Emory River to re-open in May after ash spill advisory lifted

Emory River to re-open later in May after ash spill advisory lifted

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KINGSTON (WATE) - The Emory River will re-open on Saturday, May 29 after the EPA and TVA lift an advisory following the 2008 ash spill at the Kingston power plant.

The main river channel will be accessible to the public starting at 7:00 a.m. that day, but caution is advised.

A no-wake zone is established from Emory River mile 1.5 to mile 3 because large equipment remains in the area as the recovery effort continues.

For safety, work zones will be marked and boomed off, and will only partially obstruct the main channel.

The public won't be allowed in work zones.

EPA, consulting with the state Department of Environment and Conservation and the state Department of Health, has determined that any coal ash remaining in the river presents minimal health risks for recreational users.

EPA officials said casual contact with ash in the river shouldn't cause skin irritation. However, long-term contact could result in some irritation from sand-like particles in the ash.

River users are advised to wash after leaving the river, especially in areas where ash is clearly visible.

For more information or instructions about recreational use of Watts Bar Reservoir, call EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Stephanie Y. Brown at 1-800-564-7577 or 865-717-1635.

For the latest on the recovery effort, go to www.epa.gov/region4/kingston

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