The chemical in last Thursday’s West Virginia spill was 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, known as MCHM. The leak at the Elk River storage facility came from a ruptured tank storing this chemical, which is used to wash coal.
No charges have been filed against Freedom Industries, the company that owns the plant, but the United States attorney’s office has already begun an investigation into the spill.
Over 300,000 people have not been able to use their drinking water for 6 days.
The stretch of track by the derailment runs alongside a protected creek, and at least one car appeared to be lying on its side in the creek Saturday afternoon.
A tall fence a few metres to the south of the track bears several signs from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, reading: “Sensitive fish and wildlife habitat beyond this fence. Please do not disturb. This area is protected.”