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Putnam store admits to raising prices after spill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Putnam County convenience store manager and his business have admitted to raising drinking water prices in the wake of the Freedom Industries spill and will pay a $5,000 fine.

State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Tuesday the settlement of the case, which was filed in February. The Gazette reported last week that the case was close to being settled.

The suit alleged Mid Valley Mart stores in Hurricane and Teays Valley more than doubled the price for gallons of Tyler Mountain Spring Water immediately after the Jan. 9 chemical leak, which contaminated the water of roughly 300,000 West Virginians for days. State law generally prohibits increasing the cost for essential goods by more than 10 percent above what the price was 10 days before a declaration of emergency. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency due to the water crisis Jan. 9.

Morrisey alleged Mid Valley Mart continued to break the law until Jan. 17, when his office issued an investigative subpoena. He requested the defendants reimburse consumers for the difference…

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