During the Kentucky River Watershed Watch’s 2006 fall metals sampling, a few sites on Cowan Creek yielded high levels of chromium. Headwaters, Inc. (then still a volunteer project by the name of Head of Three Rivers) was interested in seeing if the chromium existed in trivalent or hexavalent states. Hexavalent chromium is chromium in the +6 oxidation state, and is a recognized human carcinogen. KRWW paid for extra sampling to be conducted on Cowan but luckily nothing else was found.
.pdf’s of these studies are now available to be viewed and downloaded from the Headwaters website.