by Max Brantley
Sen. Bob Johnson of Bigelow, who wants you to believe he'd protect the Lake Maumelle water supply despite his ongoing efforts to strip Central Arkansas Water of the ability to protect it from polluting runoff, is a polluter in Little Rock. If you read our Insider column or blog regularly, you know I'm referring to the illegal dump his family owns along I-630, not far from Children's Hospital.
Here's an update on the situation from Leslie Newell Peacock, who has been chronicling city and state cleanup efforts:
On Thursday, the Johnson Brothers came under added heat from the state to clean up the Thayer Street car salvage site. A water quality field inspector for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality notified Brett S. Johnson, Sen. Bob Johnson’s brother and the head of Johnson Brothers Investments, that oil/petroleum contaminated soil and asphalt had been found on the site, and that such discharge of the waste violates the federal Clean Water Act, the state Water and Air Pollution Control Act.
The site, four city lots at the corner of Thayer and Maryland, was leased from the Johnson family by Bradford Auto Salvage and Sales for years and has been cited by the city for various code violations since 1988 at least, city records show.
The ADEQ has told Johnson Brothers it will have to remove the contaminated soil and send it to a “proper disposal facility.” The company has a deadline of Sept. 28 to inform ADEQ when and where it will remove the contaminated soil.
Or maybe Johnson could get the law changed so that ADEQ no longer regulates his investments.