- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia attorney general report says the company behind last January’s chemical spill knew of its facility’s defects for years.

The report released Thursday by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey office’s says in 2010, one manager’s report even said “a potential catastrophic failure” could occur without drainage improvements.

Reports going back to 1998 repeatedly pointed out the need to fix a cracked, insufficient containment wall. Erosion of the riverbank was noted back to 2007.

The report says two tanks containing the chemicals that spilled each had at least one hole.

Six former Freedom officials and the company itself face federal pollution charges. Former Freedom President Gary Southern also faces fraud charges related to Freedom’s bankruptcy case.

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

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