No Apparent Impact on Drinking Water, Tests on Kanawha River Below Detectable Levels for MCHM


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two samples taken from the Kanawha River were below detectable levels for MCHM and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health said it appears there were no impacts to drinking water after a spill of approximately 4 to 8 gallons of a solution containing the chemical was reported to WVDEP on Feb. 10 at the Mammoth Coal Preparation Plant.

Samples taken from the outfall discharging into West Hollow Creek, next to the Mammoth Coal Preparation Plant, have determined that a very small concentration of MCHM was present in the discharge on Saturday, Feb. 11.

The concentration of MCHM was 6.1 parts per million (ppm), well below both the Lethal Concentration Level and the Effective Concentration Level for aquatic life in West Hollow Creek. The detected level was also below the levels for no observable effect on aquatic life.

The enforcement action associated with this incident, which initially included shutting down the outfall that drains a pond at the prep plant, is still in effect and will remain so until a full impact assessment is completed in West Hollow Creek. The water in the pond is being maintained in a closed circuit at the site until samples confirm that no detectable levels of MCHM are present.

The LC50, which is the concentration that would result in mortality of 50 percent of the exposed organisms after 96 hours, is 57.4 ppm. The effective concentration that induces a response in exposed aquatic life after 48 hours is 98.1 ppm. The concentrations required for observed effect to aquatic organisms are 25 ppm for fish and 40 ppm for other aquatic organisms.

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Jake Glance
(304) 926-0499 ext. 1335