Updated Wed, Feb 12, 2014 1:48 pm
State regulators are investigating the spill of 108,000 gallons of coal slurry at a preparation plant into a Kanawha River tributary in eastern Kanawha County.
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman says a slurry line ruptured early Tuesday at Patriot Coal's Kanawha Eagle Prep plant near Winifrede.
Huffman says the spill area involves six miles of Fields Creek and one-half mile of the Kanawha River.
He says the slurry contains heavy metals and other toxins, but the prep plant last month discontinued the use of crude MCHM - the same chemical involved in a Jan. 9 spill at a Freedom Industries plant in Charleston that tainted the local water supply.
DEP spokesman Tom Aluise says no public water intakes are immediately downstream from the preparation plant.