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Study claims pollution killing and deforming Sutton Lake fish

A new study claims coal ash from a Duke Energy power plant is killing and deforming fish at a lake near Wilmington. George Olsen has more.

The study claims coal ash pollution from Duke Energy’s Sutton power plant is killing over 900,000 fish in Sutton Lake near Wilmington and deforming thousands more. The study was conducted by Wake Forest University’s Dr. Dennis Lemly, a leading expert on selenium poisoning.  A press release from the Southern Environmental Law Center says even low levels of selenium can trigger mutations and death of several fish species. The study says the value of the lost fish to subsistence and sports fisherman is $1.1 million yearly. The SELC has notified the state Department of Natural Resources and Duke Energy of intent to file a lawsuit asking for a clean-up of coal ash pollution at Sutton Lake. I’m George Olsen.

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.