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Sewage closes shellfish harvesting in upper York

Tuesday - 6/11/2013, 12:10pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Sewage overflows have prompted state health officials to close the upper York River for shellfish harvesting.

The Virginia Department of Health said Tuesday that the upper York will reopen for shellfish harvesting on June 30. The closure affects bivalve mollusks such as oysters and clams. It doesn't affect crabs or fin fish.

The department says remnants of Tropical Storm Andres caused about 175,000 gallons of rainwater and sewage to overflow into the Mattaponi River, a tributary of the York River, in West Point.

There is a risk of gastrointestinal illnesses if shellfish taken from the upper York River are eaten.

Shellfish will be monitored by the Division of Shellfish Sanitation to determine whether harvesting can resume sooner.

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Tags: york river