Tell Obama to protect North Carolina fish from coal ash pollution!

  • by: SUE LEE
  • target: President Obama and the EPA

Please sign and share this petition to demand that President Obama protect the North Carolina fish from coal ash pollution.

Sutton Lake in North Carolina has long served as a cooling lake for a Duke Energy coal-fired power plant, and though Due retired the plant’s coal-burning units last month, a group of environmental organizations is pushing the company to clean up coal ash from the lake. In September, the Southern Environmental Law Center and three other environmental groups filed a suit against Duke Energy for its failure to clean up coal ash from Sutton Lake.

Coal Ash residue is still affecting the life and well-being of the fish within the waters of the North Carolina lakes.  The coal ash affects the life and death of hundreds to thousands of fish, causing deformities such as curved spines, misshaped or missing fins and defects in their mouths and jaws.  Studies have shown that these defects in the lives of the fish are consistent with elevated levels of selenium, a toxic element found in coal ash.

Dennis Lemly, a research professor at Wake Forest University who conducted the study, said that concentrations of selenium in Sutton Lake were “five to ten times the toxic threshold for the beginnings of deformities.” “Selenium is well-known to cause deformities and abnormalities in young fish,” he said. “The deformities can be the bony structure of the fish, the mouth, skull, spine, tail and the fins.” Since these deformities are killing fish, it is estimated that more than 900,000 fish are killed annually due to the exposure of coal ash.

Duke Energy is trying to deny their company and the levels of coal ash is responsible for the death of hundreds to thousands of fish annually saying its own sampling of the lake has unearthed no signs of unhealthy side effects. This isn’t the first time selenium from coal ash has been tied to fish kills. In the 1970s, coal waste from a Duke Energy holding pond seeped into Belews Lake in North Carolina. Within four years, the selenium has killed all but one species of native fish in the lake. And in 2008, a massive coal ash sludge spill in Tennessee made its way into tributaries of the Tennessee River and resulted in a massive number of fish killed. 

Prior to the election of Obama, the EPA was looking into a better resolution in addressing coal ash but nothing has been done since.  The EPA now needs to take action to stop the deformities and demise of so many fish each year.  Please sign and share this petition to demand that President Obama protect the North Carolina fish from coal ash pollution.


The EPA and President Obama – Please do something immediately to protect the fish life in the waters in North Carolina.  The sea life is in danger of deformities, death and extinction because of the toxic effects caused by the coal ash.  Protect the lakes of the area from these toxins through a better clean up and monitoring system that will protect the life of all fish and sea life each year

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