Duke University study: unhealthy levels of arsenic found in Mountain Island Lake
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MT HOLLY, N.C. — A new study shows that water in Mountain Island Lake has a high concentration of toxic elements.
A Duke University report shows that unhealthy amounts of arsenic were found in Mountain Island Lake. According to the study, arsenic levels in the lake are 25 times higher than current EPA standards for drinking water; which is nearly twice the EPA standard for aquatic life. During the study, researchers analyzed water samples from 11 lakes and rivers.
The lake is a primary drinking water source for Charlotte. Duke Energy's coal-fired power plant the Riverbend Steam Station is located on the lake.
The study points to coal ash ponds and coal-fired power plants as the reason for the high level of contaminants.
Catawba River Keeper Jeff Gaskins said he is not surprised by the study's results.
“There are a variety of next steps but one that people need to understand it and learn more about it. I think there probably need to do more study done,” said Gaskin.
A Duke Energy spokesperson said the Riverbend Steam Station will be offline by 2015.