The Ozark Society and the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance "may participate and argue all issues raised by C&H" in its appeal, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Administrative Law Judge Charles Moulton wrote in his opinion. Both groups oppose C&H's permit application, which the department denied in January.
The parties intervening in C&H Hog Farms' appeal of its permit denial to operate within the Buffalo National River watershed are not limited to participating only on issues they raised during the public comment period, an administrative law judge has ruled.
C&H Hog Farms is owned by Jason Henson, Philip Campbell and Richard Campbell and operates near Mount Judea in Newton County. It's in the Buffalo National River watershed, along Big Creek, about 6 miles from where the creek feeds into the Buffalo River. The farm has a permit to house 6,503 hogs at any given time and includes two storage ponds for hog manure and fields where hog manure is spread as fertilizer.
The Department of Environmental Quality denied C&H Hog Farms an operating permit in part because the company did not conduct a study on the flow direction of groundwater or develop an emergency action plan, according to the department's responses to public comments on the permit application. The study and the plan were recommended by the Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook, and the department determined they were necessary because of the rocky terrain upon which the farm is located.
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