Letter to the Editor in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Close down hog farm
The Buffalo River Watershed Alliance (buffaloriveralliance.org) lists six reasons why the C&H Hog Farms permit was improperly approved by the Department of Environmental Quality and should be denied.
Additionally, I am concerned about community. It is well-documented that exposure to hog waste increases asthma and other health issues, especially in children. Yet permits allow this waste from C&H to be spread in close proximity to a school.
The Buffalo National River provides jobs and income. When an inevitable disaster like a flood or leaking sewage ponds above porous karst causes water pollution and our Buffalo National River loses its value as a tourist attraction, many lives will be adversely affected. Even if hog waste never enters the stream, the odor of the manure throughout the region will deter tourist dollars as well as Arkansans' enjoyment of this extraordinary region.
Some people feel that everyone should have a right to do whatever they like with land they own. I think this right does not remain when a private landowner's business has such a potentially devastating effect on their neighbor's ability to earn a living and enjoy a healthy life. Very few local jobs are created by C&H, contrasting with hundreds of jobs in the tourist industry surrounding the Buffalo.
I have sent these comments to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and to the Department of Environmental Quality. (Comment period closes March 17, and you can comment too by emailing Water-Draft-Permit-Comment@adeq.state.ar.us, using Permit #5264-W in the subject line.) I hope they will use this information to facilitate the closing of C&H.
JAN M. VANSCHUYVER