EPA: Swimming In Buggs Island Lake Is Safe Despite Coal Ash Spill

Danville, VA - People who live, work, or play in and around Buggs Island Lake are celebrating. Their summer has been saved.The EPA and state health officials have given the okay for swimming, fishing, and all other water activities following the Duke Energy coal ash spill.Jeannie Morgan has lived most of her life right here in Lake Country and she spends much of her time out on the water.But the Duke Energy coal ash spill left her and many other locals in fear."I was a little concerned. I think everybody was, " Morgan said.For a community that relies on water tourism idea of swimming restrictions was downright frightening."This is our biggest revenue for this town of 1,100, " said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shelia Cuykendall.After weeks of unanswered questions the EPA declared the water safe for swimming. Town Manager Jeff Jones says the answer came just in time for their many Summer events - including Lakefest which draws thousands every year."None of those events have changed. They're all on schedule and good to go, " Jones said.The Virginia Department of Health did issue its own report on the water. It said a longstanding fishing advisory - limited to certain species of fish - will remain in place, but that is unrelated to the coal ash spill.Jeff Jones is just glad lake lovers - old and new - can finally put their fears aside."I've been taking my family out on the lake and I hope they will do the same. Come on out and have fun, " Jones said.Officials say they will continue to monitor the water, but for right now, they are just looking forward to all of their upcoming summer events. For more information on those events, go to