Hazardous waste cleanup complete at former R&P Electroplating site

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality chief Tammie J. Hynum presents a certificate to Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan recognizing that cleanup of the former R&P Electroplating property is complete.

Photo by Todd Gill, Flyer staff

A former electroplating site once home to tons of abandoned hazardous chemicals in southeast Fayetteville is now clean and ready to be converted into public parkland.

Officials with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality issued Mayor Lioneld Jordan with a certificate of completion Thursday finalizing the cleanup process of the former R&P Electroplating property at 2000 Pump Station Road.

A poster displayed during Thursday’s ceremony shows the location of the cleaned property in the White River Park / Combs Park Corridor.

Photo: Todd Gill

The 5.8-acre site was used primarily as a chromium metal plating operation from 1974 to 1997. It was later discovered that the property contained hazardous substances including cyanides, acids, caustic soda, cleaning solutions and over 6,000 gallons of contaminated sludge and sediments.

A five-month cleanup process began in April 2010 which included dismantling of buildings and demolition of concrete slabs and sumps. The site was then excavated, graded and seeded. Results of groundwater sampling conducted in 2011 and 2012 showed that no further cleanup was required.

The $2.6 million project was paid for through the Arkansas Brownfields program, which aims to return potentially contaminated property to beneficial use including environmentally sound redevelopment.

Parks and Recreation director Connie Edmonston said she was excited to add the property to the city’s parkland roster. Edmonston said the plan is to build an Ultimate Frisbee field, a trail, pavilion, multi-use building and picnic tables on the site which will link the city’s White River Baseball Complex with the 80-acre Combs Park.

The former electroplating factory property is the 30th site to be cleaned up under the Arkansas Brownfields program. A certificate was presented to North Little Rock officials in August 2012 recognizing cleanup of a 160-acre site off Highway 165 that was also redeveloped into a park.