For 13 years the Bella Vista Property Owners Association operated a so-called stump dump without a permit. Over those 13 years, they gleaned $1.4 million dollars by selling $400 permits to dump. Finally, the dump caught on fire and burned for almost a year, spewing toxic smoke into nearby neighborhoods. The flames and smoke continued through days when the Benton County burn ban was on. Apparently, the county didn't complain or issue a fine. I'll bet if we, "The Little People," lit a fire during a burn ban, the county officials would jump on us like green on a June bug.
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality refused to shut the dump down in 2008 when the Bella Vista Patriots caught Cooper Communities Inc. tossing four huge concrete mixing drums into the dumpsite. CCI was quoted saying in the "Democrat-Gazette" that they didn't think there was anything wrong with placing concrete mixing drums in the dumpsite.
In December 2019, I emailed a Freedom of Information Act request to our federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and requested information as to their involvement with the Trafalgar Stump Dump fiasco. Finally, on Oct. 15, 2020, I received an email from the EPA stating in part that, "EPA's ability to intervene is very limited." It also said the whole issue has been deferred to the state Department of Environmental Quality. If we are to get justice in this case, we need to go after it like a tick on a dog.
To the knowledge of the Bella Vista Patriots, no one has been personally issued a court summons, paid a fine or even received a letter of reprimand for the tragedy of the Trafalgar stump dump. The only person I know who has had to come out of pocket related to the stump dump issue is me. Just because I went to the Benton County Circuit Court and identified BVPOA, CCI, ADEQ and Blue Mountain Storage as the perpetrators who created this mess, I received a court order to pay $10,242.50 for court costs and opposing attorney fees. Folks, this was not an act of nature. There are those who should be held accountable for the wrong that was perpetrated on the innocent residents who were affected by this incident. All of us need to get after this like stink on a skunk.
If the event goes unpunished, I think I will dig a hole in my backyard and sell permits at $400 a pop and allow anyone and everyone to dump whatever they want. I will only hope that it doesn't catch on fire by spontaneous combustion and smoke up my bedroom and the neighborhood.