Slurry spill test results show non-detect levels for MCHM


Water sampling test results from Tuesday’s slurry spill at Patriot Coal’s Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant near Winifrede show non-detect levels of MCHM. The spill impacted roughly six miles of Fields Creek, which empties into the Kanawha River near Chesapeake.

Samples were collected on Tuesday at five locations by inspectors from the Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Mining and Reclamation. Three samples were taken from Fields Creek and two from the Kanawha River. All five samples tested below the reporting limit of 5 micrograms per liter, or 5 parts per billion (ppb). Five parts per billion equals .005 parts per million (ppm). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a screening level of 1 ppm for drinking water.

Additional sampling is being conducted by WVDEP inspectors on Fields Creek and the Kanawha River and further results are expected in the coming days.

The Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant remains under an Imminent Harm Cessation Order, which halts all work at the prep plant, except for cleanup activities currently ongoing on Fields Creek. The company estimates that approximately 108,000 gallons of slurry spilled from a faulty slurry pipeline sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday.


Tom Aluise