(12/23/2009)
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is allowing Consol Energy to resume pumping mine water into Dunkard Creek where golden algae has killed thousands of fish and virtually all aquatic life.

It was one of the worst environmental fish kills in northern West Virginia, wiping out 40 species of fish and salamanders and the entire 14 species of mussels in the 43 miles of Dunkard Creek.

Dunkard Creek is a tributary of the Monongahela River, near Morgantown.

The state EPA said that discharges from Consol's Blacksville No. 2 mine will be allowed through April 30.

Federal investigators and PA officials have said high levels of total dissolved solids helped the algae flourish, leading to the death of aquatic life.

Scott Mandirola with the DEP's Division of Water and Waste Management says golden algae is less likely to bloom and produce toxins in cooler water temperatures.

Now, six West Virginia streams have tested positive for golden algae.

Once the algae invades, it is very difficult to eradicate.


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