Environment
11:47 am
Tue February 11, 2014

W.Va. Coal Prep Plant Spills Slurry Into Creek

The coal slurry spill occurred in Kanawha County, W. Va.
The coal slurry spill occurred in Kanawha County, W. Va.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

State regulators are investigating the spill of 108,000 gallons of coal slurry at a preparation plant into a Kanawha River tributary in eastern Kanawha County.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman says a slurry line ruptured early Tuesday at Patriot Coal's Kanawha Eagle Prep plant near Winifrede.

Huffman says the spill area involves six miles of Fields Creek and one-half mile of the Kanawha River.

He says the slurry contains heavy metals and other toxins, but the prep plant last month discontinued the use of crude MCHM — the same chemical involved in a Jan. 9 spill at a Freedom Industries plant in Charleston that tainted the local water supply.

DEP spokesman Tom Aluise says no public water intakes are immediately downstream from the preparation plant.