A request by Whirlpool Corporation to add additional monitoring wells at the northeast corner of its shuttered manufacturing plant and adjacent properties in south Fort Smith has been approved by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.
In an Aug. 6 letter from ADEQ Hazardous Waste Division Engineer Mostafa Mehran to Whirlpool Director of Environmental Health & Safety Robert Karwowski, Mehran said the company would have to install at least one more monitoring well and soil boring location on property owned by the city of Fort Smith northeast of the intersection and Ingersoll Avenue and Jenny Lind Road.
The company will also be required to provide data to back up geological assertions by Whirlpool's environmental consultants that bedrock below the surface would be encountered at 24 feet to 30 feet underground, versus the historical experience of 30 to 35 feet.
"Information from the five (5) newly installed monitoring wells at the northeast portion of the site may have confirmed bedrock at a higher elevation east of the current MIP profiles, but ADEQ has not received any information on the geology penetrated or construction (including total depths) of these wells," Mehran wrote. "Soil borings must extend down to bedrock even if total depth is greater than thirty (30) feet."
In addition to the city of Fort Smith's property, some of the additional monitoring wells will be installed at the Boys and Girls Club in the neighborhood, the original supplemental work plan stated.
In a statement at the time of the request (Aug. 4), Whirlpool Vice President Jeff Noel said the company was committed to being a "responsible corporate citizen of Fort Smith and to managing this issue in an open and responsible matter."