Articles by Jonathan Matisse

Coal Industry Worried About Expanded Liability Following Blankenship Conviction

Coal industry groups from three states are arguing that the conviction of former coal executive Don Blankenship could unfairly expose other industry leaders to criminal conspiracy charges. The Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia Coal Associations shared their concerns in a …

West Virginia Chemical Spill Posed Inhalation Risk: Study

Federal health officials overlooked risks of inhaling the licorice-scented fumes of a chemical that spilled into West Virginia’s biggest water supply last January, according to a study. The research by a Purdue University team found that some West Virginians became …

Executives in West Virginia Chemical Spill Facing Criminal Charges

When state inspectors arrived at Freedom Industries asking about a licorice smell enveloping West Virginia’s capital city, the point person at the tank farm, Dennis P. Farrell, told them he knew nothing about a chemical leak. He seemed to brush …

Exec in West Virginia Chemical Spill Charged with Lying About Role

A West Virginia executive faces charges of lying to protect his personal wealth from lawsuits after his company spilled chemicals into 300,000 people’s water supply in January, according to a criminal complaint Monday. The complaint unsealed this week in U.S. …

Judge Approves $2.9 Million West Virginia Chemical Spill Deal

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a $2.9 million settlement that would benefit 300,000 people whose water was contaminated in a January chemical spill. Judge Ronald Pearson filed the order this past Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston. Pearson’s …

Judge Worried Freedom Industries to Abandon Chemical Spill Cleanup

A bankruptcy judge is concerned that a chemical company may abandon the site of a massive January spill without cleaning it up. Judge Ronald Pearson expressed the concern in an order filed last Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston. …

West Virginia Nixes Special Session on Storage Tank Rules

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin plans to use administrative fixes instead of a special session to adjust a law regulating above-ground storage tanks. On Monday, Tomblin’s top environmental official spelled out a three-tiered system for how tank owners can …

West Virginia Water Utility Balks at $2.9M Chemical Spill Proposal

A utility is opposing a $2.9 million bankruptcy settlement that would fund projects to benefit 300,000 people whose water was contaminated in January. West Virginia American Water says Freedom Industries shouldn’t use money from its insurance proceeds to pay for …

Court Asked to Dimiss Spill Claims Against West Virginia Airport, Chemical Producer

An airport and a chemical producer want claims dismissed in a lawsuit partly targeting them over a January chemical spill. In U.S. District Court in Charleston, Yeager Airport filed a motion last week to dismiss claims in the wide-spanning lawsuit. …

Chemical Spill Claims Against West Virginia Company Top $160M

When coal-cleaning chemicals seeped into West Virginia’s biggest water supply in January, the city of Cincinnati had a decision to make 200 miles downstream. As the city feared, a sheet of contaminants cruised down the Elk River, into the Kanawha …