Airport Sued Over January 9th Chemical Spill
A federal lawsuit blames a Charleston airport runway construction project for the January 9th chemical spill. The consolidated lawsuit filed Friday in Charleston said Yeager Airport's now-complete runway extension never safeguarded against stormwater runoff. Plaintiffs say the airport let water flow downhill to the Freedom Industries site below, which eroded the foundation of the tank that spilled. The lawsuit said effects of the runway project that started in 2004 "significantly caused or contributed" to Freedom leaking coal-cleaning chemicals into the Elk River on Jan. 9. The lawsuit also targets a former and current Freedom executive, the company that produces the chemical, the water company and its parent and runway project contractors. The airport says it was never notified by Freedom that there was a problem.