Story by Greg Stotelmeyer for the Public News Service-KY. Find the original story here.
FRANKFORT, Ky. - West Virginia has been at the epicenter of concerns recently over coal-washing that may be leaching large amounts of MCHM and similar chemicals into the state's water. MCHM - 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol - is a foaming agent used to separate and float particles of coal away from rock and clay at prep plants. Much of it and other chemicals end up in the slurry that is piped into huge waste impoundments. West Virginia legislator Mike Manypenny, who co-chairs that state's Joint Oversight Commission on Water Resources, said what comes from the plants gets into surface and ground water. "None of these impoundments are lined," he said. "And if this is just open-pit that they're filling with this slurry, it's going to penetrate into the soil eventually, and reach the aquifer."
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