Associated Press Published

Second Ex-Official Gets Probation, Fine in Chemical Spill

Elk River

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.

The spill of thousands of gallons of the coal-cleaning agent MCHM into the Elk River contaminated drinking water for residents in nine counties for up to 10 days.

Robert Reynolds, Freedom’s former environmental consultant, was sentenced Monday to three years of probation and a $10,000 fine.

Former Freedom plant manager Michael Burdette and the company itself will have separate sentencings Thursday.

Other former company officials will be sentenced later this month.