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West Virginia Hit Again as Rupture Spews Coal Slurry Into Creek

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A young person with a message for West Virginia's governor. (Photo: Ramps Campaign via Twitter/ ‏@RAMPSWV)


A rupture in a coal slurry line early Tuesday has resulted in a "significant spill" in West Virginia's eastern Kanawha County, sending an unknown amount of the waste into local waters.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection announced that the slurry line ruptured between midnight and 5:30 this morning, "sending an unknown quantity of slurry into Fields Creek."

The DEP says that the Patriot Coal-owned facility uses the chemical MCHM, and that inspectors were testing waters to see how much of it was released.

Officials say Fields Creek has already blackened from the slurry, and that the waste is now heading to where the creek empties into the Kanawha River.

"I would probably characterize it as a significant spill, but I don't have a figure yet," Tom Aluise, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, told the Charleston Gazette.

MCHM pollution continues to plague other residents in the state affected by the Freedom Industries spill that allowed an estimated 7,500 gallons of it to seep into the Elk River.


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