136
292
5
23
75
3
0
16
8
0
92
76
2
0
292
24
279
236
57
38
35
0
27
0
0
0
0
0
305
143
99
engineered
(1840 stems)
180
113
94
92
91
82
73
71
71
70
64
60
60
55
51
41
38
36
35
35
29
28
26
25
19
18
17
15
14
13
13
13
12
11
11
10
10
10
10
9
9
7
7
6
6
6
6
5
5
5
5
3
2
1
1
1

Species
Sedum tematum
Polygonum sp.
Stellaria pubera*
Aster sp.
Polemonium reptans
Tiarella cordifolia
Senecio aureus
Asamm canadense
Delphinium income
/iota sp.
Lactuca sp.
Podophyllum peltatum
/iola rostrata
Galium circaezans
Geranium maculatum
Arisaema triphyllum
Phlox sp.
Potentilla canadensis
Anemonella thalictroides
Galium aparine
Galium sp.
Viola papilionacea
Pedicularis canadensis
Polystichum acrostichoides
Glechoma hederaea*
Trillium grandifforum
Fragaria Virginians
Carex sp.
Disporum languinosum
Medeola virginiana
Smilax sp.
Viola pedata
Viola canadensis
Viola rotundifolia
Agrimonia striata
Impatiens capensis
Hydrophyllum macrophyllum
Goodyera repens
Unk ground cover, purple
Osmorhiza claytonii
Dioscoria quatemata
Erythronium americanum
Botrychium sp.
Polygonatum biflorum
Mitchell a repens
Sanguinaria canadensis
Unk heart leaf herb
Galium triflorum
/Antennana plantaginifolia
Carex blanda
Senecio obovatus
Unk 6 thin-leaved galium
Viola striata
Urtica dioica
Claytonia caroliniana
Smilacina racemose
                                                                                                                        53

 image: 






Table 9a. (con't)




Ranked by abundance in intact study sites.
Ranked by abundance in engineered study sites.

Species
Pedicularis canadensis
Unk composite
Chimaphila maculata
Viola macloskeyi (V. pallens)
Viola pennsylvanica
Viola rotund/folia
Carex , pale & broad
Carex sp.
Adiantum pedatum
Unk -geranium like
Phlox sp.
Smilax sp.
Potentilla sp.
Unk- 3 mitten leaf
Unk fern
Unk- purple flower "rue"
Goodyera repens
Zizia aurea
Epifagus virginiana
Waldsteinia fragarioides
Solidago sp.
Asparagus officinalis*
Unk — very hirsute
Unk — round leaf
Unk ground cover
Senecio aureus
Viola pedata
Agrimonia striata
Unk ground cover, purple
Unk heart leaf herb
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Carex blanda
Senecio obovatus
Unk 6 thin-leaved galium
Viola striata
Ranunculus sp.
Stellaria media
Unk - tomentose
intact
(8897 stems)
12
12
12
11
11
8
6
5
5
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
engineered
1840 stems)
26
1
0
0
0
11
0
15
0
0
38
13
0
0
0
0
10
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
73
13
11
10
6
5
5
5
3
2
1
1
1
intact
(8897 stems)
77
26
12
2
1
0
0
0
702
270
245
89
73
65
50
50
38
36
26
21
17
17
12
11
11
6
5
4
3
3
3
3
2
2
1
1
1
1
engineered
(1840 stems)
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Species
Dentaria multifida
Actaea pachypoda
Unk composite
Zizia aurea
Solidago sp.
Ranunculus sp.
Stellaria media
Unk - tomentose
Dicentra cucullaria
Dentaria maxima
Meehania cordata
Viola blanda
Caulophyllum thalictmides
Hepatica acutiloba
Lycopus virginicus
low 3-leave
Unk 3-3 leaf
Panax trifolium
Phlox stolonifera
Allium tricoccum
Carex plantaginea
Carex , narrow
Chimaphila maculata
Viola macloskeyi (V. pallens)
Viola pennsylvanica
Carex , pale & broad
Adiantum pedatum
Unk -geranium like
Potentilla sp.
Unk- 3 mitten leaf
Unk fern
Unk- purple flower "rue"
Epifagus virginiana
Waldsteinia fragarioides
Asparagus officinalis*
Unk - very hirsute
Unk - round leaf
Unk ground cover
                                                                                                                   54

 image: 






Table 9b. Herbaceous species found at study sites, ranked by percent abundance (number of stems counted) in engineered
and intact forests. * indicates
Ranked by percent abundance on intact study sites.
Ranked by percent abundance on engineered sites.

Species
Sedum tematum
Tiarella cordifolia
D/'cenfra cucullaha
Aster sp.
Urtica dioica
Fragaria virginiana
Osmorhiza claytonii
Erythronium americanum
Dentaria maxima
Viola sp.
Meehania cordata
Stellaria pubera''
Botrychium sp.
Asarum canadense
Polygonum sp.
Podophyllum peltatum
Arisaema triphyllum
Polystichum acrostichoides
Anemonella thalictroides
Glechoma hederaea*
Claytonia caroliniana
Geranium maculatum
Trillium grandiflorum
Lactuca sp.
Smilacina racemosa
Delphinium tricome
Impatiens capensis
Viola blanda
Galium aparine
Dentaria multifida
Hydrophyllum macrophyllum
Medeola virginiana
Caulophyllum thalictroides
Hepatica acutiloba
Polygonatum biflorum
Viola rostrata
Lycopus virginicus
low 3-leave
Galium sp.
Mitchella repens
Unk 3-3 leaf
Panax trifolium
Sanguinaria canadensis
Galium triflorum
Actaea pachypoda
Phlox stolonifera
Dioscoria quaternata
Galium circaezans
Viola papilionacea
Disporum languinosum
Allium tricoccum
Polemonium reptans
Carex plantaginea
Carex, narrow
Potentilla canadensis
Viola canadensis
Pedicularis canadensis
intact
(of 8897)
11.7
9.8
7.9
4.2
3.4
3.3
3.3
3.1
3.0
2.9
2.8
2.7
2.7
2.4
2.2
2.0
2.0
1.9
1.9
1.7
1.6
1.6
1.5
1.2
1.1
1.1
1.0
1.0
1.0
0.9
0.9
0.8
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.6
0.6
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.4
0.4
0.4
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.1
ngineered
(of 1840)
9.8
4.5
0.0
5.0
0.1
0.9
0.5
0.4
0.0
3.8
0.0
5.1
0.4
3.9
6.1
3.3
2.2
1.4
1.9
1.0
0.1
2.8
1.0
3.5
0.1
3.9
0.5
0.0
1.9
0.1
0.5
0.7
0.0
0.0
0.3
3.3
0.0
0.0
1.6
0.3
0.0
0.0
0.3
0.3
0.1
0.0
0.5
3.0
1.5
0.8
0.0
4.9
0.0
0.0
2.0
0.7
1.4
intact
(of 8897)
11.7
2.2
2.7
4.2
0.2
9.8
0.0
2.4
1.1
2.9
1.2
2.0
0.6
0.3
1.6
2.0
0.0
0.2
1.9
1.0
0.5
0.3
0.1
1.9
1.7
1.5
3.3
0.1
0.3
0.8
0.0
0.0
0.2
0.1
0.0
1.0
0.9
0.0
0.0
3.3
0.3
3.1
2.7
0.6
0.4
0.4
0.0
0.3
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
3.4
1.6
1.1
0.9
engineered
(of 1840)
9.8
6.1
5.1
5.0
4.9
4.5
4.0
3.9
3.9
3.8
3.5
3.3
3.3
3.0
2.8
2.2
2.1
2.0
1.9
1.9
1.6
1.5
1.4
1.4
1.0
1.0
0.9
0.8
0.8
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.6
0.6
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.4
0.4
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1

Species
Sedum tematum
Polygonum sp.
Stellaria pubera*
Aster sp.
Polemonium reptans
Tiarella cordifolia
Senecio aureus
Asarum canadense
Delphinium income
Viola sp.
Lactuca sp.
Podophyllum peltatum
Viola rostrata
Galium circaezans
Geranium maculatum
Arisaema triphyllum
Phlox sp.
Potentate canadensis
Anemonella thalictroides
Galium aparine
Galium sp.
Viola papilionacea
Pedicularis canadensis
Polystichum acrostichoides
Glechoma hederaea*
Trillium grandiflorum
Fragaria virginiana
Carex sp.
Disporum languinosum
Medeola virginiana
Smilax sp.
Viola pedata
Viola canadensis
Viola rotundifolia
Agrimonia striata
Impatiens capensis
Hydrophyllum macrophyllum
Goodyera repens
Unk ground cover, purple
Osmorhiza claytonii
Dioscoria quaternata
Erythronium americanum
Botrychium sp.
Polygonatum biflorum
Mitchella repens
Sanguinaria canadensis
Unk heart leaf herb
Galium triflorum
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Carex blanda
Senecio obovatus
Unk 6 thin-leaved galium
Viola striata
Urtica dioica
Claytonia caroliniana
Smilacina racemosa
Dentaria multifida
                                                                                                                     55

 image: 






Table 9b. (con't)




Ranked by percent abundance on intact study sites.
Ranked by percent abundance on engineered sites.

Species
Unk composite
Chimaphila maculata
Viola macloskeyi (V. pallens)
Viola pennsylvanica
Viola rotundifolia
Carex, pale & broad
Carex sp.
Adiantum pedatum
Unk -geranium like
Phlox sp.
Smilax sp.
Potentilla sp.
Unk- 3 mitten leaf
Unk fern
Unk - purple flower "rue"
Goodyera repens
Zizia aurea
Epifagus virginiana
Waldsteinia fragarioides
Solidago sp.
Asparagus officinalis*
Unk — very hirsute
Unk — round leaf
Unk ground cover
Senecio aureus
Viola pedata
Agrimonia striata
Unk around cover, purple
Unk heart leaf herb
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Carex blanda
Senecio obovatus
Unk 6 thin-leaved galium
V7o/a striata
Ranunculus sp.
Stellaria media
Unk-tomentose
intact
(of 8897)
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
engineered
(of 1840)
0.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.6
0.0
0.8
0.0
0.0
2.1
0.7
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.5
0.1
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
4.0
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
intact
(of 8897)
0.3
0.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
7.9
3.0
2.8
1.0
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.6
0.4
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
engineered
(of 1840)
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0

Species
Actaea pachypoda
link composite
Zizia aurea
Solidago sp.
Ranunculus sp.
Stellaria media
Unk - tomentose
Dicentra cucullaria
Dentaria maxima
Meehania cordata
Viola blanda
Caulophyllum thalictmides
Hepatica acutiloba
Lycopus virginicus
low 3-leave
Unk 3-3 leaf
Panax trifolium
Phlox stolonifera
Allium tricoccum
Carex plantaginea
Carex, narrow
Chimaphila maculate
Viola macloskeyi (V. pallens)
Viola pennsylvanica
Carex, pale & broad
Adiantum pedatum
Unk -geranium like
Potentilla sp.
Unk- 3 mitten leaf
Unk fern
Unk - purple flower "rue"
Epifagus virginiana
Waldsteinia fragarioides
Asparagus officinalis*
Unk — very hirsute
Unk - round leaf
Unk ground cover
                                                                                                                  56

 image: 






Table 10. Herbaceous species found at study sites, ranked by abundance (number of stems) in engineered and intact sites. (Values have
been standardized by multiplying engineered numbers by 11/5 to even out difference in number of sites sampled.)
* indicates alien/non-native species
Ranked by abundance on intact sites.                        Ranked by abundance on engineered sites.

Species
Sedurn tematum
Tiarella cordifolia
Dicentra cucullaria
Aster sp.
Urtica dioica
Fragaria virginiana
Osmorhiza claytonii
Erythronium americanum
Dentaria maxima
Viola sp.
Meehania cordata
Stellaha pubera"
Botrychium sp.
Asarum canadense
Polygonum sp.
Podophyllum peltatum
Arisaema triphyllum
Polystichum acrostichoides
Anemonella thalictroides
Glechoma hederaea"
Claytonia caroliniana
Geranium maculatum
Trillium grandiflorum
Lactuca sp.
Smilacina racemose
Delphinium tricome
Impatiens capensis
Viola blanda
Galium aparine
Dentaria multifida
Hydrophyltum macrophyllum
Medeola virginiana
Caulophyllum thalictroides
Hepatica acutiloba
Polygonatum biflorum
Viola rostrata
Lycopus virginicus
low 3-leaves
Galium sp.
Mitchella repens
3-3 leaf
Panax trifblium
Sanguinaria canadensis
Galium trifiorum
Actaea pachypoda
Phlox stolon'rfera
Dioscoria quatemata
Galium circaezans
Viola papilionacea
Disporum languinosum
Allium tricoccum
Polemonium reptans
Carex plantaginea
Carex , narrow
Potentilla canadensis
Viola canadensis
Pedicularis canadensis
Unk composite
Chimaphila maculata
Viola macloskeyi (V. pa/tens)
intact

1043
872
702
377
305
292
292
279
270
256
245
241
236
215
192
182
179
172
171
149
143
139
136
107
99
94
92
89
85
77
76
75
73
65
57
52
50
50
47
38
38
36
35
27
26
26
24
23
23
23
21
18
17
17
16
16
12
12
12
11
engineered

396
180
0
202
2
37
20
15
0
154
0
207
15
156
249
132
90
55
77
42
2
112
40
141
2
156
22
0
77
2
22
29
0
0
13
132
0
0
64
13
0
0
13
11
2
0
20
121
62
31
0
200
0
0
79
26
57
2
0
0
intact

1043
872
702
377
305
292
292
279
270
256
245
241
236
215
192
182
179
172
171
149
143
139
136
107
99
94
92
89
85
77
76
75
73
65
57
52
50
50
47
38
38
36
35
27
26
26
24
23
23
23
21
18
17
17
16
16
12
12
12
11
engineered

396
249
207
202
200
180
161
156
156
154
141
132
132
121
112
90
84
79
77
77
64
62
57
55
42
40
37
33
31
29
29
29
26
24
24
22
22
22
22
20
20
15
15
13
13
13
13
11
11
11
11
7
4
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

Species
Sedum tematum
Polygonum sp.
Stellaria pubera"
Aster sp.
Polemonium reptans
Tiarella cordifolia
Senecio aureus
Asarum canadense
Delphinium tricome
Viola sp.
Lactuca sp.
Podophyllum peltatum
Viola rostrata
Galium circaezans
Geranium maculatum
Arisaema triphyllum
Phlox sp.
Potentilla canadensis
Anemonella thalictroides
Galium aparine
Galium sp.
Viola papilionacea
Pedicularis canadensis
Polystichum acrostichoides
Glechoma hederaea"
Trillium grandiflorum
Fraaaria virginiana
Carex sp.
Disporum languinosum
Medeola virginiana
Smilax sp.
Viola pedata
Viola canadensis
Viola rotund/folia
Agrimonia striata
Impatiens capensis
Hydrophyllum macrophyllum
Goodyera repens
Unk ground cover, purple
Osmorhiza claytonii
Dioscoria guatemata
Erythronium americanum
Botrychium sp.
Polygonatum biflorum
Mitchella repens
Sanguinaria canadensis
heart leaf herb
Galium trifiorum
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Carex blanda
Senecio obovatus
6 thin-leaved galium
Viola striata
Urtica dioica
Claytonia caroliniana
Smilacina racemosa
Dentaria multifida
Actaea pachypoda
Unk composite
Z/'z/a aurea
                                                                                                                         57

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Table 10(cont)



Ranked by abundance on intact sites.
Ranked by abundance on engineered sites.

