Problem Background: The only uranium mining in Washington State was by Newmont Mining who mined on the Spokane Indian Reservation (Sherwood Uranium Mine and the Midnite Uranium Mine). Among Newmont Mining’s many holdings, its majority interest in the Dawn Mining Company, which until 1981 operated the Midnite Mine on the Spokane Indian Reservation. The open-pit uranium mine is the source of radiation and heavy metal contamination of Blue Creek, which flows into the Spokane River arm of Lake Roosevelt.
“Zone of White Death”: Ecological stresses from metal oxide deposition, pH, and Zinc are common downstream of mine sites. Aluminum oxide can cover ecosystems with a white coating, which has varying impacts at different trophic levels.
Design a study that addresses the following concerns:
What biological indices (metrics) would you use to determine the impact of contaminants on i.) biodiversity? ) process rates?
Are there any physical and/or chemical parameters that need to be determined? If so, which ones?
Based on your answers above, what is the order of tasks that should be performed during the study?
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