Health agency says it’s OK to use Dan River

Coal ash lines the banks of the Dan River as state and federal environmental officials continued their investigations of a spill of coal ash into the river in Eden, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Duke Energy estimates that up to 82,000 tons of ash has been released from a break in a 48-inch storm water pipe at the Dan River Power Plant on Sunday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Coal ash lines the banks of the Dan River as state and federal environmental officials continued their investigations of a spill of coal ash into the river in Eden, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Duke Energy estimates that up to 82,000 tons of ash has been released from a break in a 48-inch storm water pipe at the Dan River Power Plant on Sunday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s public health agency is recommending lifting a recreational water advisory for a river that was polluted by a massive coal ash spill in February.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommendation Tuesday comes a week after federal environmental officials said Duke Energy has completed removal of large pockets of coal ash from theDan River.

The department says the river now poses no health risk for recreational users, but is still recommending against eating fish and shellfish collected immediately downstream of Duke’s Eden plant.

Duke estimates about 39,000 tons of coal ash spewed into the Dan after a drainage pipe collapsed Feb. 2 at a waste dump in Eden, turning the river gray for more than 70 miles.

 

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