Species
Viola Pennsylvania
Viola rotundifolia
Sedge 2 (pale, broad)
Carex sp.
Adiantum pedatum
Unk -geranium like
Phlox sp.
Smilax sp.
Potentilla sp.
Unk- 3 mitten leaf
Unk fern
Unk - purple flower "rue"
Goodyera repens
Zizia aurea
Epifagus virginiana
Waldsteinia fragarioides
Solidago sp.
/Asparagus officinalis''
Unk — very hirsute
Unk - round leaf
Unk ground cover
Senecio aureus
Viola pedata
Agrimonia striata
Unk ground cover, purple
heart leaf herb
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Carex blanda
Senecio obovatus
Unk 6 thin-leaved galium
Viola striata
Ranunculus sp.
Stellaria media
Unk - tomentose
intact

11
8
6
5
5
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
engineered

0
24
0
33
0
0
84
29
0
0
0
0
22
2
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
161
29
24
22
13
11
11
11
7
4
2
2
2
intact

11
8
6
5
5
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
engineered

2
2
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Species
Solidago sp.
Ranunculus sp.
Stellaria media
Unk - tomentose
Dicentra cucullaria
Dentaria maxima
Meehania cordata
Viola blanda
Caulophyllum thalictroides
Hepatica acutiloba
Lycopus viroinicus
low 3-leave
3-3 leaf
Panax trifolium
Phlox stolonifera
Allium tricoccum
Carex plantaginea
Carex , narrow
Chimaphila maculata
Viola macloskeyi (V. pallens)
Viola pennsvlvanica
Sedge 2 (pale, broad)
Adiantum pedatum
Unk -geranium like
Potentilla sp.
Unk- 3 mitten leaf
Unk fern
Unk- purple flower "rue"
Epifagus virginiana
Waldsteinia fragarioides
Asparagus officinalis*
Unk — very hirsute
Unk — round leaf
Unk ground cover
                                                                                                                58

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Fulk 2003 Study
 Final Version
with Pagination

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Ecological Assessment of Streams in the Coal Mining Region of West Virginia Using Data
           Collected by the U.S. EPA and Environmental Consulting Firms
                                 February 2003
                                  Prepared by:

                        Florence Fulk and Bradley Autrey
                      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                      National Exposure Research Laboratory
                                Cincinnati, Ohio

                                 John Hutchens
                           Coastal Carolina University
                             Conway, South Carolina

         Jeroen Gerritsen, June Burton, Catherine Cresswell, and Ben Jessup
                                 Tetra Tech, Inc.
                             Owings Mills, Maryland
                      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                      National Exposure Research Laboratory
                         26 W. Martin Luther King Drive
                              Cincinnati, Oh 45268

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                                       NOTICE
       This research described in this report has been funded wholly or in part by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.  This document has been prepared at the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Ecological Exposure Research
Division in Cincinnati, Ohio.

       Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or
recommendation of use.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION

       Recently, the Mountaintop Mining (MTM) and Valley Fill (VF) operations in the
Appalachian Coal Region have increased.  In these operations, the tops of mountains are
removed, coal materials are mined and the excess materials are deposited into adjacent valleys
and stream corridors. The increased number of MTM/VF operations in this region has made it
necessary for regulatory agencies to examine the relevant regulations, policies, procedures and
guidance needed to ensure that the potential individual and cumulative impacts are considered.
This necessity has resulted in the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
concerning the MTM/VF  activities in West Virginia.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S.  Office of Surface Mining, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, in cooperation with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, are
working to prepare the EIS. The purpose of the EIS is to establish an information foundation for
the development of policies, guidance and coordinated agency decision-making processes to
minimize, to the greatest practicable extent, the adverse environmental effects to the waters, fish
and wildlife resources in the U.S. from MTM operations, and to other environmental resources
that could be affected by the size and location of fill material in VF sites. Furthermore, the EIS's
purpose is to determine the proposed action,  and develop and evaluate a range of reasonable
alternatives to the proposed action.

       The U.S. EPA's Region 3 initiated an aquatic impacts study to support the EIS. From the
spring 1999 through the winter 2000, U.S. EPA Region 3 personnel facilitated collection of water
chemistry, habitat, macroinvertebrate and fish data from streams within the MTM/VF Region.  In
addition, data were also collected by three environmental consulting firms, representing four coal
mining companies. The National Exposure Research  Laboratory (NERL) of the U.S. EPA's
Office of Research and Development assembled a database of U.S. EPA and environmental
consulting firm data collected from the MTM/VF Region. Using this combined data set, NERL
analyzed fish and macroinvertebrate data independently to address two study objectives: 1)
determine if the biological condition of streams in areas with MTM/VF operations is degraded
relative to the condition of streams in unmined areas and 2) determine if there are additive
biological impacts to streams where multiple valley fills are located. The results of these
analyses, regarding the aquatic impacts of MTM/VF operations, are provided in this report for
inclusion in the overall EIS.

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ANALYTICAL APPROACH AND RESULTS

   Fish Data Analyses and Results

       The Mid-Atlantic Highlands Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI), was used in the analyses of
the fish data.  This index is made up  of scores from multiple metrics that are responsive to stress.
Each of the sites sampled was placed into one of six EIS classes (i.e., Unmined, Filled, Mined,
Filled/Residential, Mined/Residential, Additive). Due to inadequate sample size, the
Mined/Residential class was removed from analyses.  The Additive class was analyzed separately
because it was made up of sites that were potentially influenced by multiple sources of stress.

       The objectives of the IBI analyses were to examine and compare EIS classes to determine
if they are associated with the biological condition of streams.  The distributions of IBI scores
showed that the Filled and Mined classes had lower overall IBI scores than the other EIS classes.
The Filled/Residential class had higher IBI scores than the Filled or Mined classes.  The
combined Filled/Residential class and the Unmined class had median scores that were similar to
regional reference sites.  Unmined and regional reference sites were primarily in the "fair" range
and a majority of the Filled/Residential sites fell within the "good" range.

       A standard Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test for differences among EIS
classes and the Least Square (LS) Means procedure using Dunnett's adjustment for multiple
comparisons tested whether the Filled, Filled/Residential, and Mined EIS classes were
significantly different (p < 0.01) from the Unmined class.  The ANOVA showed that there were
significant differences among EIS classes.  The LS Means test showed that the IBI scores from
Filled and Mined  sites were significantly lower than the IBI scores from Unmined sites, and the
IBI scores from Filled/ Residential sites were significantly higher than  the IBI scores from
Unmined sites.  Of the nine metrics in the IBI,  only the Number of Minnow Species and the
Number of Benthic Invertivore Species were significantly different in the Unmined class.
Therefore, it was determined that the primary causes of reduced IBI scores in Filled and Mined
sites were the reductions in these two metrics relative to the Unmined sites.

       It was found that Filled, Mined, and Filled/Residential sites in watersheds with areas
greater than 10 km2 had "fair" to "good" IBI scores, while Filled and Mined sites in watersheds
with areas less than 10 km2  often had "poor" IBI scores. Of the 14 sites Filled and Mined) in
watersheds with areas greater than 10 km2, four were rated "fair" and ten were rated "good" or
better.  Of the 17 sites (Filled and Mined) in watersheds with areas less than 10 km2, only three
were rated "fair" and 14 were rated "poor".  The  effects of fills were statistically stronger in
watersheds with areas less than 10 km2.  Filled sites had IBI scores that were an average of 14
points lower than  Unmined  sites.  It is possible that the larger watersheds act to buffer the effects
of stress.

       Additive sites were considered to be subject to multiple, and possibly cumulative, sources,
and were not included in the analysis of the EIS classes reported above. From the additive
analysis, it was  determined that the Twelvepole Creek Watershed,  in which the land use was

 image: 






mixed residential and mining, had "fair" IBI scores in most samples, and there are no apparent
additive effects of the land uses in the downstream reaches of the watershed. Also, Twentymile
Creek, which has only mining-related land uses, may experience impacts from the Peachorchard
tributary. The  IBI scores appear to decrease immediately downstream of the confluence of the
two creeks, whereas above the confluence, IBI scores in the Twentymile Creek are higher than in
the Peachorchard Creek. Peachorchard Creek may contribute contaminants or sediments to
Twentymile Creek, causing degradation of the Twentymile IBI scores downstream of
Peachorchard Creek.

       The correlations between IBI scores and potential stressors detectable in water were
examined. Zinc, sodium, nickel, chromium, sulfate, and total dissolved solids were associated
with reduced IBI scores. However, these correlations do not imply causal relationships between
the water quality parameters and fish community condition.
   Macroinvertebrate Data Analyses and Results

       The benthic macroinvertebrate data were analyzed for statistical differences among EIS
classes. Macroinvertebrate data were described using the WVSCI and its component metrics.
The richness metrics and the WVSCI were rarefied to 100 organisms to adjust for sampling effort.
Four EIS classes (i.e.; Unmined, Filled, Mined, and Filled/Residential) were compared using one-
way ANOVAs. Significant differences among EIS classes were followed by the Least Square
(LS) Means procedure using Dunnett's adjustment for multiple comparisons to test whether the
Filled, Filled/Residential, and Mined EIS classes were significantly different (p < 0.01) from the
Unmined class. Comparisons were made for each of the sampling seasons where there were
sufficient numbers of samples.

       The results of the macroinvertebrate analyses showed significant differences among EIS
classes for the WVSCI and some of its component metrics in all seasons except autumn 2000.
Differences in the WVSCI were primarily due to lower Total Taxa, especially for mayflies,
stoneflies, and caddisflies, in the Filled and Filled/Residential EIS classes. Sites in the
Filled/Residential EIS class usually scored the worst of all EIS classes across all seasons.

       Using the mean values for water chemistry parameters at each site, the relationships
between WVSCI scores and water quality were determined. The strongest of these relationships
were negative correlations between the WVSCI and measures of individual and combined ions.
The WVSCI was also negatively correlated with the concentrations of Beryllium, Selenium, and
Zinc.

       Multiple sites on the mainstem of Twentymile Creek were identified as Additive sites and
were included in an analysis to evaluate impacts of increased mining activities in the watershed
across seasons and from upstream to downstream of the Twentymile Creek.  Sites were sampled
during four seasons. Pearson correlations between cumulative river kilometer and the WVSCI  and
it's component metrics were calculated. The number of metrics that showed significant

                                                                                      iii

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correlations with distance along the mainstem increased across seasons. The WVSCI was
significantly correlated with cumulative river kilometer in Winter 2000, Autumn 2000 and Winter
2001.  For Winter 2001, a linear regression of the WVSCI with cumulative river kilometer
indicated that the WVSCI decreased approximately one point upstream to downstream for every
river kilometer.

MAJOR FINDINGS AND SIGNIFICANCE

   Fish Data Findings and Significance

       It was determined that IBI scores were significantly reduced at Filled sites compared to
Unmined sites by an average of 10 points, indicating that fish communities were degraded below
VFs. The IBI scores were similarly reduced at sites receiving drainage from historic mining or
contour mining (i.e., Mined sites) compared to Unmined sites.  Nearly all Filled and Mined sites
with catchment areas smaller than 10 km2 had "poor" IBI scores.  At these sites, IBI scores from
Filled sites were an average of 14 points lower than the IBI scores from Unmined sites.  Filled
and Mined sites with catchment areas larger than  10 km2 had "fair" or "good" IBI scores. Most of
the Filled/Residential sites were in these larger watersheds and tended to have "fair" or "good"
IBI scores.

       It was also determined that the Twelvepole Creek Watershed, which had a mix of
residential and mining land uses, had "fair" IBI scores in most samples; there were no apparent
additive effects of the land uses in the downstream reaches of the watershed. Twentymile Creek,
which had only mining-related land uses, had "good" IBI scores upstream of its confluence with
Peachorchard Creek, and "fair" and "poor" scores for several miles downstream of its confluence
with Peachorchard Creek. Peachorchard Creek had "poor" IBI scores, and may have contributed
to the degradation of the Twentymile Creek's IBI scores downstream of their confluence.
   Macroinvertebrate Data Findings and Significance

       The macroinvertebrate analyses showed significant differences among EIS classes for the
WVSCI and some of its metrics in all seasons except autumn 2000. Differences in the WVSCI
were primarily due to lower Total Taxa and lower EPT Taxa in the Filled and Filled/Residential
EIS classes.  Sites in the Filled/Residential EIS class usually had the lowest scores of all EIS
classes across all seasons. It was not determined why the Filled/Residential class scored worse
than the Filled class alone. U.S. EPA ( 2001 Draft) found the highest concentrations of sodium in
the Filled/Residential EIS class, which may have negatively impacted these sites compared to
those in the Filled class.
       When the results for Filled and Unmined sites alone were examined, significant
differences were observed in all seasons except autumn 1999 and autumn 2000. The lack of
differences between Unmined and Filled sites in autumn 1999 was due to a decrease in Total
Taxa and EPT Taxa at Unmined sites relative to the summer 1999.  These declines in taxa
richness metrics in Unmined sites were likely the result of drought conditions.  Despite the

iv

 image: 






relatively drier conditions in Unmined sites during autumn 1999, WVSCI scores and EPT Taxa
richness increased in later seasons to levels seen in the spring 1999, whereas values for Filled
sites stayed relatively low.

