FORT SMITH, AR --Whirlpool will be presenting a presentation to address questions
that were raised at the City Directors meeting earlier this year.
In the 1960s and early 80s, the Whirlpool plant used a chemical
called Trichloroethylene, or TCE, to clean machinery. The known
carcinogen later seeped into the ground and spread to the nearby
A document from Jeff Noel, Vice President of Whirlpool Corporation, addressed to Mayor Sandy
Sanders and the Fort Smith Board of Directors, provides
answers to three questions asked at the previous meeting.
The document states:
- Is the TCE plume staying in the same place? Are residents safe?
The answer to both questions is yes.
- Does Whirlpool have a plan to aggressively attack the TCE and remove it from the groundwater?
- Will Whirlpool stay around until this issue has been fully addressed?
A group of Fort Smith homeowners have filed suit against Whirlpool saying the
plants decade old chemical spill has caused their property values to plummet.
The document also states,‘at this time, Whirlpool is in discussions with attorneys for the
property owners who are making these claims in an effort to reach a reasonable
and appropriate resolution.’
‘We have submitted a plan to ADEQ to aggressively attack and remove the TCE. Because we
know where the plume is located and where the areas of higher concentrations of TCE are,
we know where we need to attack,’ states the document.
Whirlpool says they are confident in the redevelopment opportunities the 152 acre plant
site affords the residents of Fort Smith, and are currently speaking with
interested buyers who have stated they will clarify their intentions once the
ADEQ has published the RADD for Corrective Action.
The property is anticipated to be used as a mix of green space, industrial,
commercial, and retail – to maximize the full use of the site, says Whirlpool.