News from the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance
C&H works to modify the “State-of-the-art” hog factory
In the past few months C&H has requested permission from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to make modifications to its “state-of-the-art” hog facility located next to Mt. Judea School and on a major tributary of the Buffalo National River. Maybe you’ve heard about it? Just kidding, of course, you have! ADEQ has recently granted permission for C&H to use a vac tanker to spread hog waste from pond 2 on nearby fields. A separate request from C&H to drain the sewage ponds in order to install rubber liners has not yet been approved. ADEQ is obviously studying this request carefully. Could it be the agency is worried about the inevitable disturbance to the clay base such construction work will cause? Are we to believe these additional liners will solve the leakage problem which designers admit takes place in even the most carefully constructed clay ponds? We assume that ADEQ is well aware of the fact that liners also can also fail.
Environmental Assessment (EA) underway. As a result of the successful Coalition lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Price Marshall issued a decision finding that federal agencies illegally guaranteed loans to C&H Hog Farms without first effectively evaluating the potential environmental impacts. The original EA was ruled “cursory and flawed” and a proper EA was ordered. Ecosphere Environmental Services have been contracted to do the biological assessment portion of the study. This time the National Park Service was contacted as was the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (both agencies were sent information requests sometime in early May). We do not know when the Public Comment period will be announced. The draft work plan calls for completion of the study within 36 weeks. According to the work plan obtained by BRWA the EA will be made available for public review for 30 days. Ecosphere Environmental Services will provide a notice of availability announcing where the public may view the EA. The notice will be published for one day in the notices section of a statewide a newspaper as well as in one local newspaper. If you spot either of these notices let us know! You can be sure we will do the same. Did you know? A recent peer reviewed report shows that 1,357,057 visitors came to the Buffalo National River in 2014? These visitors supported 890 jobs and injected over $65 million into the local economy. Read details here:
“Celebrate The Buffalo“, a gala fundraiser for the Buffalo River Coalition to be held at the Fayetteville Town Center. Save Friday, October 23 for an event honoring one of Fayetteville’s Buffalo River super heroes. Music, food, information booths, and raffles will be part of the evening. A Razorback home game takes place on the following Saturday. Make a weekend of it.
Special Thank You Messages (2)
1. The remembrance gathering for Buffalo River champion John Paul Hammerschmidt held at Ozark Campground pavilion was beautiful and moving. We thank organizers Ginny Masullo, Lin Welford, and Patti Kent. Thanks also go to our speakers Don Castelberry, John Arthur Hammerschmidt, Mike Masterson, and Dane Schumacher as well the musical group Mockingbird (names here). To see a YouTube video of the event go here
2. A fundraiser for BRWA was held at theParthenon Community Center on May 30 and featured musical guests Emily Kaitz and Drew Pierce. Thanks to Phyllis Head for organizing the event and to the terrific turnout of supporters who helped raise almost $1,000 for BRWA.