The Coal Problem
|Laura Barron-Lopez||February 12th 2014|
West Virginia is facing another chemical spill, but this time it's coal slurry.
On Tuesday, coal slurry from a line in the Patriot Coal facilities spilled into Fields Creek -- a tributary of the Kanawha River near Charleston.
The slurry blackened six miles of the creek and inspectors are testing water to determine how much leaked, CNN reports. They believe roughly 100,000 gallons spilled.
Patriot Coal began cleanup and containment immediately, said Janine Orf, a vice president at Patriot Coal.
State Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise said the water in eastern Kanawha County is safe to drink. Still, West Virginia American Water released a "do not use" alert for the area for pregnant women for the separate Jan. 9 spill into Elk River from a Freedom Industries' site.
New information continues to surface from the Freedom Industries' leak of the chemical MCHM, the effects of which Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Tuesday are still unknown. Lawmakers are pushing stricter legislation on Capitol Hill that would grant states more oversight power for chemical facilities.
Laura Barron-Lopez writes for The Hill, from where this article is adapted.