- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia health officials have reopened a portion of the Rappahannock River to shellfish harvesting after it had been closed due to flooding.

The Virginia Department of Health says it is lifting the May 1 closure earlier because water quality monitoring results indicate that the area is no longer unsafe.

Officials worried that heavy rainfall in a portion of the western Virginia with the ensuing runoff may have washed animal waste and human sewage into the rivers.

Due to potential microbiological and chemical pollution hazards, shellfish taken from areas affected by the emergency closure were unacceptable for consumption.

The affected shellfish included bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or fin fish.

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