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General Overview

Paducah Biological monitoring (BMP) of Little Bayou and Big Bayou creeks, which border the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP), was conducted from 1987 through 1999. Initially, the monitoring was performed under a subcontract with the University of Kentucky, but from 1990 to 1999, the monitoring was conducted by Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) staff. With the exception of toxicity testing, a comprehensive BMP was not required in either the Agreed Order or the Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) permit; however, biological monitoring of the Department of Energy (DOE) facilities at PGDP was conducted to satisfy requirements of DOE Order 5400.1. 

The objectives of the PGDP BMP were to (1) demonstrate that the effluent limitations established for PGDP protect and maintain the use of Little Bayou and Big Bayou creeks for growth and propagation of fish and other aquatic life, (2) characterize potential environmental impacts, and (3) document the effects of pollution abatement facilities on the animals that live in the stream.

The PGDP is located near Paducah, Kentucky in the western part of the Ohio River basin. The plant is located on a local drainage divide between Big Bayou Creek and Little Bayou Creek. Plant discharges enter Little Bayou Creek near its headwaters. The majority of plant outfalls into Big Bayou Creek are located approximately 10 kilometers from the stream's mouth (of the stream's 14.5 km total length). The watershed area for Big Bayou Creek and Little Bayou Creek are about 4819 and 2428 ha respectively. The major tasks of the biomonitoring program reflected different but complementary approaches to evaluating the effects of the effluent discharges on the aquatic integrity of the receiving streams. The major task-specific results for the PGDP BMAP in 1997/1998, and/or previous years as appropriate, follow.

Note: BMP site designations refer to the kilometer distance upstream of the stream's mouth (e.g., LUK 4.3 is located nearer the mouth of Little Bayou Creek, LUK 9.0 is located near the stream's headwaters).

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Last Modified: April 17, 2001