Sutton Lake, near Wilmington, North Carolina, isn't a place many British Columbians have heard about.
But it might not be long before it is cited in court documents here, because of a study that quantifies the cost of replacing fish killed by pollutants.
The 1,100-acre lake was created in 1971 on land owned by Duke Energy to cool water coming from the Sutton Steam Plant. To form the lake, the power company had to dam a creek, which the state government approved only on the condition the reservoir was developed as a public fishery.
The company agreed – and soon had created a place where the fishing was so good it became the focus of bass tournaments.
Sutton Lake, however, was also polluted with selenium leaching from coal ash stored in nearby waste pits. And that's why Sutton Lake is relevant in Canada, where selenium pollution produced by coal, uranium and bitumen extraction is of growing concern....