FORT SMITH (KFSM) – A new quarterly report released by the Whirlpool corporation in Fort Smith this week states groundwater contamination is down 80 percent in all but two areas.
The third quarter report credits “the success of the second oxidant injection” efforts in reducing the amount of trichloroethylene, or TCE, in the groundwater and soil near the former Whirlpool manufacturing facility in Fort Smith.
In addition to TCE levels decreasing, the contaminating chemicals also have not stretched beyond the previously-investigated boundaries, the report states.
Whirlpool officials announced last year THC had leaked from the plant and spread north into neighboring private residential properties. TCE was used as a decreasing solvent at the plant between the late 1960s and early 1980s.
Several people whose property was affected by the contamination plume filed lawsuits against the company looking for compensation following the announcement of the leak.
Whirlpool in July announced a resolution reached with the city of Fort Smith and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality in which the company would continue to clean up the contaminated area and possibly compensate nearby residents for the lost value on their properties from the TCE contamination.
Since then, cleanup efforts have continually lowered TCE levels in the area, Whirlpool officials said.
“Whirlpool Corporation is working closely with ADEQ to effectively address the current on and off-site conditions,” Whirlpool vice president Jeff Noel said in a letter attached to the third quarter report. “We will continue to employ the Adaptive Remedy approach to ensure we are effectively addressing the latest on-site conditions, use the best scientific data to validate that there are no exposure pathways or health concerns to Fort Smith residents, and remain committed to conducting remediation activities where warranted.”
Click here to read the entire report.