Identification of ecosystem stressors in developing an enhancement plan for the Leading Creek Watershed, Meigs County, Ohio [electronic resource] /
In July of 1993 an underground coal mine owned and operated by Southern Ohio coal company (SOCCO) underwent emergency recovery operations due to flash flooding of the mine from an adjacent abandoned mine. During mine dewatering operations, approximately 132,650 liters per minute of acid mine water was released into the Parker Run tributary draining into Leading Creek. The 24.2-km section of Leading Creek was heavily impacted eradicating most aquatic organisms. An acutely toxic impact resulted from the discharge of high conductivity (6000umhos), low pH (2.5-3.1 pH units), high metal concentrations (iron and iron floc, manganese, copper, nickel, zinc and aluminum, mg/L) and high total suspended solids (TSS). Through the process of a Consent Decree, a proactive plan was developed for monitoring the recovery in Leading Creek and to develop an enhancement plan for the watershed. SOCCO set aside $1.9 million that has grown to $2.5 million to cover the costs of implementing specific enhancement measures in the watershed. The primary goal of the enhancement plan was to describe actions that could reasonably be taken to affect measurable ecological rehabilitation or enhancement of the Leading Creek stream system so it attains the highest Ohio EPA aquatic life use designation possible.