W.Va. Coal Prep Plant Spills Slurry Into Creek

Feb 11, 2014

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.