Lawsuit win means problem on the Buffalo solved. Right?
Wrong! Read below.
Buffalo River Watershed Alliance
Early March Report (2015)
In this issue:
- Lawsuit Update/The Appeal
- C&H requests permit modification including public comment period
- BRWA Continues Outreach and Education efforts
- Ways you can help
Lawsuit Update/The Appeal
Some folks have assumed, with the announcement of the ruling in our favor, that the case is settled. Here is the story. The Defendants (Justice Department on behalf of SBA and FSA) filed a Notice of Appeal shortly before the deadline. This triggered the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a briefing schedule specifying that Defendants initial brief is due by March 23, but a request for an extension is possible. It is also not true, as of this date, that an appeal is inevitable. More information will be provided as it becomes available. The last minute word today is that DOJ has requested a 30 day extension of time to the briefing schedule.
C&H requests permit modification
On January 24, 2015, C&H Hog Farm applied for a permit modification to allow the use of a vac tanker to spread waste on fields from both ponds 1 and 2. The original permit allows for spreading waste with Vac Tanker from pond 1 to fields 1-4 and 7-17. The initial application was returned to C&H by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) with several errors noted and requests for clarity. On February 26, 2015, C&H submitted a revised NOI and Comprehensive Management Nutrient Plan. Even though C & H believes this revision to be a non-substantial change, they have requested that ADEQ deem the revision a major modification and have asked ADEQ to schedule a public hearing at the earliest date possible. If approved, a public comment period would thus be part of the process. BRWA will submit comments. Details will be posted on our website.
Outreach and Education
-BRWA President, Gordon Watkins and board member, Jim Westbrook made a presentation to the Environmental Education class at Arkansas Tech.
-We met with a law professor from UC-Davis for a law review article focused on environmental justice components of the issue.
-We have participated in several documentary/news projects for the Public Broadcasting Service, an independent film project in Austin, TX, and a soon to be released French television piece. Also, see below on how you can participate in another documentary. In summary, increased national and international attention is being brought to the Buffalo River threat.
Ways you can help
-As previously announced, we need people at Steel Creek on March 8, for a documentary filming event. This is scheduled for 11 a.m. For details click here.
-NEPA, ADEQ, EA, RUSLE, the alphabet soup can get pretty confusing. We are developing an acronym page on our website to help all of us better understand the jargon. Click here to see a sample. Send your contributions for the acronym page to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Acronym page suggestion
-The Pen Group is about to send a letter to a Cargill customer. Join the group by sending an email to buffalo email@example.com. Put “I’m interested” in the subject line. We’ll get back to you.
Sample for acronym page.
NEPA- National Environmental Policy Act
requires Federal agencies to consider environmental effects that include, among others, impacts on social, cultural, and economic resources, as well as natural resources.