Three former executives pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges stemming from a chemical spill that fouled drinking water for about 300,000 West Virginians, media reported.
Prosecutors in December accused Freedom Industries Inc, its former president Gary Southern and other officers of negligence and fraud after the discharge of a chemical pollutant into the Elk River near Charleston a year ago.
The leak of a chemical foam used to wash coal breached a containment area one mile (1.6 km) upstream of a water treatment and distribution plant near Charleston, according to the charges.
Company officials were also accused of failing to maintain the containment area and failing to properly inspect the tank containing the chemical.
Southern, who was arrested in early December in Florida and released after posting a $100,000 bond, pleaded not guilty on Thursday, local broadcaster WOWK-TV reported.
Former company officers Dennis Farrell and William Tis pleaded not guilty to similar charges and have been released, each on a $10,000 bond, West Virginia MetroNews reported.
The trial is due to start on March 10.
(Reporting by Kara Van Pelt in Beckley, West Virginia; Writing by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
Russia and China blast US missile test
Russia and China warned Tuesday that a new US missile test had heightened military tensions and risked sparking an arms race, weeks after Washington ripped up a Cold War-era weapons pact with Moscow.
The US and Russia ditched the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty this month after accusing each other of violating the accord.
Washington said the agreement also tied its hands in dealing with other powers such as China.
The US Department of Defense announced on Monday it had tested a type of ground-launched missile that was banned under the 1987 INF agreement, which limited the use of nuclear and conventional medium-range weapons.
Leaked audio shows oil lobbyist bragging about success in criminalizing pipeline protests
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Derrick Morgan of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Trump’s latest attempt to smear Scaramucci dunked in mockery
At least one White House or campaign staffer apparently helped President Donald Trump attack his short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci -- and he was met with mockery.
The president tweeted out a supercut video late Monday of Scaramucci defending Trump before his recent public disavowal, and attacked his former staffer as a "dope" who's seeking fame.
Nobody ever heard of this dope until he met me. He only lasted 11 days! pic.twitter.com/RzX3zjXzga
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019