Hearing Slated In Chemical Spill Cases Ahead of Sentencings

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A federal judge has scheduled a hearing leading up to several criminal sentencings surrounding a massive chemical spill.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston in Charleston scheduled the Jan. 27 hearing in the Freedom Industries cases.

Johnston wrote that the hearing will discuss the factual and legal basis for all pleaded offenses in the cases.

In January 2014, a tank at Freedom Industries in Charleston leaked chemicals into the drinking water supply for 300,000 people. The spill caused a tap-water ban for days.

Sentencings are scheduled in February for former Freedom officials Gary Southern, Dennis Farrell, William Tis, Charles Herzing, Robert Reynolds and Michael Burdette, and the company itself.