VIDEO: Crews at Oroville Dam dealing with natural asbestos

Water continues to run down the main spillway at Lake Oroville on Monday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Oroville, Calif. The water level dropped Monday behind the nation's tallest dam, reducing the risk of a catastrophic spillway collapse and easing fears that prompted the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people downstream. Sunday afternoon's evacuation order came after engineers spotted a hole on the concrete lip of the secondary spillway for the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam and told authorities that it could fail within the hour. (Randy Pench/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Air-quality officials are working with repair crews at California’s damaged Oroville Dam spillway after the discovery of naturally occurring asbestos there.

The California Department of Water Resources said Thursday that authorities found the asbestos in what it said were limited areas at the site.

Work crews currently are removing tons of rocks, earth and other debris that washed to the base of the Oroville spillway last month after a large part of the spillway failed.

Asbestos can cause cancer. Rocks containing natural asbestos are common in California foothills and mountains.

State water officials say they are working with air-quality officials from Butte County to reduce dust at the site since it could contain asbestos. That includes washing down construction trucks and using wet drilling methods to minimize dust.

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