April 23, 2007
The U.S. Supreme Court, after years of litigation, let stand a lower court ruling that held Hercules, one of the original owners of what became the Vertac site, responsible for $120 million of the clean-up costs. By slipping into receivership, Vertac evaded any responsibility for the damages. The Vertac site in Jacksonville (Pulaski County) is one of the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites and Arkansas’s most publicized Superfund site. Cleanup of the area after its abandonment by its corporate owner took more than a decade, and the name “Vertac” soon became synonymous in Arkansas with the fear of industrial pollution. As of 2010, the site is listed as safe by the EPA, but the legacy of industrial waste remains.