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E-M:/ Aquatic Pollutants Follow Sprawl



For those of you fighting urban sprawl in Michigan and Wisconsin, another impact to consider:

"Urban Sprawl Leaves Its PAH Signature"

Peter C. Van Metre,* Barbara J. Mahler, and Edward T. Furlong

Environ. Sci. Technol., 34 (19), 4064 -4070, 2000
http://pubs.acs.org/CHECKCCIP-1009512942/isubscribe/journals/esthag/jtext.cgi?esthag/34/i19/html/es991007n
 
Snip
 
"The increasing vehicle traffic associated with urban sprawl in the United States is frequently linked to degradation of air quality, but its effect on aquatic sediment is less well-recognized. This study evaluates trends in PAHs, a group of contaminants with multiple urban sources, in sediment cores from 10 reservoirs and lakes in six U.S. metropolitan areas. The watersheds chosen represent a range in degree and age of urbanization. Concentrations of PAHs in all 10 reservoirs and lakes increased during the past 20-40 years. PAH contamination of the most recently deposited sediment at all sites exceeded sediment-quality guidelines established by Environment Canada, in some cases by several orders of magnitude.  . . .  The increase in PAH concentrations tracks closely with increases in automobile use, even in watersheds that have not undergone substantial changes in urban land-use levels since the 1970s. "
 
 
Happy New Year,
 
David J. Zaber
Western Lakes Wildlife Center
dzaber@chorus.net