Today, we received some important information – a physical sample as well as pictures of a considerably large amount of piping material found at the Bella Vista hazardous waste fire that has been burning for five consecutive months.
We are not yet sure the exact type of pipe that this is. It could be PVC pipe and it could be polybutylene piping (PB). We have sent all samples to experts to determine exactly what type of pipe this is. This new information is evidence that this illegal landfill contains more than stumps and organic materials. The presence of this is proof that there is more than just small amounts of household trash in this landfill. Buried beneath the dirt and stumps are materials that the average household would not be disposing.
Polybutylene piping was widely used for plumbing in houses built from the 1970’s through the mid 1990’s. The problem was PB would break down over time frequently causing leaks and water damage in homes. There was a class-action lawsuit in 1995 (Cox vs. Shell Oil Company) that provided a $950-million dollar settlement which allowed homeowners with houses constructed from 1978 to 1995 containing PB pipe to have the pipe removed from their homes at no cost to the owners. Hundreds of homes in Bella Vista had PB piping removed under terms of this 1995 settlement.
Now, regardless of what class of pipe it is, the mere presence of it further confirms that construction and demolition debris exists in this dump and in large quantities. Additionally, there are several varieties of pipe that are visible right now, which should concern us about what is under the pile that has yet to catch fire.
More information will be provided as it becomes available, but we should be asking ourselves – and especially our elected leaders – a lot of questions right now. For example – is this never-permitted, illegal landfill site the location that was used to dispose of hazardous construction debris (and Polybutylene Pipe) removed from hundreds of homes in Bella Vista? Right now, most importantly, what else was buried at this landfill that we don’t know about?
Please share this information and please contact the Governor of Arkansas to request immediate action to eliminate this hazardous waste fire in our community.
Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office: (501) 682-2345
Trafalger Road Fire Dec 23 2018
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