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Friday, April 14, 2017

Geogenic organic contaminants in the low-rank coal-bearing Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer of East Texas, USA

Outside Publication: Hydrogeology Journal
The organic composition of groundwater along the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer in East Texas (USA), sampled from rural wells in May and September 2015, was examined as part of a larger study of the potential health and environmental effects of organic compounds derived from low-rank coals...

Monday, May 09, 2016

Mercury in U.S. Coal—Priorities for New U.S. Geological Survey Studies

USGS Publication: Open-File Report 2016-1033
In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced emissions standards, known as Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), for a range of toxic constituents from coal-fired utility power stations and other combustion sources. This report presents the findings of an expert panel convened in September 2014 to assess the role of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in new coal investigations that would be useful to stakeholders under MATS...

Monday, February 29, 2016

Mercury and trace element distribution in density separates of a South African Highveld (#4) coal: Implications for mercury reduction and preparation of export coal (2016)

Outside Publication: International Journal of Coal Geology

Eight density separates of Permian Highveld (#4) coal were investigated for partitioning of Hg and trace elements. The separates include float fractions obtained in heavy media having densities of 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, and 2.0 g/cm3, and the sink fraction for 2.0 g/cm3...


Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Continuing Medical Mystery of Balkan Endemic Nephropathy

Outside Publication: Journal of Rare Disorders
Balkan Endemic Nephropathy (BEN) is a disease of subtle onset and insidious progression that typically occurs between the 4th and 6th decade in long‐resident individuals in highly specific geographic locations of the Balkan region and affects 1 – 5% of the population. Though it does not follow typical Mendelian genetics, there is a familial pattern of occurrence...

Monday, September 21, 2015

High mercury wet deposition at a “clean air” site in Puerto Rico

Outside Publication: Environmental Science & Technology
Atmospheric mercury deposition measurements are rare in tropical latitudes. Here we report on seven years (April 2005 to April 2012, with gaps) of wet Hg deposition measurements at a tropical wet forest in the Luquillo Mountains, northeastern Puerto Rico, USA...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Water Used for Hydraulic Fracturing Varies Widely Across United States

Press Release & Publication 
The amount of water required to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells varies widely across the country, according to the first national-scale analysis and map of hydraulic fracturing water usage detailed in a new USGS study accepted for publication in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Trace Elements in Coal Ash

USGS Publication: Fact Sheet 2015-3037
Coal ash is a residual waste product primarily produced by coal combustion for electric power generation. Coal ash includes fly ash, bottom ash, and flue-gas desulfurization products (at powerplants equipped with flue-gas desulfurization systems). Fly ash, the most common form of coal ash, is used in a range of products, especially construction materials...


Thursday, January 08, 2015

Atmospheric particulate matter in proximity to mountaintop coal mines: sources and potential environmental and human health impacts

Outside Publication: Environmental Geochemistry and Health
Mountaintop removal mining (MTM) is a widely used approach to surface coal mining in the US Appalachian region whereby large volumes of coal overburden are excavated using explosives, removed, and transferred to nearby drainages below MTM operations. To investigate the air quality impact of MTM, the geochemical characteristics of atmospheric particulate matter (PM) from five surface mining...


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Collaborative studies for mercury characterization in coal and coal combustion products, Republic of South Africa

USGS Publication: Open-File Report 2014-1153
Mercury (Hg) analyses were obtained in USGS laboratories for 42 new samples of feed coal provided by Eskom, representing all 13 coal-fired power stations operated by Eskom in South Africa. This sampling includes results for three older power stations—Camden, Grootvlei, and Komati—returned to service starting in the late 2000s...


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