BELLA VISTA (KFSM) —The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has released its preliminary response action plan to address the underground fire at a former dump stump site in Bella Vista.
The plan will utilize air curtain technology with excavation, separating hazardous substances, and wood waste management, the ADEQ says.
A hole has to be dug at the site to ensure that the fire is extinguished and will not reignite. An estimated 175,000-225,000 cubic yards of waste will be excavated, the ADEQ says.
The ADEQ believes a bulk of the waste on fire is wood. They say to avoid an estimated expense of $11.3-$15 million to haul the wood waste to a landfill, an air curtain technology (a fan-powered device that creates an invisible air barrier to separate two different areas) will consume a substantial amount of wood waste. Other wastes (metal, tires, construction material, and hazardous substances) will be removed from the site for proper disposal.
Following the excavation process, the site will be restored with native trees, grass and other vegetative material.
One resident of the area said he has to drive past the stump dump every time he goes to the lake.
"I'm glad that something is getting done now, but I wish something would have been done a long time ago," Avery Sharp said.
Once the complete plan is finalized, the scope of work will be made available to the public on ADEQ's Bella Vista Community Information page.
Bella Vista residents can submit comments on the response plan here. The ADEQ will accept comments until the close of business on April 5, 2019.