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Health agency says it's OK to use Dan River

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RALEIGH, NC (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.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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