North Carolina State University scientists say farmers along the Dan River can use surface water for crops and livestock despite a massive release of toxic coal ash more than two months ago.
A report by three university researchers says lead, arsenic, copper and other contaminates have settled to the river bottom. The report says none of the hundreds of water samples tested exceeded guidelines for cattle.
The sludge spilled into the Dan River comes from byproducts of burning coal at a Duke Energy power plant. Company spokesman Jeff Brooks said Friday the company did not pay the N.C. State scientists for their research.
The nation's largest electric company has spent $15 million so far cleaning up the Feb. 2 spill that polluted 70 miles of the Dan River.