Dust-Control Plan Ordered After Cancer-Causing Asbestos Detected at Oroville Dam

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An aerial view shows water rushing out of the Oroville Dam’s main spillway on Feb. 21, 2017. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

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State water officials at the troubled Lake Oroville have supplied a dust-control plan to air quality officials after cancer-causing asbestos was detected at the work site this week.

During recent air quality and sediment testing at the site, naturally occurring asbestos was found in some areas of the construction zone, Department of Water Resources officials said Thursday.

Asbestos is a common feature of California’s geology, and the risk to workers and the surrounding community is “minimal,” the agency said.

Crews repairing a damaged flood-control spillway have been using traditional construction methods such as wetting work areas with water trucks and laying rumble strips on roads to limit dirt collecting on equipment. But because asbestos has been detected, the Department of Water Resources has also submitted a dust-control plan to the local air quality management district.

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