||MSE Technology Applications, Inc., Butte, MT.; National Risk Management Research Lab., Cincinnati, OH.; Department of Energy, Cincinnati, OH.
This report summarizes the results of Mine Waste Technology Program (MWTP) Activity III, Project 30, Acid/Heavy Metal Tolerant Plants, implemented and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and jointly administered by EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This project addressed EPAs technical issue of Mobile Toxic Constituents Water and Acid Generation. The objective of Project 30 was to select populations (i.e., ecotypes) from native, indigenous plant species that demonstrate superior growth characteristics and sustainability on acidic, heavy metals-contaminated soils occurring at varying elevations in western Montana. The native vegetative cover was required to meet the following criteria: (1) reduce potential risks to human and wildlife receptors following exposure to heavy metals via the ingestion (plant/soil/surface water) and inhalation (fugitive dust) routes for these contaminants; and (2) accelerate creation of improved wildlife habitat and aesthetic conditions on these historically degraded lands. The three project specific goals were to: (1) release seed of native species indigenous to western Montana that are valuable for the restoration/reclamation of hardrock mines, mill tailings, and smelter affected sites; (2) field test potential releases (of these species) at the Anaconda Smelter Superfund Site to verify adaptation to acidic/metals-rich soils and interspecies compatibility; and (3) provide technology transfer by the development of educational materials for the scientific community, seed producers, and reclamation specialists regarding new plant materials and establishment techniques.