       In general, statistical differences between the Unmined and Filled EIS classes
corresponded to ecological differences between classes based on mean WVSCI scores. Unmined
sites scored "very good" in all seasons except autumn 1999 when the condition was scored as
"good". The conditions at Filled sites ranged from "fair" to "good".  However, Filled sites that
scored "good" on average only represented conditions in the Twentymile Creek watershed in two
seasons (i.e., autumn 2000 and winter 2001).  These  sites are not representative of the entire
MTM/VF study area. On average, Filled sites had lower WVSCI scores than Unmined sites.

       The consistently higher WVSCI scores and the Total Taxa in the Unmined sites relative to
Filled sites across six seasons showed that Filled sites have lower biotic integrity than sites
without VFs. Furthermore, reduced taxa richness in  Filled sites is primarily the result of fewer
pollution-sensitive EPT taxa. The lack of significant differences between these two EIS classes in
autumn 1999 appears to be due to the effects of greatly reduced flow  in Unmined sites during a
severe drought.  Continued sampling at Unmined and Filled sites would improve the
understanding of whether MTM/VF activities are associated with seasonal variation in benthic
macroinvertebrate metrics and base-flow hydrology.

       Examination of the Additive sites from the mainstem of Twentymile Creek indicated that
impacts to the benthic macroinvertebrate communities increased across seasons and upstream to
downstream of Twentymile Creek. In the first sampling season one metric, Total Taxa, was
negatively correlated with distance along the mainstem. The number of metrics showing a
relationship with cumulative  river mile increased across seasons, with four of the six metrics
having significant correlations in the final sampling season, Winter 2001. Also in Winter of
2001, a regression of the WVSCI versus cumulative  river kilometer estimates a decrease of
approximately one point in the WVSCI for each river kilometer.  Season and cumulative river
kilometer in this dataset may be surrogates for increased mining activity in the watershed.

 image: 






                              TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   i
INTRODUCTION    i
ANALYTICAL APPROACH AND RESULTS ii
  Fish Data Analyses and Results    ii
  Macroinvertebrate Data Analyses and Results   iii
MAJOR FINDINGS AND SIGNIFICANCE iv
  Fish Data Findings and Significance   iv
  Macroinvertebrate Data Findings and Significance  iv
TABLES  viii
FIGURES ix
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS x
  1. INTRODUCTION    1
  1.1. Background    1
  1.2. Environmental Impact Statement Development    1
  1.3. Aquatic Impacts Portion of the EIS   3
  1.4. Scope and Objectives of This Report  3
  1.5. Biological Indices   3
2. METHODS AND MATERIALS    7
  2.1. Data Collection  7
  2.2. Site Classes 8
  2.3. Study Areas  9
    2.3.1. Mud River Water shed 9
    2.3.2. Spruce Fork Watershed     11
    2.3.3. Clear Fork Watershed  13
    2.3.4. Twentymile Creek Watershed    15
    2.3.5. Island Creek Watershed    19
    2.3.6. Twelvepole Creek Watershed   21
  2.4. Data Collection Methods  24
    2.4.1. Habitat Assessment Methods   24
     2.4.1.1. U.S. EPA Region 3 Habitat Assessment  24
     2.4.1.2. BMI Habitat Assessment    25
     2.4.1.3. POTESTA Habitat Assessment    25
     2.4.1.4. REIC Habitat Assessment   25
    2.4.2. Water Quality Assessment Methods 25
     2.4.2.1. U.S. EPA Water Quality Assessment 25
     2.4.2.2. BMI Water Quality Assessment  25
     2.4.2.3. POTESTA Water Quality Assessment  25
     2.4.2.4. REIC Water Quality Assessment 26
    2.4.3. Fish Assemblage Methods  26
     2.4.3.1. PSU Fish Assemblage Assessment    26
     2.4.3.2. BMI Fish Assemblage Assessment    26
     2.4.3.3. POTESTA Fish Assemblage Assessment    26
     2.4.3.4. REIC Fish Assemblage Assessment Methods   28

vi

 image: 






   2.4.4. Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Methods  29
     2.4.4.1. U.S. EPA Region 3 Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Assessment 29
     2.4.4.2. BMI Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Methods  29
     2.4.4.3. POTESTA Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Assessment   30
     2.4.4.4. REIC Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Assessment  30
3.  DATA ANALYSES   32
  3.1. Database Organization    32
   3.1.1. Data Standardization  32
   3.1.2. Database Description  32
     3.1.2.1. Description of Fish Database   32
     3.1.2.2. Description of Macroinvertebrate Database 33
  3.2. Data Quality Assurance/Quality Control    36
  3.3. Summary of Analyses  37
   3.3.1. Summary of Fish Analysis  37
   3.3.2. Summary of Macroinvertebrate Analysis  38
4.  RESULTS 39
  4.1. Fish Results 39
   4.1.1. IBI Calculation and Calibration   39
   4.1.2. IBI Scores in EIS Classes  39
   4.1.3. Additive Analysis 46
   4.1.4. Associations With Potential Causal Factors    48
  4.2. Macroinvertebrate Results    49
   4.2.1. Analysis of Differences in EIS Classes    49
     4.2.1.1. Spring 1999   49
     4.2.1.2. Autumn  1999  49
     4.2.1.3. Winter 2000    50
     4.2.1.4. Spring 2000    50
     4.2.1.5. Autumn 2000    50
     4.2.1.6. Winter 2001    51
   4.2.2. Evaluation of Twentymile Creek     52
   4.2.3. Macroinvertebrate and Water Chemistry Associations     53
   4.2.4. The Effect of Catchment Area on the WVSCI  53
   4.2.5. Additive Analysis  56
5.  DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS   58
  5.1. Fish Discussion and Conclusions   58
  5.2. Macroinvertebrate Discussion and Conclusions  58
6.  LITERATURE CITED    63
APPENDIX A: SUMMARY TABLES  OF PROTOCOLS AND PROCEDURES USED BY
THE FOUR ORGANIZATIONS TO COLLECT DATA FOR THE MTM/VF STUDY A-1
APPENDIX B: IBI COMPONENT METRIC VALUES B-1
APPENDIX C: BOX PLOTS OF THE WVSCI  AND COMPONENT METRICS   C-1
APPENDIX D: SCATTER PLOTS OF THE WVSCI VERSUS KEY WATER QUALITY
PARAMETERS  D-1
APPENDIX E: STANDARDIZATION OF DATA AND METRIC CALCULATIONS E-1

                                                                               vii

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                                        TABLES
Table 1-1. The nine metrics in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands IB I, their definitions and their
expected responses to perturbations 5
Table 1-2. The six metrics in the WVSCI, their definitions and their expected responses to
perturbations   6
Table 2-1. Sites sampled in the Mud River Watershed  11
Table 2-2. Sites sampled in the Spruce Fork Watershed    13
Table 2-3. Sites sampled in the Clear Fork Watershed     15
Table 2-4. Sites sampled in the Twentymile Creek Watershed. Equivalent sites are noted
parenthetically  17
Table 2-5. Sites sampled in the Island Creek Watershed  21
Table 2-6. Sites sampled in the Twelvepole Creek Watershed. Equivalent sites are noted
parenthetically 24
Table 2-7. Parameters used by each organization for lab analyzed water samples  27
Table 3-1. Number offish sites and samples in the study area, by EIS class and watershed    33
Table 3-2. Number of sites and D-frame kick net samples available in each watershed and in
each EIS class  34
Table 3-3. Correlation and significance values for the duplicate samples collected by the   35
U.S. EPA Region 3 with the WVSCI and standardized WVSCI metrics 35
Table 3-4. Number of sites and D-frame kick net samples used for comparing EIS classes after
the data set had been reduced   35
Table 4-1. The ANOVA for IBI scores among EIS classes (Unmined, Filled, Mined, and
Filled/Residential) 43
Table 4-2. Dunnett's test comparing IBI values of EIS classes to the Unmined class, with the
alternative hypothesis that IBI < Unmined IBI (one-tailed test) 43
Table 4-3. The results of t-tests of site mean metric values and the IBI in Unmined and Filled
sites in watersheds with areas less than 10  km2 (N= 11 Unmined, N =  12 Filled)    46
Table 4-4. Pearson correlations among the site means of selected water quality measurements
and IBI scores, including all sites in watersheds with areas smaller than 10 km2    48
Table 4-5. Results from ANOVA  for benthic macroinvertebrates in spring 1999.  Uses Unmined
sites as a relative control for LS Means test   49
Table 4-6. Results from ANOVA  for benthic macroinvertebrates in autumn 1999     50
Table 4-7. Results from ANOVA  for benthic macroinvertebrates in winter 2000     51
Table 4-8. Results from ANOVA  for benthic macroinvertebrates in spring 2000     51
Table 4-9. Results from ANOVA  for benthic macroinvertebrates in autumn 2000     52
Table 4-10.  Results from ANOVA for benthic macroinvertebrates in winter 2001    52
Table 4-11.  Results from Pearson  correlation analyses between the WVSCI rarefied to 100
organisms and key water quality parameters   54
Table 4-12.  Pearson correlation values and p-values for means of metric scores at Unmined sites
(n=  19) versus catchment area   55
Table 4-13.  Pearson correlation values and p-values for metric scores at Additive sites on
Twentymile  Creek versus cumulative river kilometer by season    56
Table 4-14.  The Regression for WVSCI versus Cumulative River Mile for Additive Sites in
Twentymile  Creek Winter 2001    57

viii

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                                       FIGURES

Figure 1-1. A MTM operation in West Virginia.  The purpose of these operations are to remove
mountaintops in order to make the underlying coal accessible    2
Figure 1-2. A VF in operation.  The excess materials from a MTM operation are being placed in
this adjacent valley    2
Figure 2-1. Study area for the aquatic impacts study of the MTM/VF Region of West Virginia.. 8
Figure 2-2. Sites sampled in the Mud River Watershed     10
Figure 2-3. Sites sampled in the Spruce Fork Watershed   12
Figure 2-4. Sites sampled in the Clear Fork Watershed    14
Figure 2-5. Sites sampled in the Twentymile Creek Watershed  16
Figure 2-6. Sites sampled in the Island Creek Watershed 20
Figure 2-7. Sites sampled in the Twelvepole Creek  Watershed    23
Figure 3-1. Scatter plots showing IBI scores of sites sampled multiple times. The left plot shows
autumn samples versus spring samples and the right plot shows spring Year 2 samples versus
spring Year 1 samples   38
Figure 4-1. Number of fish  species captured versus stream catchment area   40
Figure 4-2. Calculated Fish IBI and watershed catchment area, all MTM fish samples from sites
with catchment > 2km2   40
Figure 4-3. A Box-and-Whisker plot of the mean IBI scores from  sampling sites in five EIS
classes 41
Figure 4-4. Normal probability plot of IBI scores from EIS classes  43
Figure 4-5. The IBI scores for different site classes, by watershed  area   45
Figure 4-6. The IBI scores from the additive  sites in the Twelvepole Creek Watershed   47
Figure 4-7. IBI scores from additive sites and Peachorchard Branch in the Twentymile Creek
Watershed   47
Figure 4-8. The WVSCI and its metric scores versus catchment area in Unmined streams     55
Figure 5-1. Mean WVSCI scores in the Unmined and Filled EIS classes versus sampling season.
Error bars are 1 SE 60
Figure 5-2. (A) Mean Total Taxa richness in the Unmined and Filled EIS classes versus sampling
season. (B) Mean EPT Taxa richness in the Unmined and Filled EIS classes versus sampling
season  61
                                                                                     IX

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                                ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
       This report could not have been completed without the efforts of many individuals and
organizations. We would like to thank the U.S. EPA Region 3 personnel, especially Jim Green,
Maggie Passemore, Frank Borsuk, Gary Bryant and Bill Hoffman for providing data, guidance
and support for this study. We would like to thank Hope Childers of the Center for Educational
Technologies at the Wheeling Jesuit University for her role in supporting the U.S. EPA Region 3
in this study.  We would like to thank the Pennsylvania State University's School of Forest
Resources, especially Jay Stauffer, Jr. and C. Paola Ferreri for providing data in support of this
study and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for supporting their work.

       We would also like to thank Biological Monitoring, Incorporated; Potesta & Associates,
Incorporated; and Research, Environmental, and Industrial Consultants, Incorporated for
collecting data in support of this study. We also thank Arch Coal, the Massey Energy Company,
the Penn Coal Corporation, the Fola Coal Company and the West Virginia Coal Association for
providing access to sampling sites and supporting the collection of data.

       We are grateful to Ken Fritz and David M. Walters of the U.S. EPA's National Exposure
Research Laboratory and Lori Winters of ORISE for reviewing this document. We are also
grateful to Alicia Shelton of SoBran, Inc. for her efforts in editing and formatting this document.
x

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                                  1. INTRODUCTION
    1.1. Background

       Since the early 1990s, the nature and extent of coal mining operations in the Appalachian
Region of the U.S. have changed. An increased number of large (> 1,200-ha) surface mines have
been proposed and technology has allowed for the expanded role of Mountaintop Mining (MTM)
and Valley Fill (VF) operations. In these operations, the tops of mountains are removed in order
to make the underlying coal accessible (Figure 1-1). The excess materials from the mountaintop
removals typically have been deposited into adjacent valleys and their stream corridors (Figure
1-2).  These depositions cover perennial streams, wetlands and tracts of wildlife habitat. Given
the increased number of mines and the increased scale of mining operations in the MTM/VF
Region, it has become necessary for federal and state  agencies to ensure that the relevant
regulations, policies, procedures and guidance adequately consider the potential individual and
cumulative impacts that may result from these projects (U.S. EPA 1999).
    1.2. Environmental Impact Statement Development

       The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
(COE), U.S. Office of Surface Mining (OSM), and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), in
cooperation with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), are
preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) concerning the MTM/VF activities in West
Virginia. The purpose of developing the EIS is to facilitate the informed consideration of the
development of policies, guidance and coordinated agency decision-making processes to
minimize, to the greatest extent practicable, the adverse environmental effects to the waters, fish
and wildlife resources in the U.S. from MTM operations, and to other environmental resources
that could be affected by the size and location of fill material in VF sites (U.S. EPA 2001).
Additionally, The EIS will determine the proposed action, and develop and evaluate a range of
reasonable alternatives to the proposed action.

