Putnam County Commission comes to terms with Hurricane, Freedom

HURRICANE, W.Va.–The Putnam County Commission agreed to settle a lawsuit Tuesday with Freedom Industries over dumping the waste from the Freedom spill in a Hurricane landfill.

The Commission agreed to terms of a deal between Putnam County, the city of Hurricane, and Disposal Services. The settlement will require five years of soil and landfill discharge sampling to make sure none of the MCHM disposed of is being released in significant levels.

The deal comes a year after a federal judge intervened and stopped Disposal Services from dumping MCHM, which was dumped into the Elk River in the January 2014 Freedom spill.

In monitoring the landfill for possible releases of MCHM for five years, Commissioner Joseph Haynes said the settlement went “above and beyond” to make that residents would not run any risks of exposure to chemicals.

“The whole purpose of the lawsuit from the beginning was the protection of the people of Putnam County,” Haynes said.

The deal also calls for Putnam County and the city to regain the $600,000 worth of legal fees they paid over the past year in the lawsuit in federal court.

Mike Callagan, the attorney representing Hurricane and Putnam County, said the agreement would ensure that residents’ health is protected.