In December 2014 Freedom and six of its owners, managers and employees were charged with criminal violations of the Clean Water Act related to the spill. A report ordered by West Virginia Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said that the Mountain State has inadequate environmental regulations to prevent incidents such as the Freedom Industries spill.
"In separate deals with federal prosecutors, Tis, 60, and Herzing, 64, each pleaded guilty to one count of a three-count indictment that originally charged them with violations of the Clean Water Act and the Refuse Act," Ward writes. They had both entered not-guilty pleas in January.
"Freedom Industries and two other former Freedom officials, Michael Burdette and Robert Reynolds, have also agreed to plead guilty to charges related to the chemical leak, Ward writes. "Former Freedom officials Dennis Farrell and Gary Southern both also face three water pollution charges, and Southern faces separate bankruptcy fraud charges for allegedly trying to hide his personal wealth from Freedom’s bankruptcy proceeding and from civil lawsuits filed against the company over the leak. Farrell and Southern have both pleaded not guilty." (Read more)