Posted 2/19/2014 10:38 am
Updated 3 weeks ago
FORT SMITH - Leaders in Fort Smith have rejected a plan to use the city's nuisance laws to fine Whirlpool Corp. for contamination at a former plant site.
According to the Southwest Times Record, the Fort Smith Board of Directors voted 5-2 Tuesday to reject an attorney's officer to seek a fine against Whirlpool for contaminating soil and groundwater with the chemical trichloroethylene decades ago. Whirlpool is working with state environmental officials on a cleanup plan for the site.
Ward 1 Director Keith Lau says he opposed the proposal because of questions on whether the city had the legal authority to prosecute or collect fines under the nuisance ordinance.
At-large Director Philip Merry Jr., who supported pursuing fines, says the city has the authority to enforce an ordinance already on the books.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.)