Associated Press Published

W.Va. Regulators: Freedom Industries Schemed to Limit Spill Cleanup


State regulators say Freedom Industries “embarked upon a scheme” to get concessions on cleanup obligations at the site of last year’s chemical spill.

In Charleston bankruptcy court Monday, the Department of Environmental Protection objected to Freedom’s liquidation proposal.

Freedom’s January 2014 spill spurred a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for days.

DEP says Freedom is requesting to pay $2.5 million to lawyers and professionals in the bankruptcy case.

It says Freedom Chief Restructuring Officer Mark Welch and lawyers want to abuse their positions to benefit themselves by forcing DEP to accept an inadequate cleanup plan.

DEP wants $1 million for cleanup. Freedom has proposed $150,000. DEP says Freedom indicated it could provide $90,000 or less.

DEP says Freedom still has a persistent problem with soil and water chemical contamination onsite.