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Effects of Sediment Containing Coal Ash from the Kingston Ash Release on Embryo-Larval Development in the Fathead Minnow, Pimephales promelas (Rafinesque, 1820)

Greeley, Mark S., Jr., Elmore, Logan R., McCracken, Mary K., Sherrard, Rick M.
Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2014 v.92 no.2 pp. 154-159
Pimephales promelas, abnormal development, arsenic, coal, early development, fish development, fish eggs, hatching, laboratory techniques, larvae, metals, power plants, risk, rivers, sediments, selenium, toxicity, waterways, Tennessee
The largest environmental release of coal ash in US history occurred in December 2008 with the failure of a retention structure at the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Fuel Plant in East Tennessee. A byproduct of coal-burning power plants, coal ash is enriched in metals and metalloids such as selenium and arsenic with known toxicity to fish embryonic and larval life stages. The early development of fish embryos and larvae during contact exposures to river bottom sediments containing up to 78 % coal ash from the Kingston spill was examined in 7-day laboratory tests with the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). No significant effects were observed in hatching success, incidences of developmental abnormalities, or embryo-larval survival. Results suggest that direct exposures to sediment containing residual coal ash from the Kingston ash release may not present a significant risk to fish eggs and larvae in waterways affected by the coal ash spill.