Coal River Spill: Slurry leaks into West Virginia waterway

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According the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the water in Crooked Run, a tributary of the Coal River in Boone County, West Virginia is now safe to drink after coal slurry leaked into the water supply on March 23.

Coal slurry is the after product of washing coal with water and different chemicals before shipment of the coal. West Virginia DEP Division of Mining and Reclamation says the leak came from a burst pipe that spilled coal slurry for three hours; however, it is unknown how much slurry was released into the river.

Residents reported the water of the Coal River appearing oily black and jelly-like. The closest water processing plant is in Lincoln County 17 miles downstream followed by the St. Albans treatment plant 35 miles down stream. Both of these facilities were immediately shut down while the spill was being investigated. The coal plant was also closed. Lincoln County’ water facility reopened their facility the following Friday after finding the waters chemical levels were at the standard level.

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