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Ten-Year Monitored Natural Recovery of Lead-Contaminated Mine Tailing in Klity Creek, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand

, : Ten-Year Monitored Natural Recovery of Lead-Contaminated Mine Tailing in Klity Creek, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand. Environmental Health Perspectives 124(10): 1511-1520

Klity Creek has become Thailand's first official remediation ordered by the court in 2013, 15 years after the spill of lead (Pb)-contaminated mine tailing into the creek. The Pollution Control Department (PCD) decided to restore the creek through monitored natural recovery (MNR) since 2006 but has not been successful. Interestingly, the most recent remediation plan in 2015 will still apply MNR to five out of the seven portions of the creek, despite no scientific feasibility evaluation of using MNR to restore the creek. This study qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated the feasibility of using MNR to clean up the creek in order to protect the Klity children from excess Pb exposure. We analyzed the physical and chemical transformation of Pb contaminated sediment in the creek and developed a remedial action goal and cleanup level using the Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic model (IEUBK). We empirically determined the natural recovery (NR) potentials and rates using 10 years of data monitoring the water and sediment samples from eight monitoring stations (KC1 to KC8). Klity Creek has NR potential for water except at KC2, which is closest to the spill and the other improperly managed Pb sources. However, the creek has no NR potential for sediment except at the KC8 location (NR rate = 11.1 ± 3.0 × 10-3 month-1) farthest from the spill. The MNR method is not suitable to use as the sole remedial approach for Klity Creek (KC2 to KC7). Although MNR is applicable at KC8, it may require up to 377 ± 76 years to restore the sediment to the background Pb concentration. Phenrat T, Otwong A, Chantharit A, Lowry GV. 2016. Ten-year monitored natural recovery of lead-contaminated mine tailing in Klity Creek, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand. Environ Health Perspect 124:1511-1520;


PMID: 27157823

DOI: 10.1289/EHP215

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