Jun 18, 2015

Freedom Industries agrees to $2.5 million deal to clean up site of 2014 West Virginia chemical spill

West Virginia state regulators "reached a deal with bankrupt Freedom Industries that will set aside $2.5 million for the cleanup of the site of the January 2014 chemical spill that contaminated drinking water supplies for hundreds of thousands of people in Charleston and surrounding communities," Ken Ward reports for the Charleston Gazette

"Under the proposal, Chemstream Holdings—the company that bought Freedom about a month before the Elk River spill—would contribute an additional $1.1 million that would be specifically earmarked for the site cleanup," Ward writes. That money, along with another $1.4 million from Freedom, will be put "into an 'ERT Remediation Fund' to accomplish a cleanup under the state Department of Environmental Protection's 'voluntary' remediation program."

"In April, Freedom had proposed putting just $150,000 in funding toward remaining cleanup work at the site, a move that drew harsh criticism from DEP officials and was rejected by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ronald Pearson," Ward writes. "The new settlement, signed by DEP General Counsel Kristin Boggs, says that the agency agreed that Freedom would have no obligation to perform additional remediation beyond the payments into the fund as spelled out by the settlement. DEP also agrees under the plan not to sue Chemstream for anything related to the spill or the site cleanup." (Read more