       The goals of the EIS are to:  (1) achieve the purposes stated above; (2) assess the mining
practices currently being used in West Virginia; (3) assess the additive effects of MTM/VF
operations; (4) clarify the alternatives to MTM; (5) make environmental evaluations of
individual mining projects; (6) improve the capacity of mining operations, regulatory agencies,
environmental groups and land owners to make informed decisions; and (7) design improved
regulatory tools (U.S. EPA 2000). The major components of the EIS will include: human and
community impacts (i.e., quality of life,  economic), terrestrial impacts (i.e., visuals, landscape,
biota), aquatic impacts and miscellaneous impacts (i.e., blasting, mitigation, air quality).

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Figure 1-1. A MTM operation in West Virginia.  The purpose of these operations are to
remove mountaintops in order to make the underlying coal accessible.
Figure 1-2. A VF in operation.  The excess materials from a MTM operation are being
placed in this adjacent valley.

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   1.3. Aquatic Impacts Portion of the EIS

       The U.S. EPA's Region 3 initiated an aquatic impacts study to support the EIS. From the
spring (i.e., April to June) 1999 through the winter (i.e., January to March) 2000, the U.S. EPA
Region 3 collected data from streams within the MTM/VF Region. These data include water
chemistry, habitat, and macroinvertebrates. With cooperation and guidance from the U.S. EPA
Region 3, the Pennsylvania State University's (PSU's) School of Forest Resources collected fish
data from streams in the MTM/VF Region. In addition to the data that were collected by the
U.S. EPA Region 3 and PSU, data were also collected by three environmental consulting firms,
representing four coal mining companies. These environmental consulting firms were Biological
Monitoring, Incorporated (BMI); Potesta & Associates, Incorporated (POTESTA); and Research,
Environmental, and Industrial Consultants, Incorporated (REIC).

       Three reports which describe the  data collected by the U.S. EPA Region 3 and PSU's
School of Forest Resources were prepared. The first report summarized the condition of streams
in the MTM/VF Region based on the macroinvertebrate data that were collected (Green et al.
2000 Draft). This report provided a descriptive analysis of the macroinvertebrate data. The
second report described the fish populations in the MTM/VF Region based on the fish data
collected by the PSU's School of Forest Resources (Stauffer and Ferreri 2000 Draft).  This report
used a fish index that was developed by the Ohio EPA for larger streams. The third report was a
survey of the water quality of streams in  the MTM/VF Region based on the water chemistry data
collected by the U.S. EPA Region 3 (U.S. EPA 2002 Draft).

   1.4. Scope  and Objectives of This Report

       In this document, the National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) of the U.S. EPA's
Office of Research and Development (ORD) has assembled a database of Region 3, PSU and
environmental  consulting firm data collected from the MTM/VF Region.  Using this combined
data set, NERL analyzed fish and macroinvertebrate data separately to address the study's
objectives.  The results of these analyses will allow NERL to provide a report on the aquatic
impacts of the MTM/VF operations for inclusion in the EIS.

       The objectives of this document are to:  1) determine if the biological condition of
streams in areas with MTM/VF operations is degraded relative to the condition of streams in
unmined areas and 2) determine if there are additive biological impacts in streams where
multiple VFs are located.

   1.5. Biological Indices

       One of the ways in which biological condition is assessed is through the use of biological
indices. Biological indices allow stream communities to be compared by using their diversity,
composition and functional organization. The use of biological indices is recommended by the
Biological Criteria portion of the U.S. EPA's National Program  Guidance for Surface Waters

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(U.S. EPA 1990). As of 1995, 42 states were using biological indices to assess impacts to
streams (U.S. EPA 1996).

       Two indices were identified as being appropriate for use with data collected from the
MTM/VF Region.  These were the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) for
fish (McCormick et al. 2001) and the West Virginia Stream  Condition Index (WVSCI) for
invertebrates (Gerritsen et al. 2000).

       Due to the lack of a state developed fish index for West Virginia, an index created for use
in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands was selected for evaluation of the fish data. The Mid-Atlantic
Highlands IBI (McCormick et al. 2001) was  developed using bioassessment data collected by the
U.S. EPA from 309 wadeable streams from 1993 to  1996 in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands portion
of the U.S. These data were collected using the U.S. EPA's Environmental Monitoring and
Assessment Program (EMAP) protocols (Lazorchak et al. 1998).  Site selection was randomly
stratified. Fish were collected within reaches whose lengths were 40 times the wetted width of
the stream with minimum and maximum reach lengths being 150 and 500 m, respectively.  All
fish collected for these bioassessments were identified to the species taxonomic level. An
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) showed that there were no differences between the ecoregions
in which the data were collected.  A subset of the data was used to develop the IBI and another
subset was used to validate the IBI and its component metrics.  Fifty-eight candidate metrics
were evaluated.  Of these, 13 were rejected because they did not demonstrate an adequate range,
two were rejected because they had excessive signal-to-noise ratios, three were rejected because
they were redundant with other metrics, one was rejected because it remained correlated with
watershed area after it had been adjusted to compensate for area and 30 were rejected because
they were not significantly correlated with anthropogenic impacts. The remaining nine  metrics
used in the IBI are described in Table  1-2 (McCormick et al. 2001). All metrics were scored on
a continuous scale from 0 to 10.  Three sets of reference condition criteria (i.e., least restrictive,
moderately restrictive, most restrictive) were used to determine the threshold values for the
metrics.  For the  metrics which decrease with perturbation (Table 1-1), a score of 0 was given if
the value was less than the 5th percentile of the values from non-reference sites and a score of 10
was given if the value was greater than the 50th percentile of the values from reference  sites
defined by the most restrictive criteria. For the metrics which increase with perturbation (Table
1-1), a  score of 0 was given if the value was greater than the 90th percentile of the values from
non-reference sites and a score of 10 was given if the value was less than the 50th percentile of
the values from reference sites defined by the moderately restrictive criteria. The IBI scores
were scaled from 0 to 100 by summing the scores from the nine metrics and multiplying this sum
by 1.11.

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Table 1-1. The nine metrics in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands IBI, their definitions and their
expected responses to perturbations.    
                                                                              Predicted
                                                                              Response to
                                                                              Stress
Metric
Metric Description
 Native Intolerant Taxa


 Native Cyprinidae Taxa


 Native Benthic Invertivores


 Percent Cottidae

 Percent Gravel Spawners

 Percent Piscivore/Invertivores

 Percent Macro Omnivore

 Percent Tolerant

 Percent Exotic
                            Number of indigenous taxa that are sensitive to pollution;
                            adjusted for drainage area

                            Number of indigenous taxa in the family Cyprinidae (carps
                            and minnows); adjusted for drainage area

                            Number of indigenous bottom dwelling taxa that consume
                            invertebrates; adjusted for drainage area

                            Percent individuals of the family Cottidae (i.e., sculpins)

                            Percent individuals that require  clean gravel for
                            reproductive success

                            Percent individuals that consume fish or invertebrates

                            Percent individuals that are large and omnivorous

                            Percent individuals that are tolerant of pollution

                            Percent individuals that are not indigenous
                                                   Decrease


                                                   Decrease


                                                   Decrease

                                                   Decrease

                                                   Decrease

                                                   Decrease

                                                    Increase
                                                    Increase
                                                    Increase
       The WVSCI (Gerritsen et al. 2000) was developed using bioassessment data collected by
the WVDEP from 720 sites in 1996 and 1997.  These data were collected using the U.S. EPA's
Rapid Bioassessment Protocols (RBP, Plafkin etal. 1989). From these bioassessments, 100
benthic macroinvertebrates were identified to the family taxonomic level from each sample.  The
information derived from the analyses of these data were used to establish appropriate site
classifications for bioassessments, determine the seasonal differences among biological metrics,
elucidate the appropriate metrics to be used in West Virginia and define the thresholds that
indicate the degree of comparability of streams to a reference condition.  The analyses of these
data showed that there was no benefit to partitioning West Virginia into ecoregions for the
purpose of bioassessment. The analyses also showed that variability in the data could be reduced
by sampling only from late spring through early summer. Using water quality and habitat
criteria, the reference and impaired sites were identified among the 720 sampled sites. Then, a
suite of candidate metrics were evaluated based on their abilities to differentiate between
reference and impaired sites, represent different aspects of the benthic macroinvertebrate
community (i.e.,  composition, richness, tolerance), and minimize redundancy among individual
component metrics. Based on these evaluations, it was determined that the metrics making up
the WVSCI should be EPT taxa, Total taxa, % EPT, % Chironomidae, the Hilsenhoff Biotic
Index (HBI) and  % 2 Dominant taxa (Table 1-2). Next, the values for these metrics were
calculated for all  720 sites and those values were standardized by converting them to a O-to-100-
point scale. The  standardized scores for the six metrics were averaged for each site in order to

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obtain index scores.  Data collected from West Virginia in 1998 were used to test the index.  This
analysis showed that the index was able to discriminate between reference and impaired sites
(Gerritsen et al. 2000).
Table 1-2.  The six metrics in the WVSCI, their definitions and their expected responses to
perturbations.
Metric
EPT Taxa
Total Taxa
% EPT
% Chironomidae
HBI
% 2 Dominant taxa
Definition Expected
Response to
Perturbation
The total number of EPT taxa.
The total number of taxa.
The percentage of the sample made up of EPT individuals.
The percentage of the sample made up of Chironomidae
individuals.
An index used to quantify an invertebrate assemblage's tolerance
to organic pollution.
The percentage of the sample made up of the dominant two taxa
in the sample.
Decrease
Decrease
Decrease
Increase
Increase
Increase

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                           2. METHODS AND MATERIALS

   2.1. Data Collection

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 collected benthic macroinvertebrate and habitat data from spring
1999 through spring 2000.  These data were collected from 37 sites in five watersheds (i.e., Mud
River, Spruce Fork, Clear Fork, Twentymile Creek, and Island Creek Watersheds) in the
MTM/VF Region of West Virginia (Figure 2-1).  Two sites were added to the study in spring
2000. These additions were a reference site not located near any mining activities and a
supplementary site located near mining activities. Using these data, the U.S. EPA Region 3
developed a report (Green et al. 2000 Draft) which characterized the benthic macroinvertebrate
assemblages in the MTM/VF Region of West Virginia.

       The PSU's School of Forest Resources collected fish data in the MTM/VF Region of
West Virginia and Kentucky. These data were collected from 58 sites in West Virginia and from
15 sites in Kentucky. The data collected from the Kentucky  sites will not be used in this
document.  All of PSU's West Virginia sites were located in the same five watersheds from
which the U.S. EPA Region 3 collected benthic macroinvertebrate, habitat and water quality data
and most of these sites were located near the locations from which the U.S. EPA Region 3
collected these data. Data were collected in autumn 1999 and spring 2000.  The results of this
study were  reported by Stauffer and Ferreri (2000 Draft).

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 collected water quality data and water samples for chemical
analyses from October 1999 through February 2001. These data were collected from the same
37 sites from which the U.S. EPA Region 3  collected benthic macroinvertebrate and habitat data.
Using these data, the U.S. EPA Region 3 developed a report  (U.S. EPA 2002 Draft) which
characterized the water quality of streams in the MTM/VF Region of West Virginia.

       The environmental consulting firm, BMI,  collected water quality, water chemistry,
habitat, benthic macroinvertebrate and fish data in the MTM/VF Region of West Virginia.  These
data were collected for Arch Coal, Incorporated from 37 sites in the Twentymile Creek
Watershed and for Massey Energy Company from 11  sites in the Island Creek Watershed.

       In addition, the environmental consulting firm, REIC, collected water quality, water
chemistry, habitat, benthic macroinvertebrate and fish data in the MTM/VF Region of West
Virginia. These data were collected for the Penn  Coal Corporation from 18 sites in the
Twelvepole Creek Watershed. Although the Twelvepole Creek Watershed is not among the
watersheds from which the U.S. EPA Region 3 collected ecological data, some of these data will
be considered in this report.

       Finally, the environmental consulting firm, POTESTA, collected water quality, water
chemistry, habitat, benthic macroinvertebrate, and fish data in the MTM/VF Region of West
Virginia. These data were collected for the Fola Coal Company from ten sites in the Twentymile
Creek Watershed (See Appendix E for a summary of benthic methods used by all groups).

                                                                                      7

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      * SAMPLING STATIONS
     rnfflJC-11 BOUNDARY
      ^ MTM/VF REGION
        I WV COUNTIES
                                 WILLI
Figure 2-1.  Study area for the aquatic impacts study of the MTM/VF Region of West
Virginia.

   2.2. Site Classes

       Each of the sites sampled by the U.S. EPA Region 3, PSU or one of the participating
environmental consulting firms was placed in one of six classes. These six classes were: 1)
Unmined, 2) Filled, 3) Mined, 4) Filled/Residential, 5) Mined/Residential and 6) Additive.  The
Unmined sites were located in areas where there had been no mining activities upstream. The
Filled sites were located downstream of at least one VF. The Mined sites were located
downstream of some mining activities but were not downstream of any VFs. The
Filled/Residential sites were located downstream of at least one VF, and were also near
residential areas.  The Mined/Residential sites were located downstream of mining activity, and
were also near residential areas.  The additive sites were located on a mainstem of a watershed
and were downstream of multiple VFs and VF-influenced streams.

