Sep 14

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Pennsylvania Rivers Painted a Rusty Orange

Why are so many of Pennsylvania’s streams orange? Find out:



Ferric hydroxide coating a small headwater stream in Lycoming County, PA that formerly supported native brook trout (via John Arway).

Thousands of miles of Pennsylvania’s waterways are painted a rusty orange color. The artist? Acid mine drainage.

John Arway of the PA Fish and Boat Commission states “Acid mine drainage is a very insidious pollution problem, and it persists for a very, very long time.”

He says when water and air contact the ores in old mines, the resulting acid contaminates streams.

It’s toxic to fish, so in a state with more than a million anglers, there’s a significant incentive to clean it up.

Remediation works, but it’s expensive, so efforts have been slow.

“We can’t give up and we need to continue to use the science and technology that we have to be able to remediate the problem, so that we can make our streams fishable and swimmable again,” says Arway.

Get Schooled:

Hear More:

Listen to John Arway discuss the extent of the problem in Pennsylvania:

Watch more:

Watch a segment on the treatment of mine drainage (via The Heinz Endowments):

The fine print:




Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/toxic-contamination/pennsylvania-rivers-painted-a-rusty-orange/