West Virginia pollution kills fish, mussels in tributary of the Mon
Two Pennsylvania agencies are monitoring a Monongahela tributary after pollution from West Virginia killed at least 16 species of freshwater mussels and at least 18 species of fish earlier this month.
More than 30 miles of Dunkard Creek have been impacted by a discharge of total dissolved solids — which refers to all elements in water at their molecular level and can include carbonates, chlorides, sulfates, nitrates, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium — originating from West Virginia.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish and Boat Commission are working with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to address the fish kill, first detected on Sept. 1 and reported to the DEP on Sept. 8.
The main stem of Dunkard Creek, in Pennsylvania, is designated a warm water fishery. It meanders for 38 miles along the southwest border of Pennsylvania before its confluence with the Monongahela River downstream of Point Marion in Fayette County.