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Under contract # G090951 with the state of West Virginia, West Virginia University has created a website which hosts or links to public data concerning coal slurry injection and related topics (coal refuse, fine coal refuse, coal tailings, fine coal tailings, and well injections).

In February 2007, the West Virginia Legislature mandated through Senate Concurrent Resolution 15 (SCR-15) that a comprehensive environmental study of coal preparation plant slurry injection into underground mines be performed. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) was required to complete a study of the hydrologic impacts of slurry injection within one year. The WVDEP portion of the study is referred to as “Phase I” and the full report can be found at:

Following the WVDEP Phase I study, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau of Public Health (WVDHHR) is required to perform a study of slurry injection on human health. This study is “Phase II” of the West Virginia Legislative mandated coal slurry study.

Final Report

Update: On August 9, the final report for this project was presented to the WV Legislature. Click on the links below to access the report, its appendices, and the Power Point presentation that accompanied the report.

Project Summary

Senate Concurrent Resolution 15 resolves that the Department of Environmental Protection shall design and conduct, or else contract, a comprehensive study on the effects of underground injection of coal slurry. Two components of this project have been addressed in the Phase I study.

  • I-A. An analysis of the chemical composition of some coal slurry resources has been conducted, including an inventory of organic and inorganic compounds.
  • I-B. A hydrogeological study of the migration of coal slurry or its constituent contaminants from chosen injection wells into the ground waters or surface waters of West Virginia has been conducted.

There will always be a need for additional data on these important topics. Phase II, as mandated by Senate Concurrent Resolution 15, is designed to use these Phase I data to address the following five issues.

  • II-A. What are the known health hazards of the components of coal slurry (its major constituent contaminants) on human health? This assessment will be useful in the event that human exposure occurs following slurry underground injection. This component of the review does not presume that sufficient exposures to cause health hazards actually exist. It simply reviews what are the population health hazards should such exposure occur.
  • II-B. What data already exist about human community health hazards from exposures to coal slurries contaminating water, soil, or air? This part of the Phase II study will review existing local, national, or international literature to determine what is currently known about data to determine the actual known or reported effects of coal slurry and its constituent contaminants on public health in communities, where it is determined that coal slurry or its constituent contaminants have migrated from injection sites into ground waters currently or historically used for domestic purposes, or habitated soils, and then into humans, or into air in breathing zones of communities and then into humans.
  • II-C. The study will briefly recapitulate what is known about effects of coal slurry injection on surface water and aquatic systems. This phase of the assessment project is directed at known human health effects, whereas this Phase II study is designed primarily as a human health risk assessment. Therefore, this section will be a brief overview, and is structured primarily as a human health assessment.
  • II-D. Coal slurry injection is not the only choice for disposing of coal slurry. Therefore, a relevant question is, How do the known or suspected hazards of injection compare to other means of dealing with slurry from coal operations? This section of the document will briefly describe and compare what is known about coal slurry injection compared to hazards of coal slurry as surface impoundments.
  • II-E.This Phase II study is very unlikely to represent a final word on this topic. It is important to review the question, What do we not yet know that will be important to learn? This section of the report will enumerate and, if possible, describe the significance of data gaps.

Reference Documents

Legislative Background

Senate Concurrent Resolution-15 (SCR-15)

Phase I Report

WVDEP Fact Sheet on: 
Coal Slurry Study Highlights [ Click Here ]
 (word document)

WVDEP coal slurry report, Senate Concurrent Resolution – 15:
State of WVAn Evaluation of the Underground Injection of Coal Slurry in West Virginia Phase I: Environmental Investigation [ Click Here ] (pdf file)

WVDEP coal slurry report appendix I: 
Hydrologic Assessment Reports [ Click Here | Appendix 1 ] (pdf file)

WVDEP coal slurry report appendix II: 
Click Here | Appendix 2 ]
 (pdf file)

Health Surveys

Health_Survey_2008 [.doc 25kb]


Disclaimer for data gaps on public website

Not all available data is shown on this website. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations prohibit displaying of individual’s health care records without their written consent. It is outside the scope of this project to obtain such consent. Other data may also not be shown on this website due to pending legal action that may be connected to the data set. Other conditions placed on certain data sources may also prohibit public access to data for various reasons. However, all received data will be considered for placement on the web site. Any data gaps that are found during the course of this research (i.e. things that scientists or the public want to know, but do not have) will be addressed in the final report submitted to the WV Legislature.

Hosting or linking to publicly-available data should not be interpreted as affirmative or negative statements about contents. The goal is simply to create a useful site for available data. The content of this website is for general information and educational purposes only. The authors of this website give no assurance or warranty regarding the accuracy, timeliness, or applicability of any of the contents. The final product, a report to the state, will address data information and data gaps in ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry) risk-assessment format.