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Citizens For Clean Water (CFCW) is a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated and committed to the preservation of our environment with special emphasis on safe and clean water in the beautiful Twin Lakes area of north-central Arkansas.

Citizens For Clean Water Officers & Board of Directors for 2017

Citizens For Clean Water Officers and Board of Directors for 2017 were recently installed at the annual meeting. Mountain Home Mayor Joe Dillard spoke to members about water issues as related to city government.

2017 Board

Front row, from the left, Doris DeSousa, treasurer, Melva Derrickson and Gail Tornquist, secretary. Back row, Dan Cohee, president, Irv Plahm, Jeff Little and Bob Manfred, vice president. Not present, Pat Cohee.

Check out this story on CFCW Board

"Open Letter to Public" - 13 July 2016,

This letter was sent to local paper -

Dear Editor,

My name is Dan Cohee and I am the President of Citizens for Clean Water (CFCW) in Twin Lakes area. CFCW has been a watchdog group incorporated in 1978 and has been involved with getting the Nabors landfill fixed and properly closed since 2005.

CFCW would really like the citizens of Baxter County and surrounding areas to have a heads up and be aware of new information. It recently has come to CFCWs attention that the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has changed its position on the landfill. 23 million dollars has been freed up by the State to allow ADEQ to step in and to correct the regulatory violations at the landfill and to properly close the landfill. Tammy Hynum, ADEQ Chief of Hazardous Waste Division, has recently stated that they, ADEQ, wants to(quote)mend the problem areas in hopes of someone taking it over and operating it.(end-quote) If it were to be put in operation again it would be the financially strapped solid waste district who would run it. The same entity that got it into its current situation!

It is never a good idea to have a government body own a landfill. In 2005 six counties bought the property and landfill and hired a company to manage it. They, as owners, became the Board of Directors. Having the 6 County Judges and the Mayors of the larger towns on the Board started off well, however it quickly soon started going insolvent. Prices were raised, but the elected officials could not agree on what to do. The Board of Directors changed every time there was an election. Some saw better, less expensive, options, and took their trash elsewhere, causing further stress on the landfill finances. These Public officials tried to declare bankruptcy, but it was thrown out of court. The state of Arkansas has now had to step in to correct the landfill, now estimated 18 million dollar price tag to correct the current regulatory violations.

The Nabors landfill stopped taking trash in 2010, and should not need to be reopened. This landfill is dangerous to the long term health of Baxter County tourism, property values, and the safety of our waterways and ground water. The landfill is located in Karst topography - which is formed of limestone, gypsum, and other soluble rocks, and is characterized by sinkholes, caves and underground drainage. We should not have our water contaminated. The landfill needs to be fully corrected and permanently closed by ADEQ.


Dan Cohee

President, Citizens for Clean Water

Landfill update - May 1, 2015

The landfill has still been the major focus for CFCW. We worked to defeat the tax solution as a non-viable solution to the citizens of Baxter County. The landfill closed its doors for receiving more trash on December 1, 2012. This should have resulted in the full correction and closing of the landfill but instead everything just came to a standstill.

We had to give ADEQ a notice of intent of lawsuit in December 2012 for not enforcing ADEQ regulations. This caused movement with ADEQ filing a law suit 12 February 2013 in the Baxter County Circuit Court against Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District, claiming OMSWD failed to start the fixing and proper closure of the landfill when the trash flow to the Nabors landfill stopped on November 30, 2012.

The Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District filed a response to the ADEQ lawsuit and also filed for bankruptcy, naming Ozark Bank and ADEQ as creditors. Bankruptcy case was dismissed by court. Senator Johnny Key introduced legislation on 10 February 2014 which cleared the way for ADEQ to access funds so the fixing and full closing of the landfill can be done while the final outcome of who pays is worked out through the law suits.There has been some action taking place since the start of 2015. The leachate is being collected and removed by contract with ADEQ by Inland Services and bore sampling is now in progress to ensure there is enough proper soil to to use as cover for the site closure.

Action now underway by ADEQ to get landfill properly fixed and closed - March 25, 2013

ADEQ filed a law suit February 12 in the Baxter County Circuit Court against Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District, claiming OMSWD failed to start the fixing and proper closure of the landfill when the trash flow to the Nabors landfill stopped on November 30, 2012. CFCW will continue to monitor the situation.

April 9's "Cold, Clear, but not Pure:..." presentation by Tom Aley at ASUMH campus - March 25, 2013

You are invited to come to what will be a very informative and educational presentation by one of the world's best internationally known leaders in hydrology and environmental science.

