ADEQ Proposes to Deny C&H Hog CAFO a Reg. 5 Permit
Please post your comments by 4:30PM, October 17, 2018 supporting ADEQ’s proposed permit denial directly to ADEQ by going to the following ADEQ link:
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) recently provided public notice of a denial (for the second time) of C & H Hog Farms, Inc. (“C & H”) application for an Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Regulation No. 5 permit.
C & H operates a 6,500 swine farrowing facility in Newton County, Arkansas. According to annual reports filed with ADEQ, C&H sprays approximately 3,000,000 gallons of liquid hog waste each year on pasture land in the Middle Big Creek and Buffalo National River watersheds. As shown in the picture above, C&H’s site also contains 2 lagoons containing millions of gallons of hog waste. The lagoons have clay liners which according to engineering reports may leak thousands of gallons of liquid hog waste each day directly into the karst hydrogeology below.
The reasons given by ADEQ for denying the permit as stated in Section 8 of the “Statement of Basis” of the Public Notice are summarized as follows:
Deficiencies in the Geological Investigation: ADEQ’s findings confirm the presence of Karst hydrogeology at the C & H site and surrounding area which allows ground water to flow through interconnected underground fissures and cracks and into aquifers which are extremely vulnerable to contamination.
Water Quality Issues: ADEQ’s findings confirm two sections of Big Creek in Newton County and two sections of the Buffalo National River are now impaired due to the presence of pathogens and low levels of dissolved oxygen.
The complete ADEQ “Statement of Basis” is available online.
Dye tracing has documented that underground streams which may be hydrologically connected to C&H activities have allowed residential water wells to be contaminated.
Our members continue to see massive algal blooms in the Buffalo National River which are confirmed to include dangerous cyanotoxins. The presence of these algal blooms and related toxins are not only a threat to public health but are also a threat to the $70+ million contribution the Buffalo National River provides to Arkansas’s economy and in particular to those counties which border the river.
Sound science supports the permit denial and reaffirms the position of tens of thousands of concerned citizens dedicated to the protection of the Buffalo National River. Please submit your comments in support of ADEQ’s denial of the permit for C&H Hog CAFO in the Buffalo National River watershed by October 17th using the ADEQ link above.
303d Impaired Waterbody List - 2018 - Public Comment Period Ends - Monday, September 10!! - 4:00 p.m.
Email your comments to Waterbodycomments@adeq.ar.state.us. Once the comment period ends on Monday, September 10, 2018, ADEQ will compile all comments, create a responsive summary, make appropriate revisions, and then deliver a finalized 305(b) report to EPA.
For background on algal monitoring and other risks to the Buffalo, visit Friends news page http://friendsoftherivers.org/news/page/32/algal-monitoring-on-the-buffalo
Previous information for the public has occurred. http://friendsoftherivers.org/events/view/190/public-hearing-on-impaired-waterbody-303d-2018-list-
The Draft 303(d) list and associated documents can be found here: https://www.adeq.state.ar.us/water/planning/integrated/303d/list.aspx
A clean version and a red-line version of the Final Assessment Methodology can be found here:https://www.adeq.state.ar.us/water/planning/integrated/assessment/