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   2.3. Study Areas

       2.3.1. Mud River Watershed

       The headwaters of the Mud River are in Boone County, West Virginia, and flow
northwest into Lincoln County, West Virginia. Although the headwaters of this watershed do
not lie in the primary MTM/VF Region, there is a portion of the watershed that lies
perpendicular to a five-mile strip of land in which mining activities are occurring.  From the
headwaters to the northwestern boundary of the primary MTM/VF Region, the watershed lies in
the Cumberland Mountains of the Central Appalachian Plateau. The physiography is
unglaciated, dissected hills and mountains with steep slopes and very narrow ridge tops and the
geology is Pennsylvania sandstone,  siltstone, shale, and coal of the Pottsville Group and
Allegheny Formation (Woods et al.  1999). The primary land use is forest with extensive coal
mining, logging, and gas wells.  Some livestock farms and scattered towns exist in the wider
valleys. Most of the low-density residential land use is concentrated in the narrow valleys
(Green et al. 2000 Draft).

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 sampled ten sites in the Mud River Watershed (Figure 2-2, Table
2-1).  Brief descriptions of these sites are given below and more complete descriptions  are given
in Green et al. (2000 Draft).  Site MT01 was established on the Mud River and the major
disturbances at this site are a county road and  residences. There also have been a few historical
mining activities conducted upstream of site MT01.  Site MT02 was established on Rush Patch
Branch upstream of all residences and farms.  While there is no history of mining in this sub-
watershed, there is evidence of logging and gas well development. Site MT03 was established
well above the mouth of Lukey Fork.  Logging is the only known disturbance upstream of this
site.  Site MT13 was established on the Spring Branch of Ballard Fork. Other than historical
logging activity, there is very little evidence of human disturbance associated with this  site. Site
MT14 was established on Ballard Fork.  It is located downstream of eight VFs for which the
mining permits  were issued in 1985, 1988 and 1989.  Site MT15 was established on Stanley
Fork,  located downstream of six VFs for which mining permits were issued in 1988,  1989, 1991,
1992 and 1995.  Site MT24 was established in a sediment control structure on top of the mining
operation located in the Stanley Fork sub-watershed.  Site MT18 was established on  Sugartree
Branch.  It was  located downstream of two VFs for which the mining permits were issued in
1992 and 1995.  Site MT23 was established on the Mud River downstream of mining activities.
These activities include active and inactive surface mines and one active underground mine. In
the spring of 2000, Site MT16 was established on an unnamed tributary to Sugartree Branch.
This site  was downstream of historical surface mining activities, but was not downstream of any
VFs (Green et al. 2000 Draft).

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       1000       0        1000 Meters
    Mud River
      o  Sites sampled by the U.S. EPA
Figure 2-2. Sites sampled in the Mud River Watershed.
10

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Table 2-1.  Sites sampled in the Mud River Watershed.
 Site                 Stream Name                     EIS Class
 ID/Organization
U.S. EPA Region 3
MT01
MT02
MT03
MT13
MT14
MT15
MT24
MT18
MT23
MT16

Mud River
Rushpatch Branch
Lukey Fork
Spring Branch
Ballard Fork
Stanley Fork
Unnamed Trib. to Stanley Fork
Sugartree Branch
Mud River
Unnamed Trib. to Sugartree Branch

Mined/Residential
Unmined
Unmined
Unmined
Filled
Filled
Sediment Control Structure
Filled
Filled/Residential
Mined
       2.3.2. Spruce Fork Watershed

       The Spruce Fork Watershed drains portions of Boone and Logan Counties, West
Virginia. The stream flows in a northerly direction to the town of Madison, West Virginia where
it joins Pond Fork to form the Little Coal River.  Approximately 85 to 90% of the watershed
resides in the primary MTM region. Only the northwest corner of the watershed lies outside of
this region. The entire watershed lies in the Cumberland Mountains sub-ecoregion (Woods et al.
1999). The watershed has been the location of surface and underground mining for many years,
therefore, much of the watershed has been disturbed (Green et al. 2000 Draft).

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 sampled eight sites in the Spruce Fork Watershed (Figure 2-3,
Table 2-2). Brief descriptions of these sites are given below and more complete descriptions are
given in Green et al. (2000 Draft).  The U.S. EPA Region 3 Site MT39 was established on White
Oak Branch and no mining activities existed in this area.  Site MT40 was established on Spruce
Fork.  It is located downstream of seven known surface mining VFs and three VFs associated
with refuse disposal.  Site MT42 was established on Oldhouse Branch, located upstream of all
residences and there is no known history of mining activities in this area. Site MT45 was
established on Pigeonroost Branch. This site was located upstream of all residences but
downstream of contour mining activities that occurred between 1987 and 1989.  Site MT32 was
established on Beech Creek. It was located downstream of five VFs and surface and
underground mining activities.  Site MT34B was established on the Left Fork of Beech Creek.  It
was located downstream of VFs and surface and underground mining  activities. Site MT48 was
established on  Spruce Fork just upstream of Rockhouse Creek.  There are known to be 22 VFs
and several small communities upstream of this site.  Site MT25B was established on Rockhouse
Creek, located  downstream of a sediment pond and a very large VF (Green et al. 2000 Draft).

                                                                                     11

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        Spruce Fork




          o   Sites sampled by the U.S. EPA
Figure 2-3. Sites sampled in the Spruce Fork Watershed.
12

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Table 2-2.  Sites sampled in the Spruce Fork Watershed.
 Site                 Stream Name                  EIS Class
 ID/Organization
   U.S. EPA Region 3
MT39
MT40
MT42
MT45
MT32
MT34B
MT48
MT25B
White Oak Branch
Spruce Fork
Oldhouse Branch
Pigeonroost Branch
Beech Creek
Left Fork
Spruce Fork
Rockhouse Creek
Unmined
Filled/Residential
Unmined
Mined
Filled
Filled
Filled/Residential
Filled
       2.3.3. Clear Fork Watershed

       Clear Fork flows north toward its confluence with Marsh Fork where they form the Big
Coal River near Whitesville, West Virginia. The entire watershed lies within Raleigh County,
West Virginia within the Cumberland Mountains sub-ecoregion and, except for a very small
portion, it lies within the primary MTM region (Woods et al. 1999).  The coal mining industry
has been active in this watershed for many years. Both surface and underground mining have
occurred in the past and presently continue to be mined. There were no unmined sites sampled
from this watershed (Green et al. 2000 Draft).

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 sampled eight sites in the Clear Fork Watershed (Figure 2-4,
Table 2-3). Brief descriptions of these sites are given below and more complete descriptions are
given in Green et al. (2000 Draft). The U.S. EPA Region 3 Site MT79 was established on Davis
Fork. It was located downstream of mining activities. Site MT78 was established on Raines
Fork. It was located downstream of historical  contour and underground mining.  Site MT81 was
established on Sycamore Creek.  It was located downstream of historical contour and
underground mining and it is downstream of a plant that treats mine effluent.  Site MT75 was
established on Toney Fork. It was located downstream of five VFs, MTM activities and
numerous residences. Site MT70 was established approximately  1 km (0.6 mi) downstream of
Site MT75. It was located downstream of six VFs, MTM activities and numerous residences.
This site was only sampled during autumn 1999 and winter and spring 2000. Site MT69 was
established on Ewing Fork. It was located downstream of some historical contour and
underground mining activities and a residence. Site MT64 was established on Buffalo Fork. It
was located downstream of historical contour mining, current MTM activities,  five VFs and a
small amount of pasture. Site MT62 was established on Toney Fork.  It was located downstream
of 11 VFs, numerous residences and a small amount of pasture (Green et al. 2000 Draft).
                                                                                     13

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       800    A     800   1600  Meters
    Clear Fork
      o  Sites sampled by the U.S. EPA
Figure 2-4. Sites sampled in the Clear Fork Watershed.
14

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Table 2-3.  Sites sampled in the Clear Fork Watershed.
Site
ID/Organization
U.S. EPA Region 3
MT79
MT78
MT81
MT75
MT70
MT69
MT64
MT62
Stream Name

Davis Fork
Raines Fork
Sycamore Creek
Toney Fork
Toney Fork
Ewing Fork
Buffalo Fork
Toney Fork
EIS Class

Mined
Mined
Mined
Filled/Residential
Filled/Residential
Mined/Residential
Filled
Filled/Residential
       2.3.4. Twentymile Creek Watershed

       Twentymile Creek drains portions of Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, and Nicholas Counties,
West Virginia. It generally flows to the southwest where it joins the Gauley River at Belva,
West Virginia. Except for a small area on the western edge of the watershed, it is within the
primary MTM region and the entire watershed lies within the Cumberland Mountains sub-
ecoregion (Woods et al. 1999). Upstream of Vaughn, West Virginia, the watershed is
uninhabited and logging, mining, and natural gas extracting are the primary activities.  The
majority of the mining activity has been conducted recently. Downstream of Vaughn, there are
numerous residences and a few small communities (Green et al. 2000 Draft).

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 sampled seven sites in the Twentymile Creek Watershed (Figure
2-5, Table 2-4). Brief descriptions of these sites are given below and more complete description
 are given in Green et al. (2000 Draft). The U.S. EPA Region 3 Site MT95 was established on
Neil Branch. There were no known disturbances upstream of this site. Site MT91 was
established on Rader Fork.  The only known disturbance to this site was a road with considerable
coal truck traffic. Site MT87 was established on Neff Fork downstream of three VFs and a mine
drainage treatment plant. Site MT86 was located on Rader Fork downstream of Site MT91 and
Neff Fork and it was, therefore, downstream of three VFs and a mine drainage treatment plant.
Site MT103 was established on Hughes Fork. It was downstream of six VFs. Site MT98 was
established on Hughes Fork.  It was downstream of Site MT103 and eight VFs.  Site MT104 was
established on Hughes Fork.  It was downstream of Site MT103,  Site MT98,  eight VFs and a
sediment pond (Green et al. 2000 Draft).
                                                                                    15

 image: 






    e>  Sites sampled by the U.S. EPA
    Q  Sites sam pled by
                l consulting linns
                             Twentymile Creek
Figure 2-5.  Sites sampled in the Twentymile Creek Watershed.
16

 image: 






Table 2-4. Sites sampled in the Twentymile Creek Watershed. Equivalent sites are noted
parenthetically.
Site ID/Organization
U.S. EPA Region 3
MT95 (=Neil-5)
MT91
MT87 (=Rader-4)
MT86 (=Rader-7)
MT103
MT98
MT104
BMI
Rader 8
Rader 9
PMC-TMC-36
PMC-TMC-35
PMC-TMC-34
PMC-TMC-33
PMC-TMC-31
PMC-TMC-30
PMC-TMC-29
PMC-TMC-28
PMC-TMC-27
PMC-TMC-26
PMC-7
PMC-6
PMC-5
PMC-TMC-4
PMC-TMC-5
PMC-TMC-314
PMC-TMC-2
PMC-TMC-1
Stream Name
Neil Branch
Rader Fork
NeffFork
Rader Fork
Hughes Fork
Hughes Fork
Hughes Fork

Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
EIS Class
Unmined
Unmined
Filled
Filled
Filled
Filled
Filled

Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
                                                                         Continued
                                                                                 17

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Table 2-4. Continued.
Site ID/Organization
BMI (Continued)
PMC-HWB-1
PMC-HWB-2
Neil-6 (=Fola 48)
Neil-7 (=Fola 49)
Neil-2 (=Fola 53)
Neil-5 (=MT95)
Rader-1
Rader-2
Rader-3
Rader-4 (=MT87)
Rader-5
Rader-6
Rader-7 (=MT86)
PMC-1
PMC- 11
PMC-12
PMC- 15
POTESTA
Fola 33
Fola 36
Fola 37
Fola 38
Fola 48 (=Neil-6)
Fola 49 (=Neil-7)
Fola 39
Fola 40
Fola 45
Fola 53 (=Neil-2)
Stream Name

Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Neil Branch
Neil Branch
Laurel Run
Rader Fork
Trib. to Rader
NeffFork
NeffFork
Trib. to Neff
Rader Fork
Sugarcamp Branch
Right Fork
Road Fork
Tributary to Robinson Fork.

Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Twentymile Creek
Peachorchard Branch
Peachorchard Branch
Peachorchard Branch
Neil Branch
EIS Class

Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Unmined
Unmined
Unmined
Unmined
Unmined
Filled (2)
Filled (2)
Filled (1)
Filled (2)
Filled (1)
Filled (1)
Filled (1)
Filled (1)

Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Filled (2 small)
Filled (1 small)
Unmined
Unmined
18

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       2.3.5. Island Creek Watershed

       Island Creek generally flows north toward Logan, West Virginia where it enters the
Guyandotte River.  The entire watershed is confined to Logan County.  With the exception of the
northern portion, the watershed lies within the primary MTM region and the entire watershed lies
within the Cumberland Mountains sub-ecoregion (Woods et al. 1999). Extensive underground
mining has occurred in the watershed for many years. As the underground reserves have been
depleted and the economics of the area have changed, surface mining has played a larger role in
the watershed (Green et al. 2000 Draft).

