NC says more time needed to study PCB in Yadkin River

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The Narrows hydroelectric dam on Badin Lake is one of four Yadkin River dams operated by Alcoa. (Credit: DAVID ROLFE/The Winston-Salem Journal)

ASHEBORO, N.C. — North Carolina’s environmental agency is checking on how much of the industrial contaminant PCB is in the Yadkin River but doesn’t yet know if it poses a human health risk.

The Lexington Dispatch reported the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources is testing locations popular for fishing and boating in four lakes along the river. Alcoa Inc. dammed the river to power a now-closed aluminum smelter.

DENR’s Dexter Matthews says final study results could be a year away.

Alcoa is seeking to cover a three-acre section of the Badin Lake bottom near the defunct smelter to keep PCBs there from moving. The company says the sediments are no risk to humans.

Officials have posted signs warning that catfish and large-mouth bass had elevated PCB levels.

Credit: The Lexington Dispatch/The Associated Press.