NC issues public health advisories for the Dan River

North Carolina public health officials issued advisories Wednesday for the Dan River, more than a week after a spill of coal ash by Duke Energy.

The advisories from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services warned people to avoid contact with the Dan’s water, sediment and the ash in it. The department also advised not eating fish or shellfish from the river downstream of the spill in Eden.

Residents of Danville, Va., questioned the lack of such warnings after the Feb. 2 spill during a meeting convened by the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday night.

State environment officials, meanwhile, said Wednesday that levels of arsenic in the Dan have dropped below the state surface water standard. Levels at two sampling spots dropped to 2 parts per billion, well below the 10ppb standard for drinking water and surface water.