Coal slurry spills into Raleigh creek

A Massey Energy Co. subsidiary’s plant spilt about 10,000 gallons of coal slurry in Raleigh County on Saturday, according to state regulators.

The slurry was released into the Little Marsh Fork Creek, which empties into the Coal River.

“It’s a big spill,” said Bo Webb, a member of the Coal River Mountain Watch environmental group.

Webb said he contacted officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection, who told him that Massey officials reported a small spill around 11 a.m.

Jessica Greathouse, a spokeswoman for the DEP, said the booster pump failed at the Marfork Preparation Plant in Pettus.

About five miles of Little Marsh Fork were affected, she said.

An inspector issued a cessation order, and the plant was shut down until the pump can be fixed, she said.

Officials with Massey Energy did not return calls.