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Health Agency Says It’s OK To Use Dan River

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Department of Health and Human Services says the river now poses no health risk for recreational users after coal ash cleanup. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Department of Health and Human Services says the river now poses no health risk for recreational users after coal ash cleanup. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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 the Dan 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.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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