Elk River Chemical Spill


First off, I apologize for the delay in my posting schedule lately.  I’ve been quite busy with a new term in school so I haven’t given as much time to SmoothingIt.com.  That being said, I just received word of a chemical spill into the Elk River here in West Virginia and wanted to share the reports to those of you like minded woodsmen who care for our mountains, rivers, and streams.



It appears that a local policy maker chemical supplier inadvertently poured an undisclosed amount of 4-Methylcyclohexane into the river that not only provides miles of excellent canoeing and fishing, but just so happens to be the area’s primary water source.  This affects the residents of five of our counties;  They can flush their toilets but cannot shower, wash hands, wash clothes, or drink the contaminated water.

I haven’t been involved in the HazMat field for quite some time but as I understand it, 4-Methylcyclohexane is used in the coal-washing process.

King coal, you son-of-a-bitch, king coal
Dirty, rotten, to the core
Take our life and take our soul
And leave the wreckage to the poor
Flatten our mountains and poison our streams
Bury us under a pile of stone
Steal our futures and crush our dreams
Then leave we mountaineers alone


11 thoughts on “Elk River Chemical Spill

    • It’s the same story everywhere it seems. Our materialistic way of life and love of profits is slowly destroying everything sacred. Sadly, as long as we have our televisions and antidepressants, I don’t expect things to change for a long time.

  1. Fingers will point, investigation will follow legal actions, laws will pass, improvements made and in time, most will be forgotten. Until the next event that is and the process begins anew. The company claims the chemical is non-toxic, medical chiefs say contact causes prolonged vomiting, skin irritations and so on. Let’s hope there’s no long term damage, far too many bodies of water have fallen to progress…

    • It’s really a shame. They likely will pass new laws. But much like with mountain top removal, corporations will find it less expensive to pay the legal expenses than to actually follow through with the requirements.

      Thanks for visiting and thanks for commenting.

  2. And just think before gasoline The Rockefellers were making kerosene from crude and dumping the volatile solvent in the outdoors. Then they discovered it was the perfect fuel for internal combustion engines. Gasoline!
    Hooker chemical and others for the Love Canal – near my old home.

    I see now the cities down stream will have to wait. I guess it eventually flows to the sea- our favorite place to flush.

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