Selenium Implicated in Fish Deaths at Sutton LakeDecember 5, 2013
Dennis Lemly, Associate Professor of Biology at Wake Forest University, authored a report which implicates elevated levels of selenium, a toxin found in coal ash, in deaths and deformities among Sutton Lake’s fish populations.
Lemly reports to WFAE “concentrations of selenium in Lake Sutton are 5-10 times the toxic threshold for the beginnings of deformities.”
Sutton Lake was originally built to cool a coal power plant owned by Duke Energy Progress. The coal ash found at Sutton Lake is a waste product from this facility. The power plant closed in November. Duke Energy Corporation disputes Lemly’s findings.
The fish of Sutton Lake, located near Wilmington, NC, provide a source of food and income to many in the surrounding community. Lemly estimates that selenium-related deaths among the lake’s fish populations result in a loss of 4.5 million to 7 million dollars each year.
The Southern Environmental Law Center commissioned Lemly’s report.
More information can be found on this important research by following the links below: