Testimony Begins in Water Company, Spill Investigation

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A former Putnam County Public Service District employee says West Virginia American Water Company should have closed its intake at the Kanawha Valley plant after the Freedom Industries chemical spill three years ago.

Media outlets report that former South Putnam Public Service District general manager Fred Stottlemyer testified Thursday before the state Public Service Commission as part of the investigation into the handling of the January 2014 chemical leak.

Stottlemeyer testified the company didn’t close its intake because it hadn’t been producing treated water up to the plant’s capacity in the days before the spill. If production had been higher, he said, the company could have shut down its intake pipes to let the worst of the Freedom spill pass.

Testimony will resume Jan. 24.