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Dr. Peter Petokas, research associate in the Lycoming College Clean Water Institute, was recently interviewed by Tom Pelton, journalist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Bay Daily and WYPR, a regional National Public Radio affiliate in Baltimore, Md.
The interview related to a permit application in Maryland for the deep-mining of coal beneath the Casselman River. Petokas' concern is that mine discharge in the river will alter the water quality, causing potential harm to the Eastern Hellbender salamander – a Maryland endangered species.
In the interview, Petokas said, "Given that the population is already at such a low level, you could eliminate the entire population from the Casselman should a mine open that would affect water quality in the river."
Petokas and students from Lycoming College have been studying the Eastern Hellbender in north-central Pennsylvania for the past seven years, and will be continuing their studies this summer in relation to development of the Marcellus Shale gas industry and potential impacts from global warming.
The article can be read here, and the podcast is available here.
Lycoming College is a national liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. It is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News and World Report. Founded in 1812 in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation.