Ex-official’s Sentencing Set in West Virginia Chemical Spill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A former plant manager at Freedom Industries is due in court for sentencing in a 2014 chemical spill that fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 West Virginians.

Michael Burdette is the first of six ex-Freedom officials to be sentenced this month on pollution charges. He is set to appear Monday afternoon in federal court in Charleston.

Burdette faces up to a year in prison and a minimum $2,500 fine.

The spill of thousands of gallons of the coal-cleaning agent MCHM into the Elk River in January 2014 two miles upstream from a West Virginia American Water intake prompted officials to tell residents in nine counties not to use their tap water for up to 10 days.