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Coal Slurry Spill Heads Toward Huntington

Reported: Feb. 11, 2014 6:18 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 12, 2014 10:22 AM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Dave Benton) -- A major coal slurry spill in Eastern Kanawha County dumped more than 100 thousand gallons of black water in the Kanawha River.

It will eventually go into the Ohio River and head toward Huntington. Tim Matthews lives in the River City and says, "It does concern me about the safety of residents here in Huntington and also the children." Matthews and a lot of other people who live in Huntington want the valves shut off at the water plant before the slurry spill gets to Huntington.

Timothy Ball also lives in Huntington and says, "I think they should look at the people who's been sick over the last month or so, or who can't take a shower."

According to WV American Water spokeswoman Laura Jordan, "A coal slurry leak in a tributary of the Kanawha River is not anticipated to have an impact on our Huntington water treatment plant, located on the Ohio River more than 100 river miles downstream of the leak site. We anticipate no impact to the Huntington water system due to river flow and dilution."

Huntington resident Elizabeth Harper says that's not good enough for her. "It's not reassuring me because if they don't turn it off and it gets here and becomes like Kanawha County then we're going to end up having no water too and we'll be in the hospital. But really they should go ahead and turn it off then test it and make sure it's alright for us to run our water or before we drink it or try to drink it."

The water company says it will continue to work with state health officials and ORSANCO to monitor the slurry along the Ohio River.



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