Slow Progress at Defunct Arkansas Chem Plant; Pollutants In Flood Zone

"Some officials in Phillips County say they aren’t concerned about incomplete cleanup of a chemical site in Helena-West Helena that is located in a flood-risk zone.

About 900 people live within a mile of the defunct Cedar Chemical plant on the west side of the city, according to an Associated Press analysis of flood zone maps, census data and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency records.

Soil and groundwater at the site are contaminated with arsenic and dozens of other substances that pose human and environmental health risks, according to 2017 testing conducted by a contractor.

Nationwide, nearly 2 million people live within a mile of 327 Superfund sites in areas prone to flooding or vulnerable to sea-level rise caused by climate change, the analysis shows. They are in largely low-income neighborhoods heavily populated by members of minority groups, the data show."

Emily Walkenhorst reports for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette January 1, 2018.

Source: NW Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 01/02/2018