Crude MCHM, which is a foaming agent that is used to clean coal after it has been mined, was spilled in a major accident that has contaminated water in nine counties in West Virginia. While clean coal has been a slogan in the industry, this spill is showing that the “clean coal” motto is just a slogan because this chemical spill is taking quite a while to clean up.
The spill has put a stop to all cosmetic and medical water use that has been done to keep people and their homes clean. While the water system is being flushed out, water can only be used to flush toilets. This means that the water system could be shut down and viruses and bacteria could continue to grow without any water for washing.
This black eye for “clean coal” has people wondering how clean coal can actually be.