Ex-exe sentenced to 1 month in West Virginia chemical spill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A former Freedom Industries executive has been sentenced to one month in federal prison for a chemical spill that fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 West Virginians.

Dennis Farrell also was fined $20,000 Thursday in federal court in Charleston.

Four other ex-Freedom officials have been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay fines. Ex-company President Gary Southern is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

In January 2014, the leak of coal-cleaning chemicals into the water supply spurred a tap-water ban across nine counties for up to 10 days.

The company, which filed bankruptcy eight days after the spill, was fined $900,000, although a federal judge said the fine was more symbolic than anything.