- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A fourth former Freedom Industries executive has pleaded innocent to misdemeanor charges related to the chemical spill one year that caused a public drinking water crisis in West Virginia.

Media reports state 63-year-old Charles E. Herzing of McMurray, Pennsylvania, was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond after his arraignment Monday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Charleston.

He is accused of Clean Water Act violations related to the Jan. 9, 2014, Freedom spill into the Elk River that contaminated the drinking water supply for 300,000 West Virginians.

Last week, three former Freedom executives were formally charged in connection with the spill.

Their pleas came a day after the unsealing of an FBI affidavit that said Freedom Industries knew about critical flaws at its Charleston plant, but never dealt with them.

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