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Coal ash (CA) is a major waste product produced in the United States and contains several water-soluble toxins, including cadmium, selenium, mercury, lead and arsenic. Contaminant-laced waters can enter the environment via runoff, permitted discharge, or accidental spills from storage ponds or landfills. Researchers will assess the presence and concentrations of contaminants in water and sediment samples from aquatic environments surrounding five Virginia CA facilities. The team will study the effects of these contaminants on aquatic invertebrates, including how these contaminants increase in concentration (bioaccumulate) in these animals and contamination impacts on multi-species habitats. Findings will help inform conservation and management of wetland-adjacent CA repositories across the United States and potentially in other coal-producing countries.

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University of Mary Washington
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United States
Tyler Frankel, PhD
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