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NC DENR staff Patrick Watters interacting with visitors to the coal tar exhibit at MPSC
NC DENR staff Patrick Watters interacting with visitors to the coal tar exhibit at MPSC

The UNC SRP Research Translation Core collaborated with the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to create a 900 square foot exhibit featuring the history and science of coal tar remediation at manufactured gas plants in North Carolina.

UNC SRP investigators, as well as experts from the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and industry, provided consultation and insight for the development of the interactive exhibit.

The exhibit featured current and former SRP research that investigates the chemical, physical, and biological remediation of PAHs found in coal tar, along with several hands-on interactive modules that allowed museum visitors to better understand what tar is, how it travels underground, ways it can impact soil and groundwater, and possible impacts to human health.

The exhibit was open through April 2013 through February 2014. Over 10,000 people visited, and an evaluation of the exhibit conducted by MPSC showed that 100% of participants learned about PAHs, coal tar, bioremediation and contaminated sites in NC.