Ex-official Gets Probation in West Virginia Chemical Spill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A former Freedom Industries official became the fourth defendant sentenced to three years’ probation on a pollution charge in a chemical spill that tainted the tap water of 300,000 residents in West Virginia.

Ex-owner William Tis also was fined $20,000 Monday in federal court in Charleston.

The January 2014 spill of a coal-cleaning agent into the Elk River got into a water company’s intake and prompted a tap-water ban in nine counties for up to 10 days.

Three other ex-Freedom officials were sentenced to probation last week. Two others will be sentenced later this month.

The bankrupt company itself was fined $900,000 last week, but a judge said that was symbolic because the fine likely won’t ever be paid.