CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Environmental Enforcement staff with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection were onsite again Friday, a day after the derailment of multiple train cars carrying coal.
Several cars of a CSX train carrying coal for Murray Energy derailed near FirstEnergy-owned Harrison Power Station in Haywood around 9:15 a.m. Thursday, FirstEnergy spokeswoman Stephanie Walton confirmed.
“Though the train was not making a delivery at Harrison, plant personnel did what they could to assist,” Walton said. “West Virginia DEP, CSX and Murray Energy are leading remediation activities.”
Two of the derailed cars fell into Robinson Run, a tributary of the West Fork River, which serves as a water source for multiple north central West Virginia communities.
“It doesn’t affect us. That’s below our intake,” Clarksburg Water Board General Manager Richard Welch said.
Chris Dale, director of communications for the Morgantown Utility Board, said they are continuing to monitor the situation.
“We’re not doing anything special in terms of closing our intake or anything like that,” Dale said. “According to our calculations, it would take about 61 hours to reach us and it would have to go through two dams, so we’re not really anticipating any significant impact.”
DEP staff are also conducting water sampling both upstream and downstream of the spill site.
According to DEP’s twitter, all cars were removed from Robinson Run Thursday night, and water has been pumped from around the spot where coal was spilled.
Murray Energy is currently in the process of collecting the coal that was spilled. The amount of coal lost is unknown at this time.