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Environment

Settlement reached over chemical spill

by Marc S. Reisch
November 7, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 44

American Water and Eastman Chemical have agreed to pay a total of $151 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by businesses and residents over Freedom Chemical’s 2014 spill of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM), which contaminated municipal water in Charleston, W.Va. The lawsuit charged that American Water didn’t respond to the spill properly and that Eastman didn’t warn Freedom about the dangers of MCHM, a compound used to wash coal. Papers filed with the Federal Court in Charleston indicate that the water utility will contribute $126 million to the settlement. Eastman is contributing the remaining $25 million, according to press reports.

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