Freedom Industries to Pay $2.5M in West Virginia Spill Cleanup

June 19, 2015

The company behind a massive chemical spill last year has reached a $2.5 million deal with West Virginia environmental regulators for cleaning up its contaminated site, according to new court filings.

The Charleston Gazette reports Freedom Industries released the plan in a filing June 16 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston, W. Va. The company asked for a quick hearing to get Judge Ronald Pearson’s approval.

The filing is signed by Department of Environmental Protection General Counsel Kristin Boggs.

The proposal says Freedom parent company Chemstream Holdings would add $1.1 million to remediate the Charleston spill site. Freedom would contribute $1.4 million, and wouldn’t have to pay for any cleanup work beyond that amount.

Previously, Freedom proposed $150,000 for additional cleanup. State environmental regulators criticized the lower figure and Pearson ultimately rejected it.

The January 2014 spill in Charleston spurred a tap-water ban for 300,000 people across nine counties for days.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman told the Gazette that his staff thinks $2.5 million will be more than adequate once remediation plans are drawn up. He said there’s no exact estimate yet on cleanup costs.

The agreement says Freedom can’t sue Chemstream for the spill or cleanup.

The plan would pave the way for future approval of a liquidation plan to wrap up Freedom’s bankruptcy proceedings. The company filed for bankruptcy eight days after the spill.

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