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316(b) Compliance – Alternatives to Cooling Towers

Innovative cost-effective solutions to help utilities comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) regulations under 316(b)-legislation designed to minimize environmental impacts on fish and other marine organisms using Best Technology Available.

Cost-Effective Solutions

In terms of compliance with the new EPA legislation, emphasis is placed on the development of integrated technologies used as alternatives to cooling tower options.

Kinectrics has extensive experience in the successful implementation of BTA environmental assessments at numerous power plants in both the U.S. and Canada.  Kinectrics assists power plants located on river and lake systems in the United States by providing useful analyses and subsequent recommendations which help individual utilities meet reduction guidelines for impingement and entrainment as required under 316(b).

Established Expertise

For over 20 years, Kinectrics has actively designed, developed and evaluated various fish diversion systems. Our environmental specialists present clients with a practical approach to determine BTA, based on proven scientific and environmental expertise.

Kinectrics’ most recent assignments include projects for major utilities in:

  • Ontario - Designed and installed an innovative acoustic system to prevent gizzard shad entry into the station during the winter period. This Plant has previously experienced operational issues. Today, and over the past 5 years, the system operates successfully.
  • Florida - Designed and installed an innovative system to prevent crevalle jack and other species from entering the discharge channel at the Smith Plant. Development of this system to prevent fish entry involved laboratory studies as well as pilot field investigations of an earlier prototype system.
  • Ohio -  Designing an innovative system to prevent impingement and entrainment losses at a large Plant in a river location. The proposed system will likely include an integrated approach consisting of both behavioural and physical screening systems.

Other examples of previously completed 316(b) studies:

  • Michigan – I&E sampling at multiple sites on the Detroit River, St. Clair River, Lake Huron, as well as a BTA assessment for a large utility on Lake Erie.
  • Alabama – BTA assessment review and recommendation concerning specific technologies for application at six river sites within the state.
  • Ohio - I&E sampling at six sites on Lake Erie and the Ohio River.  BTA assessment review and recommendations for reducing fish entrainment and fish impingement at a large utility on the Ohio River.
  • Ohio/Indiana - BTA assessment projects at 3 fossil plants on the Ohio River and 3 fossil plants on the Wabash and other river systems.
  • Wisconsin - BTA assessment and evaluation of a unique intake design to minimize fish entry and bio-fouling (especially by zebra mussels) for a large utility on Lake Michigan.
  • Wyoming – I&E Sampling and BTA assessment review and recommendations to reduce fish entrainment and fish impingement at a large utility on the Platte River.
  • New Jersey - Subcontractor for the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to review and assess consultant’s material and make cost-effective recommendations to reduce fish impingement at a generating station (GS).
  • Connecticut - Subcontractor for the state DEP to review and assess consultant’s material and make cost-effective recommendations to reduce GS fish entrainment.
  • Ontario - BTA assessment has been completed at a large nuclear plant on Lake Ontario. Lab studies are also being carried out on fish behavioral responses to selected technologies based on report recommendations.
  • Alberta - Prototype evaluation – Kinectrics integrated and installed a unique cost-effective combination of hybrid behavioral technologies at a fossil plant for target species Northern Pike, White Sucker and Lake Whitefish.

Innovative Technology

Kinectrics is active in the ongoing investigation of new technologies. For example, we are presently developing an integrated system which consists of both behavioral and physical screening systems as an alternative to cooling towers. Other systems which include innovative methods to prevent fish entry have recently been installed in Ontario, Canada and Florida, U.S.A. 

Complete Capabilities

Kinectrics’ environmental services for international utilities cover the full scope of BTA assessments. We have the advanced capability to perform characterization of fish entrainment and fish impingement, prototype evaluations and installations of recommended technologies to meet the specific needs of individual facilities. Kinectrics also has the ability, using different technological approaches, to conduct lab tests on both marine and freshwater fish.

Comprehensive Services

Project objectives typically include:

  • Environmental Impact Assessments
  • Cost-effective BTA options for reducing fish entrainment and fish impingement
  • Innovative systems and control strategies
  • Station modifications (e.g. flow reductions)
  • Advanced fish diversion technology
  • Prototype design and evaluation (lab/field)
  • Recommendations and mitigation techniques
  • Technology integration
  • Establishing system criteria and biological effectiveness for target species
  • Detailed cost and technical evaluations for proposed BTA (cost-benefit analysis)
  • Recommendations for baseline studies, and BTA pilot projects
  • Timelines for baseline and pilot project assessments
  • Development of methodologies to conduct baseline entrainment and impingement studies, and sluiceway mortality assessments
  • Installation and quality project management
  • Objective BTA analysis and comparison