- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Plea hearings are set for next month for Freedom Industries and two former executives on charges stemming from a massive chemical spill in Charleston.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston on Friday scheduled separate March 16 hearings for ex-Freedom owners Charles Herzing and William Tis. A March 23 hearing was scheduled for the company.

In addition, plea hearings were set March 18 for Freedom environmental consultant Robert Reynolds and tank farm plant manager Michael Burdette.

All are charged with federal Clean Water Act violations and are expected to plead guilty.

Ex-Freedom owner Dennis Farrell and former President Gary Southern face trial later this year on charges related to the spill. In addition, Southern faces charges related to Freedom’s bankruptcy.

The January 2014 spill contaminated drinking water for 300,000 residents for days.

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