CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The company at the center of the West Virginia water emergency filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston.

Freedom Industries said it can’t pay its bills because those it does business with are demanding cash payments because of the leak.

(Read Freedom’s bankruptcy filing here)

In the filing, Freedom said it’s been hypothesized that a water line break near its facility on Barlow Drive caused the ground below its chemical tank to freeze causing the leak from the tank.

Freedom has said it believes 7,500 gallons of crude MCHM leaked.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Friday the bankruptcy filing would have no impact on his ongoing federal criminal investigation.


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  • me

    Another of the interesting facts about geology is how it affects the environment. Einstein totally dismissed the 'Old Physicswhich believed in an absolute space and time and that the speed of light was relative.

  • me

    No surprise this happen.

    • me

      And also a way to get out of paying lawsuits

  • Larry

    Jason412, please keep your comments brief, and to the point, I could read "War and Peace" quicker than I could your last few posts.

  • Ricardo

    Long ago WV sold itself for the proverbial 'thirty pieces of gold'. Today the mantra is 'jobs at any price' and the boogey man is the Federal EPA. The southern counties are a ' national sacrifice zone' to coal, the Kanawha Valley at ' national sacrifice zone' to chemicals and the northwest is rapidly becoming a 'national sacrifice zone' to the fracking industry. That is, was and will be WV until all the mineral wealth is mined, processed and shipped. WV is to America what the Amazon is to Brazil, something to be raped and pillaged and ultimately discarded without much concern for the native population.


    I feel sorry for you people in WV , you're so hard up for work that your government brings in all these chemical companies that no one else wants and lets them abuse the system.

    • Robin

      Arthur it shows just how much you know about the history of this state and the area specifically. Charleston, Nitro area use to be the chemical capitol of the world. There is next to nothing there now. The water is clean and is used for recreation.

    • BigMo

      Most of the chemical companies are gone or in the process of leaving the Kanawha Valley. The Institute Site is mostly gravel and so is South Charleston.

    • Aaron

      I'm curious Me. Arthur, how do you conclude a storage tank farm is a chemical company and why do you think they are exclusive to WV.

      I'm also curious how you get WV is any more hard up for work than other states when our unemployment rate is below the national average.

      Can you elaborate?

      • Frank

        Aaron you're correct, WV has a low unemployment rate. But, to use a GOP argument, unemployment doesn't take into consideration all the people who have "given up" looking for work. Or more over, the example of many in the Coal Counties who have never worked & have always relied on my tax dollars from states you (& WVTD) would call "liberal".
        25% of WV's economy (before the chemical spill) is based on US Government giving WV residents money (Unemployment, disability, various forms of social security). WV is the #1 state in receiving more money than it contributes to the government coffers. Earning it the right of being the #1 in the US as a "Taker State". So Arthur's comments about WV needing more "risky" industries is correct. But, then again, WV's economy has always been based on "risky" industries like coal & drugs like heroin!

        • Aaron

          I don't dispute that there is a large portion of citizens on welfare Frank but to say that a quarter of our economy is based on what we get from the feds seems high to me. Where do you get that number.

          As for WV being a taker state, that number refers to federal tax dollars received for every tax dollar received. The latest numbers I can find are from 2007 and that placed WV 5th at 1.76 for every tax dollar paid. That was before Bob Byrd's death, Obama's failed stimulus and our punishment from the Obama administration for handing him some of his most humiliating defeats.

          With the reduction in infrastructure spending and our added burden due to the stimulus in which the average WV taxpayer pays back 1.55 for every dollar received, I'd say our ranking has dropped somewhat.

          As to his comments about the tank farms, every state has them thus his comments were anecdotal at best, as it seems, are yours.

      • wvtd

        do not expect a coherent answer from a liberal. they will just end up calling you a racist or something. I feel sorry Arthur, to much Kool-Aid.

  • Aaron

    First off, anyone who surprises this action for well is either naive or, well let's just leave it at that.

    Of course they filed bankruptcy. They had no other choice. They have millions upon millions of dollars in liabilities, Any income they have is going to be confiscated, so they have no way of paying their bills. As such no vendor in their right mind would do business with them.

    I'm certainly not defending Freedom because I believe whoever was responsible for ensuring the retaining walls were in proper working should be looking at criminal charges.

    But I don't see is how making inaccurate statements regarding bankruptcy laws or implying this is something that could happen only in West Virginia adds anything to the conversation.

  • james


    Why doesn't WV take the lead in irradicating bankruptcy abuse?????????????????

    Take a class in civics and government. Bankruptcy is a federal action and the state is preempted. Why don't some of you actually do some reading and research before spouting off. This is why WV is usually the but(t) of other states jokes.

    Here is a cite to an online dictionary if you want to look preempted up:

    • WVU 74

      For decades the unwritten rule, for corporations, in the WV legal system has been: You can profit from your own wrong.

    • Larry

      Are you serious, WV is not going to take the "lead" in anything with the Democrat party in control, except the number of deadbeat welfare recipients and we already lead that category.

      • cutty77

        No. Lawyers Run WV. Thats why we are almost last in Everything. Who do you think in charge at The Statehouse. LAWYERS.

        • Larry

          Even worse, "Democrat party lawyers"!

          • Wowbagger

            Since the Democratic Party has been dominant in West Virginia since 1932 (yes that's 82 years) excepting a couple of Republican Governors I contend you can make the argument that they own the current economy, have a lot of responsibility for the state of the education system, and the legal system.

          • Frank

            You're right Larry, the "Democrats" are to blame for the lack of work ethic, the desire to drop out of school (or is it skool) , and rampant drugs in WV. Take away those damn Democrats, and you'd be Ohio???
            Ha ha ha ha ha... Larry YOU ARE the punch line in a joke that is West Virginia!

  • jay ziehm

    most people pay bills with cash/debit card or check if a check bounces you suffer the consequences debit card refused. don't understand the problem sounds like a way out for future litigation and stall any possible lawsuits for years and years

  • Frank / Moundsville

    David, explain exactly how anyone but the lawyers benefit from a bankruptcy filing.

  • David

    As reported elsewhere, the financial backing for the bankruptcy itself is coming from the very same guy who is owner of Freedom Industries. If the restructuring fails, the person who finances the bankruptcy stands to gain tremendously.
    So understand this, the owner of the company filing bankruptcy finances the bankruptcy. If the bankruptcy fails, the owner wins.
    This needs to be stopped. The owner of a company shouldn't be able to benefit when his own company's apparent negligence was the root cause of this whole debacle.

    • Taxpayer

      Dude, you are completely ignorant about how bankruptcy works. You don't "finance" a bankruptcy and a bankruptcy doesn't "fail".

  • Frank / Moundsville

    Boy, this was a hard one to predict............WV American Water can't be too far behind in the bankruptcy line.

  • wvtd

    damn that was quick.

  • Fed Up

    What happened to the million bucks in stimulus money they got to rebuild the retaining pit..

    • wirerowe

      Stimulus money was for dredging the Elk. Well you can't call it dredging. According to some reports Freedom had recently escrowed $1million to upgrade the secondary containment
      area but had not got around to it.

  • J the C

    These people are criminals. Morissey better be on top of this. "Friends of coal" and "Coal is West Virginia!" What a joke.

    • Aaron

      How is this a coal issue?

  • Mike

    The President of that company should lose everything he has, business and personal assets. He's nothing but scum. State officials should not let him and his company get away with this.

    • WV Redneck

      The president only owned this place for 9 days when this happened but you will probably get your wish. He also bought the disaster unfortunately for him and is still ultimately responsible