BWA of the Day
WATER WOES COMPOUNDED FOR WEST VIRGINIA
108,000 gallons of polypropylene glycol, or coal slurry spilled into a creek in West Virginia on Tuesday. Patriot Coal's Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant suffered a broken valve which released the substance into the creek, spreading it through approximately six miles of water. Not only did a valve break, the alarm system malfunctioned leaving the spill undetected for several hours.
The State Department of Environmental Protection's spokesperson Tom Aluise explained that they "expect the cleanup will take weeks...the company will be required to do an aquatic life assessment of the creek. The slurry spill is not expected to have a significant impact on the Kanawha River. There are no public drinking water intakes threatened by the spill."
The ongoing investigation into the incident will attempt to determine the cause of the spill, and methods which may help prevent further disaster. Aluise stated that, "[As] per law, the company was required to give immediate notification to the state's Emergency Spill Line." However, the spill was not reported for over two hours after its discovery.
"At this particular facility, an Imminent Harm Cessation Order is in place which, in effect, shuts down the prep plant until there is no further threat of pollution."