What's the Chemical Behind West Virginia's River Spill?
Spill in the Elk River brings a "do not drink" advisory.
"I can't tell you that the water is unsafe, but I also can't tell you that the water is safe," Jeff McIntyre, the president of the utility West Virginia American Water, said at a Friday morning press conference.
An unknown amount of the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, which is frequently used as a foaming agent to wash coal before it is sent to market, has been found in the Elk River in the central and southwestern parts of the state, near Charleston.
The river is the source of drinking water that West Virginia American Water serves to customers in nine counties.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and the White House declared a state of emergency Thursday for those nine counties, and the