E.W. Brown Generating Station

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Snapshot

E.W. Brown Generating Station has 31 groundwater monitoring wells, 22 of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels based on samples collected between January 31, 2011 and August 29, 2017. Groundwater at this site contains unsafe levels of sulfate, arsenic, boron, lithium, molybdenum, manganese, selenium, cobalt, cadmium, lead, nickel, antimony and thallium.

Site description

Kentucky Utilities Company's E.W. Brown Generating Station is located in Mercer County, Kentucky. The plant sits on the Dix River near Herrington Lake, which was built by the utility company in the 1920s. The plant started operating in the 1950s. It has two ash ponds-- the main pond and the auxiliary pond. As of 2015, the main pond contained about 6 million cubic yards of coal ash covering about 114 acres. The auxiliary pond, constructed in the 2000s, has received all of the ash from the plant since 2008 and is expected to be full by 2019. As of 2015, the plant was constructing a new ash landfill on top of the main pond.

According to the plant's Groundwater Remedial Action plan, groundwater monitoring began at the site in 2011, after the plant started seeking approval to construct the new landfill on top of the main pond. That initial monitoring revealed contamination of springs and drains near the main pond and around the property. Groundwater at the site flows through cracks and channels in bedrock. Because of this, groundwater monitoring at the site is mostly performed at springs, where groundwater exits the bedrock, rather than at monitoring wells.

Fish in Herrington Lake have been found with elevated levels of selenium from the plant's coal ash. Selenium is particularly toxic to fish, and it is very difficult to remove it from aquatic ecosystems.

Monitoring Wells Wells reporting one or more exceedances for at least one pollutant.
22 / 31
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No exceedances
One or more exeedances
No data available
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Well "halo" size corresponds to mean concentration. Please note that some wells may not be visible on the map due to overlapping locations.
Pollutants monitored and above guidelines
Tip: Click on a contaminant to view wells that have recorded exceedances. Click again to remove the filter. antimony arsenic boron cadmium cobalt lead lithium manganese molybdenum nickel selenium sulfate thallium
Pollutants monitored and below guidelines
ammonia barium beryllium chromium copper fluoride mercury nitrate radium silver
Pollutants not monitored
cyanide, gross alpha particle, gross beta particle, hexavalent chromium, nitrite, strontium, tritium, uranium

Facility last updated on Thursday, September 20, 2018 10:08:29 AM EDT