Freedom Industries, the West Virginia corporation that was responsible for contaminating the drinking water of at least 300,000 people, has been issued a veritable slap on the wrist.
The company has been issued fines that total only $11,000.00 for the spill. That works out to about $0.04 per person potentially poisoned. The fine was split into two portions. The first for $7,000 was for failing to keep chemicals in diked areas that would retain the liquid. The second was for $4,000 for failing to provide safe hand railing to employees for walking over the dikes.
So the real number related to the spill works out closer to $0.02 per person potentially poisoned.
Freedom Industries has filed for bankruptcy as estimates for civil costs associated with the spill are around $61 million.
But the fine is a paltry example of the incentives that exist for companies like Freedom to disregard the safety and maintenance of its facilities. If it costs more to maintain the facility than it does to file bankruptcy and pay the fine, who would expect the company would do the right thing and protect the people and environment?
Watch the segment from RT discussing the Freedom Industries story.