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WVDEP: More problems found at Patriot site

Gazette photo by Kenny Kemp......7.95x5.2.....Slurry spill at Winifrede Hollow.

Photo by Kenny Kemp / Emergency officials and environmental inspectors said roughly six miles of Fields Creek was blackened by a coal slurry spill in eastern Kanawha County last week.

Here’s today’s news from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection:

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has issued another Notice of Violation (NOV) to Patriot Coal’s Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant.

The NOV was issued by the WVDEP Division of Mining and Reclamation after a rapid rise in stream levels in Fields Creek Wednesday stirred up silt settled in the creek bed and resulted in discolored water entering the Kanawha River. The rise in stream levels was attributed to rapid snow melt.

The NOV requires the company to cease all activity that may contribute to conditions not allowable in state waters. The company must provide a durable surface on all roadways and evaluate all sediment control structures for retention time. The company must also submit a work plan detailing all cleanup efforts and management of high-flow situations. In addition, the work plan is to include scheduled daily monitoring of Fields Creek.

Patriot Coal’s ability to respond to the high-flow situation Wednesday was hindered by the company’s concerns for the safety of its workers in the swift-water conditions.

Earlier this week, the WVDEP modified an Imminent Harm Cessation Order, issued to Kanawha Eagle following last week’s slurry spill, to a NOV.