Buffalo River 

Advocates to Protect the Buffalo National River Watershed

Recent BRWA Newsletters     March 2016      April 2016    May 2016    June  July 4 2016                      

Downstream People, a movie trailer for an upcoming documentary about C&H and its effect on the community. July 23, 2016

BCRET Quarterly Report, July 22, 2016

Representatives of BRWA and the Buffalo River Coalition met with ADEQ officials on Friday, July 8 to discuss plans for an independent investigation of possible leakage of the C&H swine waste lagoons as was indicated by electrical resistivity imaging conducted in early 2015.

ADEQ Powerpoint presentation to BRWA and the Coalition showing proposal for investigative drilling, July 8, 2016.

BRWA and Coalition Followup Letter to ADEQ in response to July 8 meeting.

ADEQ Approves EC Farms request to spread C&H waste on additional fields, including in the watersheds of the Little Buffalo and Hurricane Creek. June 30, 2016.

BRWA Letter to ADEQ as followup to ADEQ intention to include BRWA in independent ERI investigations around C&H waste pounds. June 29, 2016

ADEQ Press Release announcing plan to further investigate ERI data from C&H waste ponds, June 23, 2016

PRESS CONFERENCE ADVISORY, Friday June 24 at ADEQ Headquarters following Commission meeting.

BRWA requests public hearing on administrative completeness of C&H application to switch to a Reg. 5 permit. June 3, 2016

PRESS RELEASE regarding ERI data, May 4, 2016

BRWA alerts APC&E Commission to ERI data which indicates possible fracture and release of waste beneath C&H waste ponds. See the Powerpoint presentation here and the accompanying narrative here with expert opinions. April 29, 2016.

BRWA Letter to ADEQ from Attorney Richard Mays, May 23, 2016 asking that installation of synthetic pond liners be delayed until confirmatory drilling can be done to determine the validity of ERI results referenced above. This letter was also provided to APC&E Commissioners at the May 26, 2016 meeting.

 ADEQ decides not to renew ARG590000, the Reg 6 General permit for swine CAFOs. Read the press release here, April 28, 2016. Read ADEQ's official decision not to renew and responses to 130 comments here.

C&H applies to switch from its current Regulation 6 NPDES (Federal) General Permit to a Regulation 5 (State) Individual Permit. Read the Application Packet  here. April 4, 2016

ADEQ issues letter of administrative completeness stating that C&H's reg 5 permit application contains all of the necessary forms and documents.May 25, 2016. This will be followed by a technical review and 30-day public comment period within 90 days.
BRWA requests public hearing on administrative completeness, June 3, 2016

Hearing Was Held April 14
Notice of Draft Renewal Permit and Public Hearing NPDES General Permit ARG590000 for Eligible Operators of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) within the State of Arkansas To read document click here.
 Read BRWA's comments here. Read all public comments here

Hearing Was Held APRIL 11
Read BRWA's Draft Comments here


Karst Hydrogeology of the Buffalo National River (KHBNR) is a new project sponsored by BRWA and funded by Patagonia. See the brochure here.

C & H 2015 Annual Report, January 29, 2016
BRWA and Coalition letter to ADEQ in response to 2015 Annual Report including expert analysis. March 30, 2016.

The public comment period for the 2016 draft 303(d) list of impaired streams closed on March 16, 2016. Click here to read ADEQ's public notice. Read BRWA and others' comments here. Read BRWA/Coalition presentation to the Arkansas legislative committee meeting, March 29, 2016 here
Final 303(d) Reports are posted here, April 6, 2016. See the "305b Integrated Report" for comprehensive details.

NPS letter, March 25, 2016 recommending 303(d) Impaired status for Big Creek based on analysis of BCRET E. coli data.

Buffalo River Coalition Press Release, Feb. 24, 2016 in response to final FONSI

Rapping' Ranger rhymes on the River

New Journal Article! 

Proposals for integrating karst aquifer evaluation methodologies into national environmental legislations. Case study of a concentrated animal feeding operation in Big Creek Basin and Buffalo National River Watershed, Arkansas, USA. By Katarina Kosic, Carol L. Bitting, John Van Brahana, Charles J. Bitting. Sustainable Water Resources Management, December 2015. Vol 1 Issue 4, p363-374.

BRWA responds via attorneys to ADEQ's refusal to investigate our recent complaint about possible contamination at C&H. Sept. 21, 2015

BRWA Files Complaint With ADEQ regarding BCRET data showing potential pond leakage.

Aug. 12, 2015 Read here

ADEQ responds here, August 21,2015 denying further investigation


    On PBS Series, This American Land
                     watch here

                      watch here

July 2, 2015: Cargill announces the sale of it's pork unit to Brazilian firm, JBS USA for $1.45 billion, pending government approval.

June 15, 2015: Earthjustice Letter To ADEQ expressing concern over a request to permit C&H waste to be spread on the old C&C Hog Farm, part of which is in the Little Buffalo River watershed. Also requesting that C&H permit be reopened in its entirety for public comment. 

May 7, 2015: C & H requests yet another major permit modification to install a cover, gas flare and liners on their waste storage ponds. Read the request here.

 Buffalo National River Water Quality Data This site provides information on multiple water quality parameters collected at numerous sites on the Buffalo from 1985 to present. See the Water Quality Database 2005 - 2015 for most recent data, including E. coli and Dissolved Oxygen.

Dissolved Oxygen levels at mouth of Big Creek, late Summer, 2014. This graph shows that during a 21 day period the D.O. dropped to or below 5 mg/l on 19 nights. The stream was at a critical level for 23.76% of the time during that period. 

COURT ORDER, filed 12/2/2014. U.S. District Court Judge D.P. Marshall's written opinion and order for injunctive relief. The Court finds that FSA and SBA violated provisions of the National Environmental Policies Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and that they "arbitrarily and capriciously guaranteed the loans" to C&H Hog Farms.The court requires the agencies to re-do their "cursory and flawed" Environmental Assessment of C&H within one year. Read this document for a clear overview and explanation of the issue.
    Notice of Appeal by DOJ, filed 1/30/2015
Appeal Withdrawn by DOJ, April 24, 2015

PLEASE SEE the Documents and the Videos pages for more extensive documentation of the C&H controversy.

Mt Judea Station, downstream from C&H
Big Creek at Carver Station, near confluence with Buffalo River


The "Save the Buffalo - Again" campaign is necessary because, in 2012, a 6,500 industrial scale hog facility was built on the banks of Big Creek, just 5 miles upstream from the Buffalo National River. Government oversight of this development was deeply flawed and it now threatens to destroy the fragile ecosystem of our nation's first National River.

Buffalo National River staff was not consulted prior to Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality(ADEQ) issuing a permit for this confined animal feeding operation(CAFO), in violation of federal regulations. A subsequent National Park Service review of the documents for the permit  revealed 45 significant violations

If we have learned anything, we now know we must be vigilant and not presume everyone treasures this place as we do. 

We must act to defeat this CAFO, and seek policies that will build a wall around the Buffalo River Watershed. If we lose this, we lose a part of ourselves.

John Muir defined the meaning of natural treasures like the Buffalo National River best long ago:

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."  John Muir

We need your help. Join us in this campaign to "Save the Buffalo - Again", and help secure the future of our national treasure. With a shared vision and hard work, we will prevail.

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