PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Last week, Fox 16 News reported on Little Rock residents who complained about Entergy crews destroying landscape in an attempt to trim around power lines. Since then, more people have reached out, including a Pine Bluff man who said his pet dog died shortly after crews sprayed an herbicide in his yard.
Max Blodgett loves playing music around the house because he knows his dogs will join in with howling, which he interprets as singing. Blodgett said his dog B.J. did this even on July 6, the day he died.
“He was a great dog,” Blodgett said. “A couple days before he passed, I could tell he was not feeling well.”
Blodgett said B.J. died shortly after Entergy crews sprayed his yard in late June. He said nobody reached out to tell him they’d be in his yard. When confronted, the Entergy employee said he was spraying herbicide around power lines.
“I didn’t think much of it and didn’t realize the harm it was going to cause,” Blodgett said.
As the days passed, Blodgett said his blackberry and onion plants died. Then his yard started to turn brown. His family and dogs started to have stomach issues, and B.J. ultimately died.
“We’ve contacted everybody there is to contact, and we don’t get much of a response,” Blodgett said.
Entergy sent a statement in response to questions about this story.
“Trees and other vegetation are the cause of nearly 18% of all power outages (average of years 2017-2021). Entergy Arkansas engages in pruning and the cutting down of trees along with other vegetation management in order to prevent damage to power lines, improve electrical reliability and ensure that work crews can safely access equipment in order to make any necessary repairs.
Entergy’s vegetation crews are trained on ISA Utility Pruning Best Management Practices and utilize glyphosate-based herbicides, which are subject to rigorous testing and oversight by federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, vegetation crews use application methods that are designed to minimize the drift of herbicides outside of Entergy’s right-of-way. Finally, Entergy’s vegetation management program is subject to the oversight of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
We are sorry to hear of the loss of a beloved pet. We encourage customers to contact our customer service department with any questions or concerns at 1-800-ENTERGY or through our website, www.EntergyArkansas.com.”
An Entergy spokesperson sent additional information to show trees and vegetation make up the top cause of power outages, which is why crews are sent to spray near power lines or cut limbs if necessary.
Blodgett said grass has continued to die since the day Entergy sprayed.
“Every time it rains, it just spreads a little bit more,” Blodgett said. “My dogs get a little more sick.”
Blodgett said Entergy cannot make things right with a monetary response.
“Compensation…I don’t even know how to put a value number on my property let alone my dog,” Blodgett said.
Blodgett said he’s filed a police report and reached out to the attorney general’s office. He said he hopes his story causes Entergy to review its policies and do an investigation into whether its employees are following them. He said he wants them to do it in honor of B.J.
“They say, ‘Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely,'” Blodgett said. “I believe we’re victims of this.”