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 sampled eight sites in the Island Creek Watershed  (Figure 2-6,
Table 2-5). Brief descriptions of these sites are given below and more complete descriptions are
given in Green et al. (2000 Draft). The U.S. EPA Region 3 Site MT50 was located on Cabin
Branch in the headwaters of the sub-watershed and upstream of any disturbances.  Site MT51
was also established on Cabin Branch located downstream of Site MT50 and a gas well. Site
MT107 was established on Left Fork in the spring of 2000, located upstream of the influence of
VFs.  Site MT52 was established near the headwaters of Cow Creek.  It was located upstream of
VFs, but downstream of an underground mine entrance, a small VF and a sediment pond. Site
MT57B was established on Hall Fork for sampling in the spring and summer 1999. It was
located downstream of a sediment pond and a VF.  In the autumn  1999, Site MT57 was
established near the mouth of Hall fork.  It was farther downstream than Site MT57B and was
downstream of a sediment pond and a VF.  Site MT60 was established on Left Fork, downstream
of Site MT107.  It was located downstream of two existing VFs and three proposed VFs. Site
MT55 was established on  Cow Creek, downstream of Site MT52. It was located downstream of
four VFs associated with MTM, one VF associated with underground mining, residences, a log
mill, orchards, vineyards, cattle, and a municipal sewage sludge disposal site (Green et al. 2000
Draft).
                                                                                    19

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      Island Creek Watershed

       O  Sites sampled by the U.S. EPA
          Sites sampled by
          environmental consulting firms
                           500  0  500 1000 1500 2000 Meters
Figure 2-6. Sites sampled in the Island Creek Watershed.
20

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Table 2-5.  Sites sampled in the Island Creek Watershed.
 Site ID/OrganizationStream
 Name
Stream Name
EIS Class
U.S. EPA Region 3 Sites
MT50
MT51
MT107
MT52
MT57B
MT57
MT60
MT55
BMI
Mingo 34
Mingo 41
Mingo 39
Mingo 16
Mingo 11
Mingo 2
Mingo 86
Mingo 62
Mingo 38
Mingo 24
Mingo 23

Cabin Branch
Cabin Branch
Left Fork
Cow Creek
Hall Fork
Hall Fork
Left Fork
Cow Creek









Island Creek
Island Creek
Island Creek

Unmined
Unmined
Unmined
Filled
Filled
Filled
Filled
Filled/Residential

Filled (1)
Filled (2)
Filled (1) + old mining
Unmined
Unmined
Unmined
Unmined
Unmined
Additive
Additive
Additive
       2.3.6. Twelvepole Creek Watershed

       The East Fork of the Twelvepole Creek Watershed drains portions of Mingo, Lincoln,
and Wayne Counties, West Virginia.  The stream flows northwest to the town of Wayne, West
Virginia where it joins the West Fork of Twelvepole Creek then continues to flow on into the
Ohio River at Huntington, West Virginia.  The East Fork of Twelvepole Creek is impounded by
East Lynn Lake near Kiahsville, West Virginia in Wayne County (West Virginia DEP, Personal
Communication).

       The East Fork of the Twelvepole Creek Watershed encompasses approximately 445 km2
(172 mi2) of drainage area and is 93.3% forested. Prior to 1977, very little mining had occurred
in the watershed south of East Lynn Lake. Since 1987, several surface mining operations have

                                                                                   21

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been employed in the Kiah Creek and the East Fork of Twelvepole Creek watersheds (Critchley
2001). Currently, there are 23 underground mining, haul road and refuse site permits, and 21
surface mining permits in the watershed (West Virginia DEP, Personal Communication).

       REIC has conducted biological evaluations in the East Fork of the Twelvepole Creek
Watershed since 1995. Five stations have been sampled on Kiah Creek (Figure 2-7, Table 2-6).
Station BM-003A was located in the headwaters of Kiah Creek, upstream from surface mining
and residential disturbances.  Station BM-003 was located near the border of Lincoln and Wayne
Counties and it was downstream from several surface mining operations and several residential
disturbances. Station BM-004 was located on Kiah Creek downstream from the surface mining
operations on Queens Fork and Vance Branch, near the confluence of Jones Branch, downstream
from Trough Fork, and downstream of residential  disturbances. Station BM-004A was located
downstream from the confluence of Big Laurel Creek, surface mining operations and residential
disturbances.

       Two stations were sampled in Big Laurel Creek (Figure 2-7, Table 2-6). This tributary
has only residential disturbances in its watershed.  Station BM-UBLC was located near the
headwaters of Big Laurel Creek. Station BM-DBLC was located near the confluence of Big
Laurel Creek with Kiah Creek.

       Eight stations were sampled on the East Fork of Twelvepole Creek (Figure 2-7, Table 2-
6).  Station BM-001A was located just downstream from confluence of McCloud Branch and
was downstream of a residential disturbance.  Station BM-001C was located downstream of the
confluence of Laurel Branch which currently has a VF, additional proposed VFs, and residences.
Station BM-001B was located downstream of the  confluence of Wiley Branch which has
residences, numerous current VFs and additional VFs under construction or being proposed.
Station BM-001 was located upstream from the confluence of Bluewater Branch but downstream
from the Wiley Branch and Laurel Branch surface mining operations and residences. Station
BM-010 was downstream from the Franks Branch mining operation and residences. Station
BM-011 was located downstream from the Maynard Branch operations and residences. Station
BM-002 was located downstream from the Devil Trace surface mining operation and residences.
Station BM-002 A was located downstream of Milam Creek and all mining operations and
residences in this sub-watershed.

       Two stations were located in Milam Creek, a tributary of the East Fork of Twelvepole
Creek (Figure 2-7, Table 2-6). Milam Creek has no mining operations or residential disturbances
in its watershed.  Station BM-UMC was located near the headwaters of Milam Creek and station
BM-DMC was located near the confluence of Milam Creek with the East Fork of Twelvepole
Creek.
22

 image: 






    Twelvepole Creek

         Sites sampled by
         environmental consulting firms
Figure 2-7. Sites sampled in the Twelvepole Creek Watershed.
                                                                     23

 image: 






Table 2-6.  Sites sampled in the Twelvepole Creek Watershed.  Equivalent sites are noted
parenthetically.    
 Site ID/Organization          Stream Name                EIS Class
REIC
BM-003A
BM-003
BM-004
BM-004A
BM-DBLC
BM-UBLC
BM-001A
BM-001C
BM-001B
BM-001
BM-010
BM-011
BM-002
BM-002A
BM-UMC
BM-DMC
BM-005
BM-006

Kiah Creek
Kiah Creek
Kiah Creek
Kiah Creek
Big Laurel Creek
Big Laurel Creek
Twelvepole Creek
Twelvepole Creek
Twelvepole Creek
Twelvepole Creek
Twelvepole Creek
Twelvepole Creek
Twelvepole Creek
Twelvepole Creek
Milam Creek
Milam Creek
Trough Fork
Trough Fork

Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Unmined
Unmined
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Additive
Unmined
Unmined
Additive
Additive
   2.4. Data Collection Methods

      The data for this study were generated by five different organizations (i.e., U.S. EPA
Region 3, PSU, BMI, POTESTA and REIC).  The methods used to collect each of the four
different types of data (i.e., habitat, water quality, fish assemblage and macroinvertebrate
assemblage) are described below.  This information is summarized in tabular form in Appendix
A.
       2.4.1. Habitat Assessment Methods

          2.4.1.1. U.S. EPA Region 3 Habitat Assessment

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 used the RBP (Harbour et al. 1999) to collect habitat data at each
site.  Although some parameters require observations of a broader section of the catchment area,

24

 image: 






the habitat data were primarily collected in a 100-m reach that includes the portion of the stream
where biological data (i.e., fish and macroinvertebrate samples) were collected. The RBP habitat
assessment evaluates ten parameters (Appendix A).

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 measured substrate size and composition in order to help
determine if excessive sediment was causing any biological impairments (Kaufmann and
Robison 1998). Numeric scores were assigned to the substrate classes that are proportional to
the logarithm of the midpoint diameter of each size class (Appendix A).

          2.4.1.2. BMI Habitat Assessment

       The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) submitted by BMI make no mention of
habitat assessment methods.

          2.4.1.3. POTESTA Habitat Assessment

       POTESTA collected physical habitat data using methods outlined in Kaufmann et al.
(1999) or in Barbour et al. (1999, Appendix A).  The habitat assessments were performed on the
same reaches from which biological sampling was conducted. A single habitat assessment form
was completed for each sampling site. This assessment form incorporated features of the
selected sampling reach as well as selected features outside the reach but within the catchment
area. Habitat evaluations were first made on in-stream habitat, followed by channel morphology,
bank structural features, and riparian vegetation.

          2.4.1.4. REIC Habitat Assessment

The SOPs submitted by REIC make no mention of habitat assessment methods.

       2.4.2. Water Quality Assessment Methods

          2.4.2.1. U.S. EPA Water Quality Assessment

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 measured conductivity, pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen
(DO) in situ and the flow rate of the stream at the time of sampling. Each of these measurements
was made once at each site during each field visit. The U.S. EPA Region 3 also collected water
samples for laboratory analyses. These samples were analyzed for the parameters given in Table
2-7.

          2.4.2.2. BMI Water Quality Assessment

       The SOPs submitted by BMI make no mention of water quality assessment methods.

          2.4.2.3. POTESTA Water Quality Assessment
                                                                                   25

 image: 






       POTESTA measured conductivity, pH, temperature and DO in situ. These measurements
were taken once upstream from each biological sampling site, and were made following the
protocols outlined in U.S. EPA (1979). The stream flow rate was also measured at or near each
sampling point.  One of the three procedures (i.e., velocity-area, time filling, or neutrally buoyant
object) outlined in Kaufmann (1998) was used at each site. POTESTA also collected water
samples at each site directly upstream of the location of the biological sampling. These samples
were analyzed in the laboratory for the suite of analytes listed in Table 2-7.

          2.4.2.4. REIC Water Quality Assessment

       REIC recorded water body characteristics (i.e., size, depth and flow) and site location at
each site. Grab samples were collected and delivered to the laboratory for analysis.  The SOPs
submitted by REIC make no mention of which analytes were measured in the laboratory.

       2.4.3. Fish Assemblage Methods

          2.4.3.1. PSU Fish Assemblage Assessment

       The PSU, in consultation with personnel from U.S. EPA Region 3, sampled fish
assemblages at 58 sites in West Virginia. The fish sampling procedures generally followed those
in McCormick and Hughes (1998). Fish were collected by making three passes using a backpack
electrofishing unit. Each pass proceeded from the downstream end of the reach to the upstream
end of the reach.  Block nets were used only when natural barriers (i.e., shallow riffles) were not
present. The fish collected from each pass were kept separate. Fish were identified to the
species level and enumerated. The standard length of each fish was measured to the nearest mm
and each fish was weighed to the nearest 0.01 g.

          2.4.3.2. BMI Fish Assemblage Assessment

The SOPs submitted by BMI make no mention offish assemblage assessment methods.

          2.4.3.3. POTESTA Fish Assemblage Assessment

       POTESTA collected fish by using the three-pass depletion method of Van Deventer and
Platts (1983) with a backpack electrofishing unit. Each of the three passes proceeded from the
downstream  end of the reach to the upstream end of the reach.  The fish collected from each pass
were kept separate.  Additional passes were made if the numbers offish did not decline during
the two subsequent passes.  Game fish and rare, threatened or candidate (RTC) fish species were
identified, their total  lengths were recorded to the nearest mm, and their weights were recorded
to the nearest g. With the exception of small game and non-RTC fish, the captured fish were
released. Small game fish and non-RTC fish that were collected during each pass were
preserved separately  and transported to the laboratory for analysis. Preserved fish were
identified and weighed to the nearest g.
26

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Table 2-7. Parameters used by each organization for lab analyzed water samples.
 Parameter
Organizations

Acidity
Alkalinity
Chloride
Hardness
Nitrate(NOS) + Nitrite (NO2)
Sulfate
Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
Total Organic Carbon (TOC)
Coarse Paniculate Organic Matter (CPOM)
Fine Paniculate Organic Matter (FPOM)
Total Dissolved Organic Carbon (TDOC)
Total Aluminum
Dissolved Aluminum
Total Antimony
Total Arsenic
Total Barium
Total Beryllium
Total Cadmium
Total Calcium
Total Chromium
Total Cobalt
Total Copper
Total Iron
U.S. EPA
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
BMI
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
POTESTA
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
REIC
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
                                                                          (Continued)
                                                                                 27

 image: 






Table 2-7.  Continued.
 Parameter
  Organizations
                                       U.S. EPA
BMI
POTESTA
REIC
Dissolved Iron
Total Lead
Total Magnesium
Total Manganese
Dissolved Manganese
Total Mercury
Total Nickel
Total Potassium
Total Phosphorous
Total Selenium
Total Silver
Total Sodium
Total Thallium
Total Vanadium
Total Zinc
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown
          2.4.3.4. REIC Fish Assemblage Assessment Methods

       REIC collected fish by setting block nets across the stream and perpendicular to the
stream banks, then progressing upstream with a backpack electrofishing unit.  The entire reach
was surveyed three times. After each survey, all large fish were identified using guidelines given
by Trautman (1981) and Stauffer et al. (1995). The total lengths of the fish were measured to the
nearest mm and they were weighed to the nearest g. After all three passes were completed, the
large fish were returned to the stream.  Small fish which required microscopic verification of
their identification were preserved  and transported to the laboratory.  Once in the laboratory,
small fish were identified using guidelines given by Trautman (1981) and Stauffer et al. (1995).
After identification,  the total lengths of the fish were measured to the nearest mm, they were
weighed to the nearest 0.1 g and their identifications were reconfirmed.
28

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       2.4.4. Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Methods

          2.4.4.1. U.S. EPA Region 3 Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Assessment

       The U.S. EPA's Region 3 used RBPs to assess benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages
(Barbour et al. 1999). Samples were collected from riffles only. A 0.5 m wide rectangular dip
net with 595-um mesh was used to collect organisms in a 0.25 m2 area upstream of the net.  At
each site, four samples were taken, and composited into a single sample, representing a total area
sampled of approximately 1.0 m2. The RBPs recommend the total area sampled to be 2.0 m2 but
that was reduced to 1.0 m2 for this study due to the small size of the streams. Benthic
macroinvertebrate samples were collected in each season except when there was not enough flow
for sampling.  Approximately 25% of the sites were sampled in replicate to provide information
on within-season and within-site variability. These replicate samples were collected at the same
time, usually from adjacent locations in the same riffle.

       The samples collected by the U.S. EPA Region 3 were sub-sampled in the laboratory so
that Vs of the composite samples were picked.  All organisms in the sub-sample were identified
to the family level, except for oligochetes and leeches, which were identified to the class level.
Organisms were identified using published taxonomic references (i.e., Pennak 1989, Pecharsky
et al. 1990, Stewart and Stark 1993, Merritt and Cummins 1996, Westfall and May 1996,
Wiggins  1998).

