Chemical Company Could Abandon Site Without Cleanup

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A bankruptcy judge is concerned that a chemical company may abandon the site of a massive January spill without cleaning it up.

Judge Ronald Pearson expressed the concern in an order filed Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston.

The order points out that Freedom Industries' plan to liquidate says the company expects to pay $850,000 or less to remediate its Charleston spill site.

Freedom's plan says it may alternatively abandon the site, subject to court order.

Pearson wrote that it would be unacceptable for Freedom to risk not completing environmental obligations while spending millions of dollars on dozens of lawyers. Freedom is under state orders to demolish and remediate the site.

Freedom's spill contaminated tap water for 300,000 people for days.

The Charleston Gazette first reported Pearson's order.