Agreements reached in 2014 West Virginia chem spill

Nov. 1, 2016
West Virginia American Water to pay up to $126 million, Eastman Chemical $25 million.
Va. Guard personnel assist W.Va. water collection operations inthe aftermath of the Elk River spill. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

WEST VIRGINIA, NOVEMBER 1, 2016 -- According to settlement terms made public Monday, a total of $151 million will be paid by West Virginia American Water and Eastman Chemical Co. in response to a 2014 spill that left residents in the affected area without tap water for up to nine days. The Wall Street Journal reports that West Virginia American Water agreed to pay up to $126 million, while Eastman Chemical agreed to pay $25 million to resolve the lawsuit. Neither company has admitted fault in the spill.

On Jan. 9, 2014, an estimated 10,000 gallons of Crude MCHM, a chemical mixture manufactured by Eastman Chemical and used to process coal, leaked from a storage tank and entered Charleston's drinking water system, operated by West Virginia American Water. The chemical needed to be flushed from the pipes, resulting in a loss of service for drinking water customers in the affected area.

A federal lawsuit alleged that both the water company and the chemical company failed to properly prepare for and mitigate damages in the wake of the spill.

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