Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chemical Spill in Elk River near Charleston, WV - Drinking Water Advisory in Kanawha, Boone, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane Counties

West Virginia chemical spill prompts state of emergency, water ban in 8 counties

By Becky Bratu, Staff Writer, NBC News

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency Thursday in several counties because of a chemical spill into the Elk River. 

The advisory was expanded at night from five to eight counties.

The state of emergency includes West Virginia American Water customers in Kanawha, Boone, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane counties, according to NBC station WSAZ.

Residents were told not to drink the water, bathe in it or cook with the water and only use it for flushing and fire emergencies. Boiling it will not remove the chemicals. 

The station said the chemical leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries in Charleston. The leaked product is 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, which is used in the froth flotation process of coal washing and preparation, according to WSAZ.

Freedom Industries did not immediately respond for comment.


NOTE: Due to a technical glitch, this input into the Alerts system did not automatically integrated into Alerts subscriber's feeds. The NRC report was also picked up late due to inadequate location data. See that report submitted by a third-party at:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fire (?) in Campos Basin Off Coast of Brazil

MODIS/Aqua satellite imagery of the coast of Brazil taken on December 31 shows what appears to be a long plume of smoke in the Atlantic Ocean about 70 miles from shore in the Campos Basin. The plume appears to emanate from a point about 2.7 miles north-northeast of Petrobras Platform 51, a big semisubmersible rig in the Marlim Sul field. VIIRS data indicate the presence of a combustion source at the north end of the smoke plume, and estimate it's temperature is 1800 degrees Kelvin -- hot enough to soften steel. The plume visibly extends to the south for at least 146 miles.

MODIS/Aqua satellite image taken December 31, 2013, showing apparent smoke plume emanating from Campos Basin off Brazil. Red markers indicate sources of combustion detected by nighttime satellite imagery; orange dots are locations of oil platforms (2011 data).

It's possible this is just an unusually vigorous gas-flaring event, but we don't see comparable plumes of smoke from the many other flares detected in the area.  We haven't heard anything but are concerned there may be a fire at a platform or drill rig working at this location.  Please let us know if you have any information!


[[Location:-22.600214, -40.068569]]