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West Virginia Company Finished Merger Days Before Spill

The closely held West Virginia company whose chemicals-storage plant polluted the Elk River, compromising water supplies for about 300,000 people and sending more than 100 to the hospital, had completed a four-way merger nine days before the leak was discovered.

Freedom Industries Inc., the owner of the plant in Charleston, the state capital, on Dec. 31 combined with two other West Virginia companies, Etowah River Terminal LLC and Poca Blending LLC, state records show. Freedom also merged with Delaware-based Crete Technologies LLC, the records show.