Timex leased property at 2215 Crisp Drive from the Little Rock National Airport between 1947 and 2000, where it manufactured watches and cameras. During that time, employees used various cleaning solutions (“solvents”) in the manufacturing process that migrated into the soil and the underground water (which is called “groundwater”) on the property.
The solvents have migrated through the groundwater from the former Timex property to the groundwater more than 30 feet under the surface of properties in your neighborhood.
Timex has been working with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to evaluate various remediation options and to develop a plan to address the substances in the soil and groundwater (the solvents). On February 24, 2014, Timex signed an agreement with the ADEQ to begin the remediation.
Groundwater and soil on the property at 2215 Crisp Drive contains trichloroethylene (TCE), a solvent that was used to remove oils from metal parts used to manufacture watches and other products before assembly.
TCE also is found in the groundwater extending to the north of the property at 2215 Crisp Drive. Some TCE in the deep groundwater has migrated to the north of E. 12th Street into the residential area. The TCE below the residential area is approximately 32 feet below the surface.
TCE also is found in the groundwater beneath the Army Reserve property just south of E. 12th Street.
The affected residential area is indicated on the attached map. The affected area includes properties on two and a half blocks located between E. 12th Street and E. 11th Street.
There are approximately 40 properties on the affected residential blocks, many of which are vacant lots.
Your drinking water is safe and not affected because it is provided by a municipal water utility and comes from Lake Maumelle. This utility provides water to more than 400,000 customers and routinely tests drinking water to ensure quality. The groundwater in the affected residential area is not currently used for any purpose, and there are no plans to use this water in the future. The substances in the groundwater do not present any health risk, as long as the groundwater not used.
The soil on the residential properties is not affected. Further, any water pooling on the surface of properties after rain or wet weather is safe and is not connected in any way to the groundwater 30 feet below the surface. There is no risk associated with breathing vapors from the substances in the water since the water is at least 30 feet below the surface.
Timex will regularly update and inform residents and property owners of the progress.
1. Timex will offer to purchase residential properties in the affected area for the appraised value assigned by Pulaski County. In addition to the appraised value, Timex will pay additional amounts to owners who choose to sell their properties, as follows: (a) For owners of properties that include a residential home, Timex additionally will pay $3,000 to compensate such owners for moving expenses, (b) for owners of vacant lots only, Timex additionally will pay $1,000. Timex will cover all reasonable closing costs.
2. For homeowners who wish to take advantage of Timex’s purchase offer, but do not wish to move, Timex is offering to lease back the property to the homeowner at fair market rent. Timex will not offer $3,000 to these homeowners, but as additional compensation, Timex will charge no rent during the six months following the sale.
3. For those property owners that do not want to sell their property, Timex will offer to pay such owners 30 percent of the appraised property value assigned by Pulaski County in exchange for a deed restriction on the property that prevents the use of groundwater and a release of property damage claims.
These offers are purely optional; property owners are not required to sell their property or relocate. The offers to property owners will stay open until December 1, 2014. There is no risk to staying on the properties, so long as groundwater is not used. The offers are being mailed to the property owners of record. These offers are made as a measure of good faith, and are not intended to be a representation of any damage to property. In the event that a residential property purchased by Timex is occupied by a tenant, Timex will work with the tenant to see if it is possible to enter into a new lease after the sale closes.
Timex also will seek an ordinance from the City of Little Rock to ensure that the groundwater is not used and that no groundwater wells are drilled.
These measures will protect people from inadvertently using the groundwater in the future.