Associated Press Published

Ex-Freedom Industries Exec Set for Sentencing in Chem Spill

Freedom Industries

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.

Southern faces the harshest penalty: up to three years in prison and $300,000 in fines. Federal prosecutors recommended a sentence of 21 to 27 months. The defense sought no prison time.

Four other former officials were sentenced to probation; a fifth received a one-month prison term.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy eight days after the spill, was fined $900,000, although a judge said it was symbolic due to the company’s liquidation.