Title: "Cold, Clear, but not Pure: Challenges for restoring and protecting groundwater quality in the Ozarks"
Speaker: Tom Aley, President of the Ozark Underground Laboratory.
Host: "The Hellbenders" - the College Stream Team #821 at ASUMH.
Where: McMullen Lecture Hall in Dryer Hall on the ASU Mountain Home campus.
When: Tuesday, April 9 - a mixer with refreshments begins at 4:30 p.m. with presentation beginning at 5:30 p.m.

    About Tom Aley:
  • An internationally known leader in hydrology and environmental science.

  • President and Senior Hydrogeologist with the Ozark Underground Laboratory in Protem, Missouri (Taney County).

  • Holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

  • Nationally certified as a Professional Hydrogeologist.

  • Licensed as a Professional Geologist in Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Alabama.

  • Specializes in hydrologic interactions of surface and subsurface waters in karst areas such as those that typify most of the Ozarks.

  • Works throughout the United States and internationally in hydrologic studies that involve groundwater tracing with fluorescent tracer dyes. Most of these studies are related to groundwater pollution issues.

  • Has conducted numerous investigations in the Ozarks during the last 48 years.

Working with the Stream Team are Citizens for Clean Water, Friends of the North Fork & White Rivers and Start 2 Start Recycling.

NOTICE OF INTENT OF LAWSUIT SENT TO ADEQ - Landfill Update - December 20, 2012

Teresa Marks, Director
5301 Northshore Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72118-5317
(501) 682-0744
Dec 20, 2012

Dear Teresa Marks,

CFCW has continued to monitor the action or lack of action taken by ADEQ regarding the Nabors landfill. We understand that your lack of inaction to enforce regulations on this landfill stem from political/financial reasons, but what we don't understand is why ADEQ continues to sit on the side lines while the environmental situation continues to worsen. Nabors has closed its doors and is no longer taking in trash at this time and is apparently renting its equipment out of the hauling company. Nabors no longer has a viable flow of income and the OMRSWMD does not have the money to make its payments on the current bond and in fact has missed a payment and the OMRSWMD actually voted to default on the bond. The Chairman of the OMRSWDM, Jeff Crockett, told the Baxter Bulletin that uncollected leachate oozing from the landfill into streams that feed Norfork Lake an "environmental nightmare", but doesn't have the finances to transport leachate from the landfill to a treatment plant.

Despite all these financial problems, there are considerable environmental regulation problems at the Nabors landfill. There is still underground water contamination confirmed in several monitoring wells. This has been known since 2005 and is still occurring at present.

Area 1-2 is still not in compliance with your CAO with nothing handled since 2005. It had been the viewpoint of CFCW since 2005 that we would let the landfill operate so that it would have a cash flow and could actually fix the problems at the Nabors landfill. We are now 7 years later and the overfilled areas and contamination are still there and not handled.

CFCW had stopped working on a potential lawsuit to get ADEQ to enforce its own regulations back in Feb 2012 as it seemed that ADEQ was going to take action. However, due to the lack of action taken by ADEQ, CFCW will be revisiting the possibility of taking legal action to get the regulations enforced, with this landfill properly closed, capped and monitored.

There are many in Baxter County who are concerned about this landfill. When it was brought before the voters of Baxter County to become the owners of this landfill, the issue was defeated 4 to 1. It has also been noted that the Arkansas Parks and Tourism commissioner emeritus, Jim Gaston, and the Corp of Engineers have also voiced their concern over the possibility of leachate pollution getting into Norfork Lake.

It is time for ADEQ to stop watching the meltdown and take responsibility for the 8 years of non-compliance to state regulations, before we have a national disaster on our hands.

Thank you,
  Bob Cohee, President
FOR; Citizens For Clean Water Board of Directors.
PS: Please advise Gov. Mike Beebe of the possible lawsuit.
  Baxter County Judge elect; Mickey Pendergrass
  Senator Johnny Key
  State Rep. Kelly Linck
  State Rep. Karen Hopper
  The Baxter Bulletin
  KTLO - Radio

Letter to ADEQ requesting immediate and permanent closure of NABORS landfill: Update - November 4, 2012

The following is ADEQ's reply to our October 15 letter to ADEQ requesting immediate and permanent closure of NABORS landfill, then followed with our reply:

From: Bassett, Karen
Cc: Marks, Teresa
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 8:56 AM
Subject: FW: Nabors Landfill

As you may have heard, the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste Management Board voted yesterday to let the facility be put into receivership. It is our understanding that this will most likely be done by counsel representing the bond debt holders. We intend to be an active participant with the receiver and the District to ensure that monies are secured to properly close the waste management units. At this point, we believe that discontinuation of filling the limited remaining permitted air space in Area 1-3 will serve little purpose.

