- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A timeline of the Freedom Industries chemical spill in West Virginia:

Jan. 9, 2014: A coal-cleaning agent leaks from a Freedom Industries tank into the Elk River, contaminating the water supply for Charleston. By evening, more than 300,000 water customers in nine counties are instructed to stop using tap water.

Jan. 13: State officials begin lifting the “do-not-use” water advisory, although the advisory in some places lasted several more days.

Jan. 17: Freedom files for bankruptcy.

July 3: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fines Freedom $7,000 for keeping storage tanks containing the coal-cleaning agent behind a diked wall that was not liquid tight. The company also is fined $4,000 for failing to have standard railings on an elevated platform.



Week of Sept. 15: A federal bankruptcy judge approves a $2.9 million settlement against Freedom to benefit 300,000 people whose water was contaminated in the spill. A $3.2 million figure was later proposed, and further judicial approval is still required.

Oct. 1: After months of storage tank cleanup, the last of Freedom’s tanks are removed.

Dec. 8: Former Freedom president Gary Southern is charged with bankruptcy fraud, wire fraud, and lying under oath, stemming from the company’s federal bankruptcy proceedings.

Dec. 17: Freedom and four former chemical company executives and two others are charged with violations of the Clean Water Act.

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