More Gunk Spills in West Virginia, Turning Creek Black

Patriot Coal Prep Plant Spills Slurry Into WV Creek*
from State officials in West Virginia were trying Tuesday to contain a coal slurry spill into a creek in the same general area where a toxic chemical spill last month tainted drinking water for 300,000 people in and around the state capital of Charleston. A state environmental official called the slurry spill “significant” but also said that public water intakes were not affected. The early morning spill dumped an undetermined amount of coal slurry into Fields Creek, blackening waters that feed into the Kanawha River in Charleston, according to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The Jan. 9 chemical spill released the toxic chemical 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, or MCHM, into the Elk River, a tributary of the Kanawha. A representative of the coal company told regulators that it uses a frothing chemical, Flomin 110-C, that contains MCHM, the environmental agency said in a statement Tuesday. The agency said it was testing the tainted water in several locations and sending samples to a laboratory in Charleston for analysis. Enforcement action against the coal company is pending, the agency said. The company operates a coal preparation plant and a coal slurry impoundment facility. Crews were using booms to try to contain the spill, the agency said.

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