(04/29/2008)
While polluted West Virginia streams are accepted as normal by most state citizens, with many unable to support minimal life, there is a new wrinkle in the pollution.

A recent study linked to a Boone County mining operation is causing bizarre deformities in Mud River fish.

Fish able to live in Mud River have two eyes on one side of the head, and others have badly curved spines.

Biologist Dennis Lemly makes the claims in a report that has been filed with U.S. District Court in Huntington.

Lemly's research was done on behalf of environmental groups that are suing Hobet Mining over the mountaintop removal operation near the Mud River.

Lemly warns continued pollution from the substance selenium could lead to a collapse of any fish population in the Mud River and its tributaries.

Selenium in large amounts can be highly toxic.

The State Department of Environmental Protection agrees that something is definitely wrong with those fish.

Randy Huffman, who will become DEP secretary this week, says more testing needs to be done to determine if it's a selenium problem.


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