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WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RE-OPENS PACIFIC COUNTY COMMERCIAL SHELLFISH AREA

 WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RE-OPENS
 PACIFIC COUNTY COMMERCIAL SHELLFISH AREA
 OLYMPIA, Wash., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- More than two-and-half years after failing sewer systems forced their closure, Bay Center shellfish beds have been re-opened by the Washington State Department of Health.
 State health officials today announced the reclassification of the commercial shellfish sites in Pacific County. The upgraded classification, which will permit harvesting year-round, except during periods of heavy rainfall, was ordered following the repair of about two dozen septic systems.
 "This is the first large commercial area that has been re-opened since the state's public health system got into the business of regulating shellfish-growing areas," said State Health Secretary Kristine M. Gebbie. "The residents of the Willapa Bay community and the Pacific County Health Department deserve enormous credit for cleaning up Bay Center."
 Harvesting shellfish at Bay Center has been restricted since December 1989, when the state began efforts to identify sources of the contamination. Since then, the state health agency has required that oysters grown at Bay Center be transported or "relayed" to other cleaner waters for two weeks before being harvested.
 "The people of Bay Center, area oystermen and government officials deserve our respect for their commitment, cooperation and perseverance," said Bryan Harrison, administrator of the Pacific County Department of Health and Human Services.
 The new classification requires that harvesting cease for five days following an accumulation of one inch or more of rainfall over 24 hours.
 -0- 9/15/92
 /CONTACT: Dean R. Owen, 206-753-3934, or Maryanne Guichard, 206-753-4183, both of the Washington State Department of Health; or Bryan Harrison of Pacific County Health Department, 206-875-9343/ CO: Washington State Department of Health; Pacific County Health
 Department ST: Washington IN: HEA SU:


TB-JH -- SE001 -- 9635 09/15/92 12:24 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 15, 1992
Words:294
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