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


Yeager Airport Named, Blamed In Chemical Spill Lawsuit

Reported by: Send eMail Stefano DiPietrantonio
Reported: Jun. 24, 2014 11:20 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 25, 2014 3:41 PM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

Airport Named In Lawsuit
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

A Yeager Airport representative disputes allegations in a federal lawsuit that blames Yeager's runway expansion construction for the chemical spill at Freedom Industries that left 300,000 people without clean water for weeks.

The airport said it had all the proper permits and that stormwater runoff was properly handled.

"Ten years went by without Freedom Industries filing a single complaint about stormwater runoff from the airport," said airport spokesman Mike Plante.

Still, that federal lawsuit filed Friday claims the Yeager Airport expansion project, which started in 2004, "significantly caused or contributed" to Freedom leaking coal-cleaning chemicals into the Elk River Jan. 9. It also alleges the airport allowed stormwater to flow downhill to the plant and caused the foundation of a tank to erode, then leak MCHM.

Plante maintained, however, there have been no related complaints for a decade.

"From 2004 to 2014 is a decade and in that decade, not a single complaint was filed by Freedom Industries with the airport. formal or otherwise, or with the state DEP, or with the county, or any other agency that we're aware of," Plante said.

The airport released a lengthy statement saying its work up on the hill had nothing to do with what happened below at that chemical storage facility. Normally, Plante said airport officials would not comment on pending litigation, but in this case, he felt compelled to speak up.

"The state DEP signed off on those plans. We received a release on those permits when the job was successfully completed. Part of those plans was diversion of stormwater runoff from that area," Plante said.

Part of the runway safety area expansion included installing an e-mass, or extension at the end of the runway. Plante said the the runway extension has been a major safety improvement.

"That e-mass saved 31 people's lives in 2010, when a U.S. Air jet over ran the runway," Plante said. "Yeager airport takes its responsibility to the community very seriously."

The lawsuit is one of many civil suits that have been filed since the chemical spill. It also targets former and current Freedom executives, West Virginia American Water and runway project engineers.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Blighted Homes An Issue All Over Charleston
News
Jul. 30, 2014 11:21 PM EDT
There is probably no corner of the city which does ...
Full News Story

Woman Accused Of Killing Mother Pleads Not Guilty
News
Jul. 30, 2014 11:08 PM EDT
A St. Albans woman accused of killing her mother and ...
Full News Story and Video

Hurricane Police Seek Suspect In Attempted Break-In
News
Jul. 30, 2014 11:10 PM EDT
Hurricane police are looking for the man who they say ...
Full News Story and Video


News Detroit Suspect To Be Extradicted
Jul. 30, 2014 11:11 PM EDT
News Police Called To Middle School After Alleged Disturbance Involving Plants
Jul. 30, 2014 11:24 PM EDT
News Program Helps Children With Hearing Loss
Jul. 30, 2014 11:13 PM EDT
News State Fire Marshals Say Smoldering Cigarette Ignited Couch, Causing Fatal St. Albans Fire
Jul. 30, 2014 10:16 PM EDT
News AARP Driving Safety Class Helps Seniors In Many Ways
Jul. 30, 2014 10:19 PM EDT
News Police Say Home Where Neglect Arrests Made Was In Deplorable Condition; Child Found Around Knives
Jul. 30, 2014 10:21 PM EDT
News Fla. Mom Arrested For Letting Son, 7, Go To Park Alone
Jul. 30, 2014 10:14 PM EDT
News Northbound Lanes Of East River Mountain Tunnel On I-77 To Remain Open
Jul. 30, 2014 10:12 PM EDT
News Another Tornado Confirmed In West Virgina
Jul. 30, 2014 10:08 PM EDT
News Campaign For Cato: MU Star's Heisman Quest Is Launched
Jul. 30, 2014 10:04 PM EDT
News It's Never Too Late For Adults To Learn To Swim
Jul. 30, 2014 9:55 PM EDT
News Ex-Mingo Judge Reports To Florida Prison
Jul. 30, 2014 9:52 PM EDT
News Kenova Police Seek Help In Finding Theft Suspect
Jul. 30, 2014 9:50 PM EDT
News Friday Is Deadline For Jan. 9 Chemical Spill Claims
Jul. 30, 2014 9:47 PM EDT
News Miners Gather In Pittsburgh To Fight For Their Jobs
Jul. 30, 2014 11:11 PM EDT
News Hundreds Of Citations Handed Out In WV For Texting, Cell Phone Use While Driving
Jul. 30, 2014 11:27 PM EDT
News Police Say Teen Robbed In Downtown Charleston
Jul. 30, 2014 9:39 PM EDT
News Charges Dropped Against WVU RB
Jul. 30, 2014 9:33 PM EDT
News Elderly Woman Fights Off Intruders
Jul. 30, 2014 9:27 PM EDT
News Saints Coach Says Facilities Are "Pretty Amazing"
Jul. 25, 2014 10:25 AM EDT
News PETA Oposes Using Animals In WV Testing
Jul. 25, 2014 10:10 AM EDT
News Man Accused Of Stealing ATV, Crashing After Pursuit
Jul. 25, 2014 10:09 AM EDT
News WV Clinic Operator Faces Disciplinary Hearing
Jul. 25, 2014 10:31 AM EDT
News Search Under Way For Missing Man In Roane County
Jul. 25, 2014 9:23 AM EDT
News Junior Troopers To Graduate Academy
Jul. 25, 2014 9:12 AM EDT
News Blood Drive Held In Downtown Charleston Friday
Jul. 25, 2014 8:37 AM EDT
News WV State To Hold Emergency Drill Friday
Jul. 25, 2014 8:18 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 7:51 AM EDT
News Autopsy Backlog Affecting Police Work
Jul. 25, 2014 9:03 AM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
2 dead following house fire in W.Va.

The State Fire Marshal's Office says "careless smoking" caused a house fire in St. Albans that left two people dead.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Stars Above Me wins Coronation Cup at Saratoga

Favored Stars Above Me burst through an opening along the rail in mid-stretch and pulled away for a 2 1/4-length victory Wednesday in the $100,000 Coronation Cup at Saratoga Race Course.
Full Story

Ohio News
Journal Communications, Scripps Co. announce deal

Journal Communications Inc. of Milwaukee and E.W. Scripps Co. of Cincinnati have announced an agreement to merge broadcasting operations while spinning off newspaper holdings into a separate public company.
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.