Whirlpool: Don't Drill Near Our Abandoned Plant in Fort Smith

Whirlpool might be gone from Fort Smith, but it's left behind more than memories and an empty manufacturing plant.

From the Southwest Times-Record today:

Whirlpool Corp. has asked the city to enact an ordinance prohibiting the drilling of groundwater wells in the area of the company’s now-vacant refrigerator plant in south Fort Smith.

Robert Jones III of Fayetteville, an attorney representing Whirlpool, said the move is being taken as part of efforts to protect area residents from the chance of coming in contact with a degreasing solvent that spilled onto the Whirlpool property in the early 1980s.

That solvent? It's classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a "human carcinogen." And by the way, the early 1980s. That stuff sure hangs around, doesn't it?

The report says that Whirlpool Corp., which shut down the plant last year laying off hundreds of workers, had been working with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to determine how to go about cleaning it up.

Rusty Garrett of the Times-Record has much more here, including how the company has been working with property owners in the area.

Meanwhile, that sprawling 1.2 million-SF plant remains for sale after a deal, announced in September, for Canada-based Infinity Asset Solutions Inc. to buy it fell through.