Freedom Industries

Freedom Industries
AP

People affected by a 2014 chemical spill into a West Virginia river will soon receive their first batch of settlement checks from a class-action lawsuit.

Freedom Industries
AP

West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito say the state is receiving $1.2 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to battle surface water pollution.

A release from the two U.S. senators says the grant will also help West Virginia implement an "effective underground storage tank state regulatory program."

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A lawyer for West Virginia residents affected by a 2014 chemical spill says they will not receive settlements until a judge's final approval, and administrators finish processing the over 95,000 claims.

Freedom Industries
AP

Residents and businesses in nine West Virginia counties left without tap water during a 2014 chemical spill can start filing claims.

According to a website set up to handle claims, forms were being accepted both online and by mail started Wednesday.

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal judge in West Virginia has declined to grant preliminary approval of a $151 million settlement of class-action litigation stemming from the January 2014 water crisis, saying he wanted changes made to the deal.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's Public Service Commission on Thursday issued a final settlement order closing its investigation into West Virginia American Water's role in a chemical spill and resulting water crisis in the Charleston area in January 2014.

Thousands of gallons of a coal-cleaning agent leaked from a Freedom Industries storage tank into the Elk River, leaving 300,000 people in nine counties without water for up to nine days. Businesses in the state's largest drinking water system were temporarily shut. Hundreds of people headed to emergency rooms for issues from nausea to rashes after contact with tap water that smelled like licorice.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

A group of Kanawha Valley residents is demanding a full investigation of West Virginia American Water's role in a 2014 chemical spill and a resulting water crisis. 

Thousands of gallons of a coal-cleaning agent leaked from a Freedom Industries storage tank into the Elk River in January 2014, leaving 300,000 people without water for nine days.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

A former Putnam County Public Service District employee says West Virginia American Water Company should have closed its intake at the Kanawha Valley plant after the Freedom Industries chemical spill three years ago.

Former South Putnam Public Service District general manager Fred Stottlemyer testified Thursday before the state Public Service Commission as part of the investigation into the handling of the January 2014 chemical leak.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Public Service Commission has scheduled a formal evidentiary hearing as part of its investigation of a chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 people.

 

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24-26 at the commission's headquarters in Charleston. The commission also scheduled two hearings to take public comment on Jan. 17 at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Jury selection begins Tuesday in Charleston in the class-action lawsuit against a chemical company and a water utility. 

The trial over a 2014 chemical spill that resulted in the contamination of more than 300,000 people’s drinking water is set to begin this week. 

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

A judge has ruled against local workers who sued a water company to recoup wages lost during a January 2014 chemical spill.

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The executive in charge during a water-tainting chemical spill in 2014 wants a judge to approve his class-action lawsuit settlement.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that on Tuesday, ex-Freedom Industries official Gary Southern asked U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver in Charleston to approve his settlement.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The trial for a class-action lawsuit over a West Virginia chemical spill that polluted 300,000 people's drinking water has been rescheduled for October.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver in Charleston announced the Oct. 25 trial date Thursday.

WCHS-TV

A judge says he wants more information before he'll approve a class-action settlement stemming from a 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia that contaminated drinking water supplies.

The case involves Kanawha Valley residents and businesses and two former top officials from Freedom Industries.

WOWK

  A former executive with direct oversight of a West Virginia chemical tank farm that leaked and fouled a drinking water supply has been sentenced to one month in federal prison.

Gary Southern also was fined $20,000 Wednesday in federal court in Charleston.

Southern was the last of six ex-Freedom Industries officials sentenced on pollution charges.

Freedom Industries
AP

A former executive with direct oversight of a West Virginia chemical tank farm that leaked and fouled the local drinking water supply in 2014 is due in court for sentencing.

Gary Southern is the last of six ex-Freedom Industries officials to be sentenced on pollution charges. He is set to appear Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Charleston.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A former executive of a chemical storage facility in West Virginia has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and order to pay a $20,000 fine. The charges stemmed a January 2014 chemical spill that left some 300,000 area residents without water for days.

Former Freedom Industries owner Dennis Farrell will serve time for federal pollution violations.

Four other ex-Freedom officials have been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay fines.

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A former Freedom Industries executive is due in federal court for sentencing on a pollution charge in a chemical spill that fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 West Virginians.

Dennis Farrell pleaded guilty in August to a deal that includes up to two years in prison and a $200,000 fine. His sentencing is set for Thursday in Charleston.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A former Freedom Industries official became the fourth defendant sentenced to three years' probation on a pollution charge in a chemical spill that tainted the tap water of 300,000 residents in West Virginia.

Ex-owner William Tis also was fined $20,000 Monday in federal court in Charleston.

Freedom Industries
AP

A fourth ex-Freedom Industries official is scheduled to be sentenced on a pollution charge in a 2014 chemical spill that tainted the tap water of 300,000 residents in West Virginia.

Former owner William Tis is due in Charleston federal court Monday. He faces up to a year in prison.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A bankrupt chemical company responsible for a spill that contaminated a West 

  Virginia river and fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 residents has been sentenced to the maximum possible penalty on pollution charges.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

A former owner of Freedom Industries has been sentenced to three years of probation and a $20,000 fine for a 2014 chemical spill that fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 West Virginians.

Charles Herzing was sentenced Tuesday in Charleston federal court. He's the second of six former Freedom officials to be sentenced on pollution charges.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Six former Freedom Industries officials are set to be sentenced this month on pollution charges two years after a chemical spill into the Elk River in Charleston fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 West Virginians.

Freedom Industries
AP

Federal prosecutors say they likely will not try to collect any criminal fine that Freedom Industries is ordered to pay unless the company responsible for the January 2014 Elk River chemical spill is first somehow able to pay off other creditors.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Acting U.S. Attorney Carol Casto and Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Wright say in a new court filing that the federal government "has no intention of attempting to execute on any judgment of a fine to the detriment of Freedom's creditors."

In light of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, this week on Inside Appalachia we remember the West Virginia water crisis from 2014. We’ll also hear from people in the coalfields who don’t have access to clean water, day in and day out. And we’ll honor the traditional “Appalachian” way of coming together to lean on each other.

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing leading up to several criminal sentencings surrounding a massive chemical spill.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston in Charleston scheduled the Jan. 27 hearing in the Freedom Industries cases.

Freedom Industries
AP

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition and 21 other partners will host a free public forum Saturday. The goal is to help the public find out how to get involved in protecting the drinking water. 

The event coincides with the second anniversary of the Freedom Industries' chemical leak in the Elk River. Those involved in the forum will discuss how to help shape source water protection plans that water utilities are required to submit to the state. 

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two former Freedom Industries executives have agreed to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit stemming from a chemical spill that tainted tap water for 300,000 people.

Under the proposed settlement, former Freedom President Gary Southern would pay $350,000 and former executive Dennis Farrell would pay $50,000.

Freedom Industries
AP

Two former Freedom Industries executives have agreed to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit stemming from a chemical spill that tainted tap water for 300,000 people.

Under the proposed settlement, former Freedom President Gary Southern would pay $350,000 and former executive Dennis Farrell would pay $50,000.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Neighbors might detect the telltale scent of licorice as crews excavate soil contaminated by the 2014 Freedom Industries spill.

The excavation is scheduled to begin Monday at the site, which was the epicenter of a public water crisis for weeks. The spill into the Elk River left hundreds of thousands of residents in Charleston and neighboring counties without access to public water supplies.

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