Thursday, February 13, 2014

Coal Slurry Spill Pollutes West Virginia Creek

A 100,000 gallon coal slurry spill blackened six miles of a creek in West Virginia's eastern Kanawha County's Fields Creek, a tributary of the Kanawha River. According to officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection, inspectors are testing the water to determine exactly how much leaked into the creek.

The spill at Patriot Coal was caused when a valve inside a slurry line malfunctioned, according to the state environmental protection officials.  Containment efforts by Patriot Coal began immediately, and cleanup activities are underway.
A State EPA spokesman said the water in the county was safe to drink, though West Virginia American Water has a "do not use" alert in place for pregnant women in the Kanawha Valley after an unrelated January 9 spill.
More than 100,000 gallons of coal slurry blackened a creek in West Virginia
Word of the slurry spill comes as West Virginia is trying to recover from the January spill that leaked 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, known as MCHM, into the water.
The chemical, used to wash coal before it goes to market in order to reduce ash, leaked into the Elk River and from there into Charleston's water supply on January 9. The result was a do-not-use order that left about 300,000 people in the area unable to drink or bathe in their water, some for more than a week.  MCHM is so strong that it can be picked up even if there is no detectable amount in the water.  (CNN, 2/12/2014)

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