University scientists said they expect the toxicity levels — particularly of selenium — to rise, especially with the dredging [TVA] recently began [to clean up the Kingston coal ash spill]. The study states additional intake of selenium severely could affect fish reproduction.The Tennessee Aquarium also had scientists involved in this study.
Fish reproductive systems soon likely could be so damaged from the toxic levels of selenium that their eggs and young will die, and their population eventually will be eliminated, said Dr. Dennis Lemly, adjunct professor of biology at Wake Forest University.
The report states selenium concentrations in fish species in the Emory River are “at toxic thresholds.”
“This means that the river ecosystem cannot tolerate further assimilation of selenium from the ash spill,” the report states. “There is no margin of safety.”
Dr. Lemly said findings of such high levels indicate the landfill had been leaking before the December breach.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
From the Times Freep: