Coal Slurry Spill In Kanawha County

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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.