WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Federal Bankruptcy Judge Approves Emergency Loan For Freedom Industries

Reported: Jan. 21, 2014 5:40 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 22, 2014 9:25 AM EST
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Bob Aaron, Jeff Morris) -- A federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved an emergency loan that will keep Freedom Industries, the company responsible for a chemical leak that led to a water crisis, afloat for now.

During a six-hour hearing in federal bankruptcy court, Judge Ronald Pearson approved a $4 million loan to Freedom from a company insider. The judge also agreed to a plan to let Freedom pay its 61 employees Wednesday and to pay key suppliers $3 million if they agree to allow Freedom to make future purchases by credit.

Pearson said he is interested in a deal that will keep employees paid and that covers the environmental cleanup at the company's site on Barlow Drive.

On the stand, company President Gary Southern said that Freedom is turning into a "death spiral" and will not turn the corner unless the current perceptions of customers and suppliers changes.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Bob Aaron, Jeff Morris) -- Freedom Industries' president said at a federal bankruptcy court hearing in Charleston on Tuesday the company is "turning into a death spiral unless it can change the perception of its customers and suppliers."

Gary Southern made the comments during the hearing in court where the company is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after the leak of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) at its Barlow Drive facility in Charleston. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Freedom over the leak, which led to a water crisis in nine counties.

Southern maintained the company can turn the corner if it can change the current perception following the leak. Freedom indicated it has a $3 million liability insurance policy to cover pollution and a general liability insurance policy of about $2 million.

Bankruptcy Judge Ronald Pearson said it is the most unusual case he has ever dealt with as a judge. He said he is trying to develop a plan so the company's employees can get paid Wednesday while the cleanup continues at the Barlow Drive facility. The company has spent $800,000 on the cleanup so far.

Freedom has continued to do business at the terminal after the leak because it couldn't find enough tank space to remove all liquid material from the site, so the company has been trying to sell the material.

The company is owned by Chemstream Holdings, a Pennsylvania company solely owned by Cliff Forrest.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Ohio Pool Hall Owner Arrested On Felonious Assault Charges
News
Jul. 25, 2014 11:45 PM EDT
A pool hall owner was arrested, after police say he ...
Full News Story and Video

WV State Holds Active Shooter Drill
News
Jul. 25, 2014 10:57 PM EDT
An active shooter scenario was held Friday on West ...
Full News Story and Video

Southbound Lanes Of I-77 Re-Open Near WV-Va. Border
News
Jul. 25, 2014 10:27 PM EDT
Southbound lanes of Interstate 77 have re-opened, following ...
Full News Story and Video


News Officials React To Plants Statement
Jul. 25, 2014 9:46 PM EDT
News Man Sentenced To 8 Years For Huntington Shooting
Jul. 25, 2014 9:31 PM EDT
News Man Will Not Face Charges For Allegedly Plotting To Kill Detective
Jul. 25, 2014 9:32 PM EDT
News Charleston Fire Under Investigation
Jul. 25, 2014 7:04 PM EDT
News Huntington Residents Glad To See City's Commitment To Fighting Drugs
Jul. 25, 2014 7:29 PM EDT
News Refunds Coming To Dirty Girl Registrants Who Used Self Service Ticketing Agency
Jul. 25, 2014 10:56 PM EDT
News Saints Tight End Graham Returns In Form, And With Humor
Jul. 25, 2014 7:30 PM EDT
News Rockefeller Elected To Colonial Williamsburg Panel
Jul. 25, 2014 5:02 PM EDT
News Woman Convicted In Skylar Neese Slaying Moved To Mason County
Jul. 25, 2014 5:16 PM EDT
News Man Pleads Guilty To Sexual Assault Charge
Jul. 25, 2014 7:30 PM EDT
News Old Crow Medicine Show Slated For Power Park
Jul. 25, 2014 7:30 PM EDT
News Rabel To Kick Off Independent Campaign For Congress
Jul. 25, 2014 5:04 PM EDT
News Hospice Of Huntington Hosts Sidewalk Sale
Jul. 25, 2014 7:31 PM EDT
News U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin Sued By Brother Over Loan
Jul. 25, 2014 1:32 PM EDT
News Search Under Way For Missing Man In Roane County
Jul. 25, 2014 9:06 PM EDT
News Belle Of Cincinnati Offers Sunday River Cruises
Jul. 25, 2014 3:00 PM EDT
News Man Injured In Motorcycle Accident
Jul. 25, 2014 12:48 PM EDT
News Huntington Classic Regatta Under Way
Jul. 25, 2014 1:08 PM EDT
News WV Clinic Operator's Medical License Suspended
Jul. 25, 2014 7:33 PM EDT
News Fletcher's Grove, Donna The Buffalo Featured Acts This Evening At Live On The Levee
Jul. 25, 2014 7:33 PM EDT
News Saints Coach Says Facilities Are "Pretty Amazing"
Jul. 25, 2014 1:22 PM EDT
News PETA Opposes Using Animals In WV Testing
Jul. 25, 2014 12:01 PM EDT
News Man Accused Of Stealing ATV, Crashing After Pursuit
Jul. 25, 2014 12:58 PM EDT
News Junior Troopers To Graduate Academy
Jul. 25, 2014 7:35 PM EDT
News Blood Drive Held In Downtown Charleston Friday
Jul. 25, 2014 8:37 AM EDT
News Man Stabbed In Charleston
Jul. 25, 2014 7:46 AM EDT
News 5 Alarm Mud Run To Benefit Fire Department
Jul. 25, 2014 1:10 PM EDT
News Autopsy Backlog Affecting Police Work
Jul. 25, 2014 9:03 AM EDT
News Huntington Council Votes To Hire New Police Officers
Jul. 24, 2014 11:28 PM EDT
News Library Levy Headed Back To Ballot
Jul. 25, 2014 2:31 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Tunnel fire stops traffic near W.Va., Va. border

A fire inside the East River Tunnel near West Virginia's border with Virginia has stopped traffic on Interstate 77.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Keeneland postpones instant racing plan

A Keeneland official says the race track doesn't want construction under way when next year's Breeders' Cup is held there and is putting off plans to build a facility for instant racing.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio attorney general warns of grant-related scam

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning residents to beware of scam calls offering government grants.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.