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General Overview

Mitchell Branch Biomonitoring by the BMAP has been conducted at aquatic sites near the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) since 1987. A biomonitoring program is a requirement of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits issued by the Tennessee Department Environment and of Conservation (TDEC, or its predecessors) for the ETTP (formally known as K-25). The ETTP is an industrial complex that was formally associated with a gaseous diffusion process that enriched uranium for the DOE. Discharges from the industrial complex during more than 50 years of operation have resulted in elevated levels of some contaminants in sediment and water downstream of the plant, and/or poor water quality. Plant management is committed to reducing impacts to the environment and multiple remedial actions have been conducted at ETTP. The BMAP at ETTP is funded by Environmental Compliance and is critical in evaluating the effectiveness of these remedial actions, as well as demonstrating that the effluent limitations established for the ETTP by the TDEC protect the classified uses (e.g., the growth and propagation of aquatic life) of the receiving streams.  Mitchell Branch is a small stream located near the western boundary the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation and has a drainage area of 1.78 km2. This impacted stream receives many of the plant storm drains and other inputs and so has been extensively monitored by BMAP. 

Mitchell Branch, the larger Poplar Creek (drainage area 352 km2), and small ponds at the ETTP receive storm drain inputs and these sites have been evaluated for impacts.  Recent remedial action has lined some sections of Mitchell Branch with plastic fabric and concrete block to isolate it from groundwater contamination.

Note: BMAP site designations refer to the kilometer distance upstream of the stream's mouth (e.g., MIK 0.2 is located near the mouth of Mitchell Branch, MIK 1.4 near the stream's headwaters).

Mitchell Branch

EFPC map


Mitchell Branch

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Last Modified: April 17, 2001