CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The West Virginia company at the center of a January chemical spill is hiring experts to preserve emails and phone records for ongoing investigations.
Freedom Industries will pay Vestige Ltd. about $42,500 to maintain electronic evidence, which is needed for a U.S. Attorney's Office investigation and other chemical spill inquiries.
Freedom attorney Steve Thompson says the data firm started collecting information around Feb. 1, when the U.S. Attorney's Office was issuing grand jury subpoenas. Judge Ronald Pearson approved Freedom's request in bankruptcy court Tuesday.
Thompson says some records are with former Freedom executives. Court documents show the company's environmental cleanup bill topped $911,000 in January. Freedom expected another $1.7 million in environmental costs from mid-February to mid-March.
Freedom's Jan. 9 spill contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people for days.