UPDATE: Ex-exec sentenced to 1 month in West Virginia chemical spill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - UPDATE 2/17/2017 5:22 PM

A former executive with direct oversight of a West Virginia chemical tank farm that leaked and fouled a drinking water supply has been sentenced to one month in federal prison.

Gary Southern also was fined $20,000 Wednesday in federal court in Charleston.

Southern was the last of six ex-Freedom Industries officials sentenced on pollution charges.

Four others were sentenced to probation; a fifth also received a one-month prison term. The company, which filed for bankruptcy eight days after the spill, was fined $900,000, although the judge said the fine was symbolic due to the company's liquidation.

The January 2014 spill of a coal-cleaning agent into the Elk River in Charleston got into a water company's intake and prompted a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for up to 10 days.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


A former executive with direct oversight of a West Virginia chemical tank farm that leaked and fouled the local drinking water supply in 2014 is due in court for sentencing.

Gary Southern is the last of six ex-Freedom Industries officials to be sentenced on pollution charges. He is set to appear Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Charleston.

Southern faces the harshest penalty: up to three years in prison and $300,000 in fines. Federal prosecutors recommended a sentence of 21 to 27 months. The defense sought no prison time.

Four other former officials were sentenced to probation; a fifth received a one-month prison term.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy eight days after the spill, was fined $900,000, although a judge said it was symbolic due to the company's liquidation.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



 
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