Advertisement

UPDATE: DEP says water is safe after coal slurry leaked into river

(WSAZ)
Published: Mar. 23, 2017 at 5:53 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
UPDATE 3/24/17 @ 6:30 p.m.

BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The DEP says the water in the Peytona area is safe after coal slurry leaked into Crooked Run, a tributary of the Coal River, on Thursday.

Two water intakes have been reopened since the spill. Lincoln PSD and St. Albans MUC both say they have reopened their water intakes.

Lincoln PSD reopened their water take about 7:30 a.m. Friday. Officials say none of their chemical levels in the water had changed. They will be monitoring the water for the next three to four days.

St. Albans MUC says their operators are working with state officials to track and monitor the spill on a continuous basis.

At this time, there is no boil water advisory for customers.

According to the release on Thursday, an Imminent Harm Cessation Order (IHCO) has been issued for the Admiral Processing Operation. DEP officials say that means the coal plant is shut down for now and there is no water flow to or from the plant.

Admiral Processing Operation is an affiliate of Alpha Natural Resources.

WVDEP Division of Mining and Reclamation inspectors believe the coal slurry came from a burst pipe at the facility.

The coal slurry went into Crooked Run, which flows into Drawdy Creek and then into the Coal River, according to the release.

Justin White, who is from Boone County, says as soon as he heard about the spill, he wanted to see if for himself. White described the slurry as an "oily and jelly consistency."

"It's disheartening to see once again that our water quality is being threatened again by this industry," White said.

Erin Savage says she traveled to Boone County from North Carolina with the non-profit group Appalachian Voices after hearing about the spill. She says the group is doing independent testing on the water quality.

"For Boone County, coal is still a really important part of the economy, but water is really important too," Savage said. "I think it's really important for the community to embrace protecting the natural beauty of the region for that economic future."

It is still unclear how much coal slurry leaked into the water, but officials say the leak occurred for about three hours.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


UPDATE 3/24/17 @ 11 a.m.

BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two water intakes have been reopened after coal slurry leaked into the Coal River on Thursday.

Lincoln PSD and St. Albans MUC both say they have reopened their water intakes.

Lincoln PSD reopened their water take about 7:30 on Friday morning. Officials say none of their chemical levels in the water had changed. They will be monitoring the water for the next 3-4 days.

St. Albans MUC says their operators are working with state officials to track and monitor the spill on a continuous basis.

At this time there is no boil water advisory for customers.

According to the release on Thursday, an Imminent Harm Cessation Order (IHCO) has been issued for the Admiral Processing operation. They are an affiliate of Alpha Natural Resources.

WVDEP Division of Mining and Reclamation inspectors believe the coal slurry came from a burst pipe at the facility.

The coal slurry went into Crooked Run, which flows into Drawdy Creek and then into the Coal River, according to the release.

It is still unclear how much coal slurry leaked into the water.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for updates.


ORIGINAL STORY 3/23/17 @ 5:55 p.m.

PEYTONA, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A coal slurry leak into a stream in Boone County is causing black water in the Coal River.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in a news release on Thursday that they are investigating a leak into Crooked Run near Peytona.

According to the release, an Imminent Harm Cessation Order (IHCO) has been issued for the Admiral Processing operation. They are an affiliate of Alpha Natural Resources.

The amount of coal slurry that leaked into the water is still under investigation. Neighbors reported seeing black water in the Coal River.

WVDEP Division of Mining and Reclamation inspectors believe the coal slurry came from a burst pipe at the facility.

The coal slurry went into Crooked Run, which flows into Drawdy Creek and then into the Coal River, according to the release.

The nearest public water system is Lincoln County PSD. Their intake is about 17 miles downstream. Past that is the intake in St. Albans, about 35 miles downstream.

The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health says both water intakes will be shut down overnight. This will not impact customers. There will be another check in the morning to see if there have been changes in the water, according to the release.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.