          2.4.4.2. BMI Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Methods

       BMI collected samples using a kick net with a 0.5 m width and a 600 um mesh size. The
net was held downstream of the 0.25 m2 area that was to be sampled. All rocks and debris that
were in the 0.25 m2 area were scrubbed and rinsed into the net and removed from the sampling
area.  Then, the substrate in the 0.25 m2 area was vigorously disturbed for 20 seconds. This
process was repeated four times at each sampling  site and the four samples were composited into
a single sample.

       BMI also collected samples using a 0.09 m2 (1.0 ft2) Surber sampler with a 600 um mesh
size. The frame of the sampler was placed on the stream bottom in the area that was to be
sampled.  All  large rocks and debris that were in the 1.0-ft2 frame were scrubbed and rinsed into
the net and removed from the sampling area. Then, the substrate in the 1.0 ft2 frame was
vigorously disturbed for 20 seconds. In autumn 1999 and spring 2000, no samples were collected
with Surber samplers. In autumn 2000, six Surber samples were collected at each site, and in
spring 2001, four Surber samples were collected.  All Surber samples were kept separate.

       In the  laboratory, the samples were rinsed using a sieve with 700 um mesh. All
macroinvertebrates in the samples were picked from the debris. Each organism was identified to
the taxa level  specified in the project study plan.
                                                                                    29

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          2.4.4.3. POTESTA Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Assessment

       POTESTA collected samples of macroinvertebrates using a composite of four 600 um
mesh kick net samples and following the U.S. EPA's RBPs (Barbour et al. 1999). For each of
the four kick net samples, all large debris within a 0.25 m2 area upstream of the kick net were
brushed into the net. Then, the substrate in the 0.25 m2 area was disturbed for 20 seconds.  Once
all four kick net samples were collected,  they were composited into a single labeled jar.

       POTESTA used Surber samplers to collect macroinvertebrate samples at selected sites.
Surber samples were always collected in conjunction with kick net samples. At sites selected for
quantitative sampling, a Surber sampler was placed on the stream bottom in a manner so that all
sides were flat against the stream bed.  Large cobble and gravel within the frame were
thoroughly brushed and the substrate within the frame was disturbed for a depth of up to 7.6 cm
(3.0 in) with the handle of the brush. The sample was then placed in a labeled jar.  The SOPs
submitted by POTESTA make no mention of the area sampled or the number of samples
collected with the Surber samplers.

       In the laboratory, all organisms in the samples were identified by qualified freshwater
macroinvertebrate taxonomists to the lowest practical taxonomic levels using Wiggins (1977),
Stewart and Stark (1988), Pennak (1989) and Merritt and Cummins (1996). To ensure the
quality of the identifications, 10% of all samples were re-picked and random identifications were
reviewed.

          2.4.4.4. REIC Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Assessment

       REIC collected macroinvertebrate samples using a 600 um mesh D-frame kick net.  The
kick net was positioned in the stream with the net outstretched with the cod end on the
downstream side. The person using the net then used a brush to scrub any rocks within a 0.25 m2
area in front of the net, sweeping dislodged material into the net. The person then either kicked
up the substrate  in the 0.25 m2 area in front of the net or knelt and scrubbed the substrate in that
area with one hand. The substrate was scrubbed or kicked for up to three minutes, with the
discharged material being swept into the net. This procedure was repeated four times so that the
total area sampled was approximately 1.0 m2. Once collected, the four samples were composited
into a single sample.

       REIC also collected macroinvertebrate samples using Surber samplers with sampling
areas of 0.09 m2 (1 ft2). These samplers were only used in areas where the water depth was less
than 0.03 m (1 ft). The SOPs submitted by REIC make no mention of the mesh size used in the
Surber samplers. The Surber sampler was placed in the stream, with the cod end of the net
facing downstream. The substrate within the 1 ft2 area was scrubbed for a period of up to three
minutes and to a depth of approximately 7.62 cm (3 in).  While being scrubbed, the dislodged
material was swept into the net.  After scrubbing was complete, rocks in the sampling area  were
checked for clinging macroinvertebrates. Once they had been removed, the material in the net
30

 image: 






was rinsed and the sample was deposited into a labeled sampling jar. Three Surber samples were
collected at each site where they were used. These samples were not composited.

       In the laboratory, REIC processed all samples individually.  Samples were poured
through a 250 um sieve and rinsed with tap water.  The sample was then split into quarters by
placing it on a sub-sampling tray fitted with a 500 um screen and spread evenly over the tray.
The sample in the first quarter of the tray was removed, placed into petri dishes, and placed
under a microscope so that all macroinvertebrates could be separated from the detritus. If too
few organisms (this number is not specified in the SOPs submitted by REIC) were in the first
quarter, then additional quarters were picked until enough organisms had been retrieved from the
sample.

       REIC used three experienced aquatic taxonomists to identify macroinvertebrates. They
identified the organisms under microscopes to their lowest practical taxonomic level, usually
Genus.  Chironomids were often identified to the Family level and annelids were identified to the
Class level. As taxonomic guides, REIC used Pennak (1989), Stewart and Stark (1993), Wiggins
(1995), Merritt and Cummins (1996) and Westfall and May (1996).

 image: 






                                 3.  DATA ANALYSES

   3.1. Database Organization

       3.1.1. Data Standardization

       All of the methods used to collect and process fish samples were compatible, thus it was
not necessary to standardize the fish data prior to analysis. However, there were differences
among the methods used to collect and process the benthic macroinvertebrate data which made it
necessary to standardize the macroinvertebrate data to eliminate potential biases before data
analysis.

       The benthic macroinvertebrate database was organized by sampling device (i.e., D-frame
kick net or Surber sampler). Since not all organizations used Surber samplers and not all
organizations that used Surber samplers employed the same methods (Section 2.4.4), Surber data
were not used for the analyses in this report. All of the sampling organizations did use D-frame
kick nets with comparable field methods to collect macroinvertebrate samples. Use of the data
collected by D-frame kick net provides unbiased data with respect to the types, densities and
relative abundances of organisms collected.  However, while identifying organisms in the
laboratory, the U.S. EPA sub-sampled 1/8 of the total material (with some exceptions noted in the
data), REIC sub-sampled 1/4 of the total material (with some exceptions), and BMI and
POTESTA counted the entire sample. To eliminate bias of the reported taxa richness data
introduced by different sizes of sub-samples, all organism counts were standardized to a 1/8  sub-
sample of the total original material. (Appendices A and E)

       3.1.2. Database Description

          3.1.2.1. Description of Fish Database

       The fish database included 126 sampling events where the collection of a fish sample had
been attempted and the location and watershed area were known. Of these, five were regional
reference samples from Big Ugly Creek, outside of the study watersheds.  Catchments with areas
of less than 2.0 km2 and samples with fewer than ten fish were excluded from the analysis
(section 4.1.1).  A summary of the remaining 99 samples is shown in Table 3-1.

       The Mined/Residential EIS Class consisted of only two samples.  Due to insufficient
sample size for adequate statistical analysis, this class was eliminated.
32

 image: 






Table 3-1. Number offish sites and samples in the study area, by EIS class and watershed.
The first numbers in the cells represent the number of sites and the numbers in parentheses
represent the numbers of samples.   
    Watershed      Unmined     Filled      Mined     Filled/Res    Additive     Total
Mud River 3, (4)
Island Creek 1, (1)
Spruce Fork 1, (1)
Clear Fork
Twenty Mile Creek 5, (5)
Twelvepole Creekl 4, (6)
Total 14, (17)
4, (8)
2, (3)
3, (3) 1,(1)
1, (1) 3, (3)
7, (7)

17, (22) 4, (4)
1,(3)
2, (2)
3, (3)
3, (3)


9, (11)
1,(2)
2, (2)
1,(D

7, (16)
12, (24)
23, (45)
9, (17)
7, (8)
9, (9)
7, (7)
19, (28)
16, (30)
67, (99)
 All sites in Twelvepole Creek were sampled by REIC; and were Additive and Unmined only.

          3.1.2.2. Description of Macroinvertebrate Database

       A total of 282 macroinvertebrate samples were collected from 66 sites in six watersheds
(Table 3-2).  The samples from sites in the Mined/Residential EIS class were removed from the
analysis because there were too few sites (i.e., n < 3) to conduct statistical comparisons.

       The U.S. EPA Region 3 collected a duplicate sample from the same site, on the same day,
42 different times, in five of the six sampled watersheds (i.e., no duplicate samples were taken
from the Twelvepole Creek Watershed).  The WVSCI, the total # of families, and the total
number of EPT were highly correlated for  duplicate samples (Table 3-3).  Green et al. (2000)
found similar results with raw metric scores. Because of these correlations and in order to avoid
inflating the sample size, the only U.S. EPA Region 3 duplicate samples used for analyses were
those that were labeled Replicate Number  1.

       One site in Twentymile Creek was  sampled by more than one organization the same
season (i.e., autumn 2000 and winter 2001). To avoid sample size inflation, the means of the
sample values were used for each season, thereby reducing the total number of samples.  The
means were used instead of the values from one of the samples because the samples were
collected between three and five weeks apart.  The U.S. EPA and two other organizations
sampled the same site in the autumn 1999 and the winter 2000. In this case, the U.S. EPA data
were used because these data did not require making a correction for sub-sampling.

       The samples taken from the Twelvepole Creek Watershed (four Unmined EIS class sites)
were made up of a mix of D-frame kick net and Surber sampler data that were inseparable by
sampler type. Therefore, these data could not be standardized and were removed from the EIS
analysis for the D-frame kick net data set.

                                                                                    33

 image: 






Table 3-2.  Number of sites and D-frame kick net samples available in each watershed and
in each EIS class.
                                       EIS Class
 Watershed   Unmined
Filled
  Filled/
Residential
Mined
  Mined/
Residential
                                                                               Total
              Site   Samp   Site   Samp   Site   Samp   Site   Samp   Site   Samp   Site   Samp
Mud River
Island Creek
Spruce Fork
Clear Fork
Twenty mile
Creek
Twelvepole
Creek
Total
3 11
7 13
2 8
0 0
7 32
4 12
23 76
3 19
6 21
3 18
1 8
15 71
0 0
28 137
1 6
1 6
2 14
3 12
0 0
0 0
7 38
1 1
1 1
1 5
3 12
0 0
0 0
6 19
1 5
0 0
0 0
1 7
0 0
0 0
2 12
9 42
15 41
8 45
8 39
22 103
4 12
66 282
 Because there were only two Mined/Residential sites, this EIS class was not used in any of the
analyses for this report.
       These data reduction procedures lowered the total number of D-frame kick net samples for
EIS analysis from 282 (Table 3-2) to 215 (Table 3-4). The U.S. EPA Region 3 collected 150
(69.8%) of these samples and the other organizations collected 65 (30.2%) of these samples.
Hence, these other organizations provided 43% more samples for analysis than the U.S. EPA
Region 3 had collected. These samples also provided information from 23 additional sites in the
Unmined, Filled, Filled/Residential, and Mined EIS classes.  However, these additional samples
were not distributed evenly across watersheds and EIS classes. Only the U.S. EPA Region 3
collected data from the Mud River, Spruce Fork, and Clear Fork Watersheds and the majority
(85%) of the samples collected by the private organizations were collected from the Twentymile
Creek Watershed. As a result, the additional data provided by the private organizations were
skewed to conditions in the Twentymile Creek Watershed, especially for sites in the Filled EIS
class. Furthermore, 100% of the data collected by the private organizations  during autumn 2000
and winter 2001 were collected from the Twentymile Creek Watershed. Therefore, comparisons
made using data that were collected during these two seasons do not represent conditions across
the entire study area, and have less than half the number of samples that were collected during the
other seasons.
34

 image: 






Table 3-3. Correlation and significance values for the duplicate samples collected by the
U.S. EPA Region 3 with the WVSCI and standardized WVSCI metrics.    
                      Metric
                                   R
                                     p-value
 Total Number of Families Rarefied to 100 individuals

 Total Number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera
 (EPT) Families Rarefied to 100 individuals

 WVSCI Rarefied to 100 individuals
                                  0.863

                                  0.897

                                  0.945
                                      O.001

                                      O.001

                                      O.001
Table 3-4. Number of sites and D-frame kick net samples used for comparing EIS classes
after the data set had been reduced.
                                            EIS Class
 Watershed
Unmined
Filled
  Filled/
Residential
                                                                                 Total
Mined
                        Site    Samp   Site   Samp    Site   Samp   Site    Samp   Site    Samp
Mud River

Island Creek

Spruce Fork

Clear Fork

Twenty-mile
Creek
Total

U.S.
EPA
Private
U.S.
EPA
Private
U.S.
EPA
Private
U.S.
EPA
Private
U.S.
EPA
Private
U.S.
EPA
Private
3 9
0 0
3 7
4 6
2 7
0 0
0 0
0 0
2 9
6 18
10 32
10 24
3 15
0 0
4 15
2 3
3 13
0 0
1 5
0 0
5 25
10 37
16 73
12 40
1 5
0 0
1 5
0 0
2 10
0 0
3 10
0 0
0 0
0 0
7 30
0 0
1 1
0 0
0 0
1 1
1 5
0 0
3 9
0 0
0 0
0 0
6 15
1 1
8 30
0 0
8 27
7 10
8 35
0 0
7 24
0 0
7 34
16 55
38 150
23 65
                                                                                        35

 image: 






    3.2. Data Quality Assurance/Quality Control

       The biological, water chemistry, and habitat data were received in a variety of formats.
Data were exported from their original formats into the Ecological Data Application System
(EDAS), a customized relational database application (Tetra Tech, Inc., 1999).  The EDAS
allows data to be aggregated and analyzed by customizing the pre-designed queries to calculate a
variety of biological metrics and indices.

       Throughout the process of exporting data, the original  data sources were consulted for
any questions or discrepancies that arose.  First, the original electronic data files were consulted
and proofread to ensure that the data had been migrated correctly from the original format into
the EDAS database program. If the conflict could not be resolved in this manner, hard copies of
data reports were consulted, or, as necessary, the mining companies and/or the organizations who
had originally provided the data were consulted.  As data were migrated, Quality
Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) queries were used to check for import errors. If any
mistakes were discovered as a result of one of these QA/QC queries, the entire batch was
deleted, re-imported, and re-checked. After all the data from a given source had been migrated, a
query was created which duplicated the original presentation of the data. This query was used to
check for data manipulation errors.  Ten percent of the original samples were checked at random.
If the data failed this QC check, they were entirely deleted, re-imported, and subjected to the
same QC routine until they were 100% correct.

