Brandon Talbert, Location Consultant with Austin Consulting
On January 9, 2014, crude 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM), a chemical agent used in washing coal, reportedly leaked from a storage tank at a chemical storage facility located along the Elk River in Charleston, WV. The spill leaked into the ground before traveling to the adjacent river. The incident occurred about one mile upstream from American Water’s treatment facility along the Elk River, which flows into the Kanawha River in downtown Charleston. When it was determined that the spill had contaminated local drinking water, a “do-not-use” advisory was issued to parts of nine counties, affecting up to 300,000 customers. The ban lasted five days before gradually being lifted.