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Chemical spill exec urges settlement approval in lawsuit

Posted 4:45 a.m. Wednesday

— The executive in charge during a water-tainting chemical spill in 2014 wants a judge to approve his class-action lawsuit settlement.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports (http://bit.ly/2cBfQfz ) that on Tuesday, ex-Freedom Industries official Gary Southern asked U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver in Charleston to approve his settlement.

Under the agreement, Southern would pay $350,000 to resolve claims in the January 2014 leak, which spurred a do-not-use order on 300,000 people's tap water for days.

Southern was sentenced 30 days in prison for related criminal pollution violations.

The class-action still targets West Virginia American Water, Eastman Chemical and ex-Freedom official Dennis Farrell for various roles in the Charleston spill.

Lawyers for affected residents and businesses who sued have urged for approval of Southern's settlement since December 2015.

The trial date is Oct. 25.

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