       The EDAS contained separate Master Taxa tables for fish and benthic
macroinvertebrates. Both Master Taxa tables contained a unique record for each taxonomic
name, along with its associated ecological characteristics (i.e., preferred habitat, tolerance to
pollution).  To ensure consistency, Master Taxa lists were generated from all of the imported
MTM/VF data.  Taxonomic names were checked against expert sources, such as Merritt and
Cummins (1996), Robins et al.  (1991) and the online taxonomic database, Integrated  Taxonomic
Information System (ITIS, www.itis.usda.gov).  Discrepancies and variations in spellings of
taxonomic names were identified and corrected in all associated samples.  Any obsolete
scientific names were updated to the current naming convention to ensure consistency among all
the data.  Each taxon's associated ecological characteristics were also verified to assure QC for
biological metrics generated from that ecological information. Different organizations provided
data at different levels of taxonomic resolution.  Because the WVSCI utilizes benthic
information at the Family level, the benthic macroinvertebrate Master Taxa table was used to
collapse all of the data to the Family level for consistency in analysis.

       Minimum Detection Limits (MDLs) represent the smallest amount of an analyte that can
be detected by a given chemical analysis method. While some methods are very sensitive and,
therefore, can detect very small quantities of a particular analyte, other methods are less sensitive
and have higher MDLs.  When an analytical laboratory is unable to detect an analyte, the value is
reported as "Below Detection", and the MDL is given.  For the purpose of statistical analysis, the
"Below Detection" values were converted to 1A of the methods' MDLs.
36

 image: 






   3.3. Summary of Analyses

       The fish database and the macroinvertebrate database were analyzed separately to: 1)
determine if the biological condition of streams in areas with MTM/VF operations is degraded
relative to the condition of streams in unmined areas and 2) determine if there are additive
biological impacts to streams where multiple valley fills are located.  The statistical approach to
evaluate these two objectives was the same for fish and macroinvertebrates. To address the first
objective, EIS classes (Filled, Filled/Residence, Mined, and Unmined) were compared using
one-way  analysis of variance (ANOVA). Assumptions for normality and equal variance were
assessed using the Shapiro-Wilk Test for normality and Brown and Forsythe's Test for
homogeneity of variance.  If necessary, transformations were applied to the data to achieve
normality and/or stabilize the variance. Significant differences (p < 0.05) among EIS classes
were followed by the Least Square (LS) Means procedure using Dunnett's adjustment for
multiple comparisons to test whether the Filled, Filled/Residence, and Mined EIS classes were
significantly different (p < 0.01) from the Unmined EIS class.  Additive sites from two
watersheds were analyzed to evaluate the second objective.  Trends in biological condition along
the mainstem of Twentymile Creek and  Twelvepole Creek were examined using Pearson
correlations and regression analysis. Pearson correlations were also used to investigate
correlations between biological endpoints and water chemistry parameters. Box plots were
generated to display the data across EIS  classes and scatter plots were created to show
relationships between biological endpoints and chemistry parameters.
       3.3.1. Summary of Fish Analysis

Endpoints for the fish analysis were the site averages for the Mid-Atlantic IBI and the site
averages for the nine individual metrics that comprise the IBI (Table 1-2). Site averages were
used in the analysis since the number of samples taken at a site was inconsistent across sites.
Some study sites had been sampled only once, and there were also sites in the database that had
been sampled on two or three separate occasions. Mean IBI and component metric values were
calculated for all sites sampled multiple times. The mean values were used in all subsequent
analyses. Figure 3-1  shows that there was no consistent difference between seasons or years,
although there was scatter among observations at some sites. Log-transformed site (geometric)
mean chemical concentrations were used  as the endpoints for the chemistry analysis.
                                                                                      37

 image: 






             MTM sites
                                                  MTM sites
   40  45  50   55  60  65  70  75

             Spring IBI
                               * Filed/Res
                             35  A Additwe
40  45  50  55  60  65  70  75

         Spring IBI, Year 1
                            * Filed/Res
                          35 A Additwe
Figure 3-1.  Scatter plots showing IBI scores of sites sampled multiple times. The left plot
shows autumn samples versus spring samples and the right plot shows spring Year 2
samples versus spring Year 1 samples.
       3.3.2. Summary of Macroinvertebrate Analysis

Endpoints for the macroinvertebrate analysis were the WV SCI and its component metrics (Total
taxa richness, Ephemeroptera-Plecoptera-Trichoptera [EPT] taxa richness, Hilsenhoff Biotic
Index [HBI], % dominant 2 taxa, % EPT abundance, and % Chironomidae abundance).
Richness metrics and the WV SCI were rarefacted to 100 organisms to adjust for sampling effort.
Comparisons among EIS classes were made for each season (Spring 1999 [April to June],
Autumn 1999 [October to December], Winter 2000 [January to March], Spring 2000, Autumn
2000, and Winter 2001). Data for Summer 1999 (July to September) were not compared because
of a lack of samples (n= 2) for the Unmined EIS class (i.e., the relative control). Furthermore, in
some seasons there were insufficient samples (n < 3) for the Mined and Filled/Residence classes.
The WVSCI scores were correlated against key water quality parameters using mean values for
each site.  Only water chemistry data that were  collected at or close to the time of benthos
sample collection were used in this analysis.

       Habitat data was not evaluated due to the fact that it was not collected consistently and in
many cases was collected only once at a site.
38

 image: 






                                     4. RESULTS

   4.1. Fish Results

       4.1.1. IBI Calculation and Calibration

       Generally, larger watersheds tend to be more diverse than smaller watersheds (i.e., Kan-
el al. 1986, Yoder and Rankin 1995). This was found to be true in the MTM/VF study where the
smallest headwater streams often had either no fish present or only one or two species present
and the large streams had  15 to 27 fish species present (Figure 4-1).  To ensure that differences
among fish communities were due to differences in stream health and not from the natural effect
of watershed size, the three richness metrics (i.e., Native Intolerant Taxa, Native Cyprinidae
Taxa and Native Benthic Invertivores) from the Mid-Atlantic Highlands IBI (Section 1.5) were
standardized to a 100-km2 watershed.  If the calibration was correct, then there should have been
no residual relationship between catchment area and IBI scores. The resultant IBI scores were
plotted against catchment area (Figure 4-2) which showed that there was no relationship.

       The Mid-Atlantic IBI was not calculated if the catchment area was less than 2.0 km2.  If
fewer than ten fish were captured in a sample, then the IBI was set to zero (McCormick et al.
2001). This occurred in six samples. All six of these samples were in relatively small
catchments (i.e., 2.0 to 5.0 km2), where small samples are likely (Figure 4-2).  Because small
samples may be due to natural factors, these samples were excluded from subsequent analysis..

       4.1.2. IBI Scores in EIS Classes

       The distributions of IBI scores in each of the EIS classes are shown in Figure 4-3.
Distributions of the nine component metrics of the IBI are shown in Appendix B. For
comparison, the regional reference sites sampled by the PSU in Big Ugly Creek were also
plotted. Figure 4-3 shows that the Filled and Mined classes have lower overall IBI scores than
the other EIS classes. The Filled/Residential class had higher IBI scores than any other class.
The Filled/Residential class and the Unmined class had median scores that were similar to the
regional reference sites. Figure 4-3 shows that more than 50% of the Filled and Mined sites
scored "poor" according to the ratings developed by McCormick et al. (2001). Unmined and
regional reference sites were primarily in the "fair" range and Filled/Residential  sites were
mostly in the "good" ranges.
                                                                                     39

 image: 






                              MTM fish samples
              30
              25
              20
              15
              10



i •


     ;  



! LL
     j   0  

i L
: • •
; n
; D
; • o
: n •• • • •
i at d • • A
i • •• •• o
;
n


n
n
a
     »   fj     
a*
• • a
• D D 1
• o
     D   con>-
urn •
» • o • • o
o • o
o a o
* • • * •
• A
•



n
n
--n     



D»  
D




D









                                         10
                                                         100
                                                                •  PSU
                                                                a  Pen
                                                                o  Fola
                                                                A  Mingo
                            Catchment area, km
Figure 4-1.  Number offish species captured versus stream catchment area. Symbols
identify sampling organizations: PSU=Penn State; Pen = Pen Coal (REIC); Fola = Fola
Coal (Potesta); Mingo = Mingo-Logan Coal (BMI).
                             MTM fish samples
              100
               80
               60
               40
               20
                                                  v«^»
                                                   •  o o
                                                ..O-
                        i.!
                                                            D
                                                                • PSU
                                                                D Pen
                                                                O Fola
                                                                A Mingo
                                     10
100
                            Catchment Area, km
Figure 4-2.  Calculated Fish IBI and watershed catchment area, all MTM fish samples
from sites with catchment > 2km2. Symbols identify sampling organizations:  PSU=Penn
State; Pen = Pen Coal (REIC); Fola = Fola Coal (Potesta); Mingo = Mingo-Logan Coal
(BMI).
40

 image: 






                    MTM Site Means
90
80
in
o
_«
5 60
TJ
I
50
«


     ; T : o :
_l_ u
o : ' :
-    ••- .^...:...T..-.:.
-L
~    ;       1  
o : J_
5 ; 14 ; 17 •'
Reference Unmined Filled
T
- - - -
•

J_

" • "    ~
4 ; 9
Mined Filled/Res
                                                    Excellent
                                                    Good
                                                    Fair
                                                    Poor

                                                    —I— Non-Outlier Max
                                                        Non-Outlier Min
                                                    CZl 75%
                                                        25%
                                                     •  Median
                                                     O  Outliers
                       EIS Class
Figure 4-3. A Box-and-Whisker plot of the mean IBI scores from sampling sites in five EIS
classes. Catchments less than 2 km2 and samples with less than ten fish were excluded.
Numbers below boxes indicate sample size. Reference sites were the five regional reference
sites in Big Ugly Creek, outside of study area. All other sites were in the MTM study area.
Assessment categories (McCormick et al.2001) are shown on right side.
       A one-way ANOVA was used to test for differences among EIS classes and the LS
Means procedure with Dunnett's adjustment was used to compare each class to the Unmined
class. The ANOVA showed that differences among the EIS classes were statistically significant
(Table 4-1) and the LS Means test showed that the IBI scores from the Filled sites were
significantly lower than the IBI scores from the Unmined sites (Table 4-2). The Filled/
Residential class had higher IBI scores than the Unmined sites (Figure 4-3). The IBI scores from
Mined sites were lower than the IBI scores from Unmined sites.  However, the difference was
only marginally significant. This is most likely due to the small sample of Mined sites (n=4).
Diagnostics on the IBI analysis indicated that variance was homogeneous and residuals of the
model were normally distributed (Figure 4-4 and Appendix B).

       The individual metrics that comprise the IBI are not uniform in their response to stressors
(McCormick et al. 2001).  While some metrics may respond to habitat degradation, other metrics
may respond to organic pollution or toxic chemical contamination. Of the nine metrics in the
IBI, two (i.e., the number of cyprinid species and the number of benthic invertivore species)
were significantly different among the EIS  classes.  (Appendix B). On average, Filled sites were
missing one species of each of these two groups compared to Unmined sites.  The third taxa
richness metric, Number of Intolerant Species, was not different between Filled and Unmined
sites (Appendix B).  One additional metric, Percent Tolerant Individuals, showed increased
                                                                                    41

 image: 






degradation in Filled and Mined sites compared to Unmined sites, on average, but the difference
was not statistically significant (Appendix B). Four metrics, Percent Cottidae, Percent Gravel
Spawners, Percent Alien Fish and Percent Large Omnivores, were dominated by zero values
(Appendix B). Because of the zero values and the resultant non-normal distribution, parametric
hypothesis tests would be problematic.
       It was concluded from this analysis that the primary causes of reduced IBI values in
Filled sites were reductions in the number of minnow species and the number of benthic
invertivore species.  These two groups offish are dominant in healthy Appalachian streams.
Secondary causes of the reduction of IBI scores in Filled sites are decreased numbers of
intolerant taxa, and increased percentages offish tolerant to pollution. Although Filled sites had
IBI scores that were significantly lower than Unmined sites (Table 4-3), several Filled and
Mined sites had relatively high IBI scores, similar to regional reference and Unmined sites. In
addition, the Filled/Residential sites had higher overall IBI scores. Field crews had observed that
there were very few or no residences in the small watersheds of the headwater stream areas. This
suggests that the sites where fills and residences were co-located occurred most frequently in
larger watersheds and that watershed size may buffer the effects of fills and mines. This
possibility was examined and it was found that Filled, Mined, and Filled/Residential sites in
watersheds with areas greater than 10 km2 had fair to good IBI scores.  However, Filled and
Mined sites in watersheds with areas less than 10 km2 often had poor IBI  scores (Figure 4-5 A).
Of the 14 sites in watersheds with areas greater than  10 km2, four were rated fair and ten were
rated good or better (Figure 4-5 A).  Of the 17 sites in watersheds with areas less than 10 km2,
only three rated fair and 14  rated poor (Figure 4-5).   In contrast, the control and reference sites
showed no overall association with catchment area (Figure 4-5B). The smallest sites (i.e.,
watershed areas < 3.0 km2)  were highly variable, with three of the five smallest sites scoring
poor.
42

 image: 






      2

      1

      0

     -1

     -2
       30       40       50       60       70
                      IBI Observed Value
80
90
Figure 4-4. Normal probability plot of IBI scores from EIS classes.
Table 4-1. The ANOVA for IBI scores among EIS classes (Unmined, Filled, Mined, and
Filled/Residential).
Source Degrees of
Freedom
Model 3
Error 40
Corrected Total 43
R-Square
0.334
Sum of Mean Square F Value Pr > F
Squares
2335.56 778.52 6.70 0.0009
4651.31 116.28
6986.