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Water Test Results Show Non-Detect Levels Of MCHM In Slurry Spill

Reported: Feb. 13, 2014 4:09 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 13, 2014 10:41 PM EST

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday that 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 affected roughly six miles of Fields Creek, which empties into the Kanawha River near Chesapeake.

The DEP said in a news release that samples were collected on Tuesday at five locations by inspectors from the DEP’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 recommends a screening level of 1 ppm for drinking water.

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

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 about 108,000 gallons of slurry spilled from a faulty slurry pipeline sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

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