Trashing Region 8: Special Report, Business Dumping

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT)- On April 15th it was a potentially environmentally dangerous situation that environmental officers arrived on when they turned onto Craighead County Road 928 just outside of Brookland.

A tanker truck belonging to Plant Diesel was half off the road, but what surrounded it was the real problem.

"The man that owned the tanker truck told me that he had relased some 4,500 to 5,000 gallons of processed cooking oil," said George Johnson, Craighead County Environmental Officer.

You can see in several photos that the oil was mixing with water in the ditch, creating just the right ingredients for pollution dangerous to the environment.

"Environmentally it kills fish. It takes the Ph of the water and turns it really high...even vegetable oil," said Johnson.

So why would someone dump several thousand gallons of cooking oil into a ditch intentionally?

"He had gotten the truck stuck in a ditch, and in order to lighten the load to get it out, he turned the valve on and released it," said Johnson.

Now Plant Diesel is in trouble with the Craighead County Department of Environmental Services as well as ADEQ.

Wednesday afternoon we attempted to contact the business and it's owner for an explanation about why they would allow this to happen.

But after a knock at the door it was evident that the business was closed, and no one was home.

Plant Diesel is now being cited by Craighead County for violations of mismanagement of solid waste.

Citations from the ADEQ are still pending.

Meanwhile Johnson says when any business does something like this, it's simply a very bad judgement call.

"It was a real bad call in his judgement. In fact, he said, I made a terrible bad decision," said Johnson.

Later in the afternoon we were contacted by the owner of Plant Diesel, who did not care to comment, other than to say that accidents do happen.

The company's owner is expected to appear in court on May the 6th for the violations.

We are also told that the very next evening another two to three-hundred gallons of the biodiesel byproduct was spilled in front of the business' office on the old Highway 49 in Brookland.

The state highway department was quick to put sand over that spill.

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