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Freedom makes profit in February

By Andrea Lannom, Legal affairs writer

Freedom Industries, the company at the heart of the Elk River chemical leak, made more money in February than it expected.

Freedom filed its monthly operating report for February earlier this week. The document shows the company expected to bring in about $432,000 from Jan. 17 to Feb. 28.

Actual profits were $708,000, a difference of $276,000.

And the company projected an increase for the next month, listing the expected cash profit at $1.8 million. The company expects total income for the next month to be $4.2 million and total expenses of $2.4 million.

An attorney representing Freedom Industries in the bankruptcy proceeding would not comment.

According to the report, the company’s biggest expenses were for “raw materials,” costing $1.37 million, and environmental costs, which cost $1.15 million.

Right now, Freedom has about 700,000 gallons of wastewater that has not yet been moved from the site, said Kelley Gillenwater, state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman.

Gillenwater explained this wastewater is any stormwater runoff or melting snow that has been collected into a holding tank until it can be properly disposed.

She said the company is negotiating with two out-of-state firms to move the wastewater but must wait for approval from bankruptcy court before proceeding.

None of this wastewater was what went to the Hurricane landfill, which was the subject of a complaint filed by the city of Hurricane and the Putnam County Commission earlier this month. That material was out of the Poca Blending facility.

The next hearing for Freedom Industries is set for 1:30 p.m. April 18, where the court will take up President Gary Southern’s motion to get paid. His annual salary was set at $230,000 when he joined the company full-time in January.

Contact writer Andrea Lannom at Andrea.Lannom@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-5148. Follow her at www.twitter.com/AndreaLannom.


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