(Note: This e-mail was sent to Teresa Marks, Director ADEQ, but addressed to Karen Bassett, Deputy Director ADEQ, as she answered the original communication to the Director.)
From: Bob Cohee
To: Teresa Marks
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 6:20 AM
Subject: FW: Nabors Landfill

Karen Bassett, Deputy Director ADEQ

Yes, we agree with your last point "that discontinuation of filling the limited remaining permitted air space in Area 1-3 will serve little purpose." , unless the space could be used to take some of the overfill from area 1-2. Continuing to put trash into the ground between our beautiful lakes poses a future risk to the lakes.
It also appears per report in the paper that a request has been made to "OVERFILL" this air space in Area1-3. Doing that will cause it to also be out-of-compliance with your regulations. The current operator of the landfill, Mr. Kincade, said he was leaving his position soon. He has notified the various cities of use of this service and they are looking for an alternate place to dispose of their trash.
Again, we request that your agency, ADEQ, TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TO PERMANENTLY CLOSE and discontinue the operation and usage of this landfill that lies between and uncomfortably close to our twin lakes.

  Bob Cohee
Bob Cohee, CFCW President and
on behalf of the CFCW Board of Directors
and the CFCW members.

NABORS Regional Landfill - September 25, 2012

We continue to keep a keen eye on the NABORS regional landfill located uncomfortably close to Mountain Home's drinking water intake on Lake Norfork.

The landfill is poorly located in a karst topography between two beautiful, world-class fishing lakes surrounded by scenic, forested hills. The landfill has contaminants above the EPA standards in its monitoring wells and has been out of compliance with ADEQ regulations since 2005 while under the managements of RLH, then NWAEDD and now OMSWD.

Further more, the landfill is going broke under its current public management. Trash has been diverted to the landfill at a higher cost to keep the landfill from going broke. Recently NABORS Alliance pushed for and was granted an October 9 special election to vote on a 3/8-cent sales tax to pay for a related $22.6 million bond issue for Baxter County's acquisition of the NABORS Landfill and Hauling Service. Some representing Baxter County have said that if they do not purchase the landfill then an outside company will purchase it and that local control of the landfill will be lost. A company (or government) may make it more profitable (or less costly) by leaving the land and/or water worse off with looser regulations and less over-site.

What they may not be telling you is that, if the landfill defaults on its current $12 million bond, the residents of Baxter County would not be on the hook for either bond and the state should require the proper closing of the landfill. If the bond issue passes then the residents of Baxter County will be on the hook for $22.6 million as well as potential future costs, even for those who do not use this landfill. And there will still be trash pickup fees; currently those using NABORS pay ~$18 per month on average for pickup while others pay ~$20 and their trash is taken to a better facility away from our lakes and waterways.

We believe the better solution for Baxter County, its neighbors and their visitors is to have ADEQ properly close the landfill and enforce all its regulations to ensure that all of our beautiful lakes and waterways are better protected.

Letter to ADEQ requesting immediate and permanent closure of NABORS landfill - October 17, 2012

CFCW recently sent the following letter to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's director, Teresa Marks:

RE: Request for immediate and permanent closure of NABORS landfill.
October 15, 2012

Dear Teresa,

On October 9, the voters of Baxter County overwhelmingly rejected, by a 4 to 1 margin (4279 against to 1087 for), a proposed 3/8 cent new sales tax that was to be used to secure a 22 million dollar bond issue to purchase the NABORS landfill in their county.

We, the Citizens For Clean Water (CFCW) Board of Directors, hereby request that your agency, ADEQ, TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TO PERMANENTLY CLOSE and discontinue the operation and usage of this landfill that lies between and uncomfortably close to our twin lakes.

We believe this solution will be in the best interest of the Baxter County citizens by ensuring the safety of our environment.

Thank you,
  Bob Cohee
Bob Cohee, CFCW President and
on behalf of the CFCW Board of Directors
and the CFCW members.

The 4 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Responsibility - October 9, 2012

Citizens, governments and companies need to responsibly reduce, reuse and recycle to lessen the negative impact of landfills. No bag limits and diverting additional trash into landfills fill them further and faster; generating trash to keep a landfill solvent or more profitable will increase its environmental (and financial) liabilities and risks to its environment and inhabitants. Liabilities and risks include keeping the environment "safe" (while open & 30 years after closure) and, with the eventual leakage, have included water and fish consumption advisories, illnesses, lawsuits, evacuations and significant cleanup costs of both the landfill and the environment.

What we don't reduce, reuse and recycle will wind up in landfills, incinerators and sewers - eventually finding its way into our land, air and water.
  ~ 87% of us have access to curbside or drop-off recycling programs.
  ~ 75% of our garbage is recyclable.
  ~ 14% of our garbage is recycled.

Our Data Resource page has now expanded Reduce, Reuse & Recycle information with more local recycling information: If you have more information or links you would like to share, please send them to

"When the well's dry, we know the worth of water."   ~ Benjamin Franklin
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