2005 Progress Report: Metal Toxicity Thresholds for Important Reclamation Plant Species of the Rocky Mountains

EPA Grant Number: R829515C012
Subproject: this is subproject number 012 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R829515
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC - Rocky Mountain Regional Hazardous Substance Research Center for Remediation of Mine Waste Sites
Center Director: Shackelford, Charles D.
Title: Metal Toxicity Thresholds for Important Reclamation Plant Species of the Rocky Mountains
Investigators: Paschke, Mark W , Redente, Edward F
Institution: Colorado State University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: October 1, 2003 through September 30, 2006
Project Period Covered by this Report: October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management

Objective:

The overall objective of this research project is to establish soil metal toxicity thresholds for numerous plant species that commonly are used in reclamation activities in the Rocky Mountains. This information currently is not available and, as a result, ecological risk assessments must rely on toxicity thresholds established for agronomic species. These crop plants have very different physiological characteristics and sensitivity levels than native species used in the reclamation of sites contaminated with metals. As a result, risk assessors may classify sites as phytotoxic to native species and call for intensive remediation activities that may not be necessary. The specific objective of this research project is to provide a better estimate of soil metal toxicity thresholds for four metals and a large number of native plant species (and a few commonly used introduced species). These threshold values would be used by those in the reclamation industry (government regulators and private entities) to more accurately assess risks associated with soil metal contamination, and to better match revegetation plant species to site conditions.

Progress Summary:

To date, all of the seven proposed greenhouse experiments have been completed. They are: (1) Mn testing on six grass species; (2) Zn testing on six forb species; (3) As testing on six grass species; (4) As testing on six forb species; (5) Cu testing on six forb species; (6) Mn testing on six forb species; and (7) Mn testing on five shrub species. Results from experiment 1 have been published in Environmental Pollution, results from experiment 2 have been accepted for publication in the journal Water, Air & Soil Pollution (to appear in the December 2005 issue). Results from experiments 6 and 7 will form the M.S. thesis of Paul Swartzinski, who will finish his degree in December 2005.

Future Activities:

Results from experiments 3, 4, and 5 are being prepared for publications. We plan to have all manuscripts completed for publication during 2006. In addition to the proposed experiments, we will conduct additional follow-up experiments in 2006. These additional experiments include an evaluation of mixtures of metals (Zn + Cu + Mn) on a subset of the reclamation species.

Supplemental Keywords:

waste treatment, acid mine drainage, acid mine runoff, contaminant transport, contaminated sediments, contaminated waste sites, extraction of metals, leaching of toxic metals, metal extraction, metal release, metal remediation, mining wastes,, RFA, Industry Sectors, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Waste, TREATMENT/CONTROL, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Waste Treatment, Remediation, Chemicals, Mining - NAIC 21, Hazardous Waste, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Geology, Hazardous, contaminated sediments, risk assessment, plant species, contaminant transport, contaminated waste sites, contaminated sites, acid mine drainage, remediation technologies, metal release, contaminated soil, treatment, environmental engineering, leaching of toxic metals, metals-contaminated soil, metal extraction, phytoremediation, extraction of metals, metal wastes, heavy metals, metals, mining wastes, acid mine runoff

Relevant Websites:

http://www.engr.colostate.edu/hsrc/ Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R829515    HSRC - Rocky Mountain Regional Hazardous Substance Research Center for Remediation of Mine Waste Sites

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R829515C001 Redox Transformations, Complexation and Soil/Sediment Interactions of Inorganic Forms of As and Se in Aquatic Environments: Effects of Natural Organic Matter
    R829515C002 Fate and Transport of Metals and Sediment in Surface Water
    R829515C003 Metal Removal Capabilities of Passive Bioreactor Systems: Effects of Organic Matter and Microbial Population Dynamics
    R829515C004 Evaluating Recovery of Stream Ecosystems from Mining Pollution: Integrating Biochemical, Population, Community and Ecosystem Indicators
    R829515C005 Rocky Mountain Regional Hazardous Substance Research Center Training and Technology Transfer Program
    R829515C006 Technical Outreach Services for Communities and Technical Assistance to Brownfields
    R829515C007 Evaluation of Hydrologic Models for Alternative Covers at Mine Waste Sites
    R829515C008 Microbial Reduction of Uranium in Mine Leachate by Fermentative and Iron-Reducing Bacteria
    R829515C009 Development and Characterization of Microbial Inocula for High-Performance Passive Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage
    R829515C010 Reactive Transport Modeling of Metal Removal From Anaerobic Biozones
    R829515C011 Assessment of Electrokinetic Injection of Amendments for Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage
    R829515C012 Metal Toxicity Thresholds for Important Reclamation Plant Species of the Rocky Mountains
    R829515C013 An Improved Method for Establishing Water Quality Criteria for Mining Impacted Streams