Kentucky Ecological Services Field Station
Southeast Region
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Environmental Contaminants

Bald Eagle. Credit: USFWS

Bald Eagle. Credit: USFWS

The mission of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Environmental Contaminants Program is focused on identifying harmful contaminant effects on fish and wildlife and restoring resources degraded by contamination.

Our Nation's majestic symbol, the bald eagle, and the peregrine falcon were at the brink of extinction nearly two decades ago due to the use of what was believed to be a safe product, the pesticide DDT.  This compound, and others such as chlordane and PCB's, were routinely used and disposed of on the land or discharged to streams and lakes.  Although some of these compounds are now banned or not routinely used, many still persist in the environment and have resulted in the current posting of fish consumption advisories in certain stream reaches and impoundments in Kentucky.  In an effort to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future, the Service provides biological analyses of the ecological effects of pesticide use during each compound's registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental contaminant specialists also provide guidance to the National Wildlife Refuges on pesticide use and survey these important lands to determine the presence of contaminants.  Surveys are also performed in a variety of other habitats, including those of endangered and threatened species, which could be impacted by activities such as waste disposal, wastewater discharges, and habitat modification.  We are actively involved with developing response plans for potential oil spills or hazardous substance releases and assist with cleanup, wildlife rehabilitation, and habitat restoration activities at numerous hazardous waste sites throughout the area. Information or questions concerning the Environmental Contaminants Program in Kentucky may be obtained from Mr. Tony Velasco (anthony_velasco@fws.gov).

 

 

Last updated: December 2, 2011