It was with some interest that I read about R&P Electroplating in the Northwest Arkansas Times today. I first wrote about the Fayetteville plant back in 1999 (The Poison Next Door: Were carcinogens released into area water supply? - Ozark Gazette, January, 1999) and I quoted John Gibson, who was the Washington County Emergency Services coordinator, as saying that there was no "imminent health threat."
Today, Hugh Earnest was quoted as saying that there is "no imminent danger." Earnest works with a group which would like to have the site transferred to the city, once it is cleaned up
It's been over eight years, and the damn site has still not been cleaned up?
This is nothing short of ridiculous.
I worked in the chemical lab of a plating facility (Superior Industries) at the time I wrote the story, and I know how dangerous these chemicals are that were leaking into the ground. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, especially given the cuts to the Superfund budget under Comrade Bush, that the cleanup is taking so long.
I hope the eventual cleanup is thorough, and includes removal of the building, and even the removal of the top layers of dirt around the facility.
Thank God we are not in "imminent" danger . . .
It may interest some to know that R&P isn't the only site ever investigated in Fayetteville. Other places include:
Tyson's Mexican Original South Plant
UA's nuclear facility - Harmon Road
Van Rogers and Waters - South Government Avenue
While the Government Avenue location was located near the stockyards, the Mexican Original Plant is located just a few blocks from people's homes.
I'd be glad to email anyone who wants the original article I wrote, or your local library might have a copy of my book, "Ozark Mosaic: Adventures in Arkansas Alternative Journalism, 1990-2002." The story can be found in Chapter 53, page 181.
Ah - concern for the environment and naked self-promotion.
*** Tracy and I rewatched "The Ring" this past weekend, and I've been taking a very nonscientific poll. I first wondered this after watching the awful "Thirteen Ghosts." Anyway - if a ghost can hit you, then it seems logical to me that you should be able to hit a ghost - or am I just not getting into the spirit of these things?
All I know is, if I see something nasty, slimy and wet crawling out of my TV set, I'm reaching for a baseball bat. What have I got to lose?