This letter was sent to local paper – Baxter Bulletin
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.
President, Citizens for Clean Water