Documents related to the Mount Judea C & H Hog CAFO
ARKANSAS DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY DOCUMENTS
C & H Hog Farm Permit Application This LARGE pdf file is the Notice of Intent filed with ADEQ and includes a large amount detailed information on the design, maintenance and operation of this 6,503 head swine factory. The Nutrient Management Plan is included. It includes topo maps and aerial photos of the site and its proximity to the Mt Judea school.
C & H Permit Information Visit this ADEQ page and click on "View Permit Information" so see comments, modification requests and other documents. Click "View Inspection Reports" for all on-site inspection information.
Letter to ADEQ Requesting Permit Revocation This letter sets forth the many deficiencies in the Nutrient Management Plan prepared by C&H Hog Farms as part of its CAFO Permit application. ADEQ Director Theresa Marks made a public commitment to stop the project if significant errors were found in the permit application or the permit issued by ADEQ. This letter and its attachments seeks revocation of the CAFO permit. It outlines those problems and misrepresentations, and cites the applicable Arkansas law.
Attachment #1 Soil test reports from the University of Arkansas showing nutrient saturation.
Attachment #4 Showing details and omissions in the Nutrient Management Plan (NMP)
Attachment #5 Showing switch between phosphorous and nitrogen criteria in application.
Attachment #6 ADEQ coverage requirements & land application requirements.
Attachment #7 The nutrient utilization plan from the C&H permit documents.
Attachment #8 Applicable provisions of the Arkansas Air and Water Pollution Control Act
Attachment #9 Part 6 of the CAFO General Permit, grounds for permit revocation.
ADEQ Response to Request for Permit Cancellation (above) This is the ADEQ response to the request for the permit revocation letter above. It is little better than the errors in the permit, and asserts that ADEQ has the sole latitude to interpret conformance or non-conformance to its regulations and applicable law.
2nd Coalition Letter to ADEQ from Karst Geologist Brahana This is a letter requesting C&H Hog Farm permit revocation. This letter cites Brahana's local Karst experience. He asserts that Karst is unsuitable for this CAFO, urges immediate revocation of the permit, and a study of the specific Karst geology from the CAFO to the Buffalo National River.
C & H PERMIT MODIFICATION, 2014
ADEQ Response to C & H request for permit revision This Feb. 7, 2014 letter is ADEQ's response to a request from C & H to modify the method of field applications to include the use of a "Vac Tanker". ADEQ determined that this constitutes a major modification of the NMP which requires public notice and a comment period.
ADEQ Notice of Public Hearing In response to C & H's request for a permit revision (see above) ADEQ is reopening their permit for a comment period beginning on Feb 19 and concluding with a public hearing in Jasper on March 24, 2014. ADEQ states that comments will be accepted only as they relate to the specifics of the permit modification, i.e.: the use of a "Vac Tanker" for field applications on fields 7-9.
Other Comments on Permit Revision
C & H 2ND PERMIT MODIFICATION, 2015
C&H Request for Major Modification of its permit, January 14, 2015. This is a request to allow the use of a tank wagon for disposal of waste from both Pond 1 and Pond 2. The original permit only allowed the tank wagon to be used for Pond 1.
C&H Revised NMP, dated Feb 1, 2015, reflecting the Modification Request above.
ADEQ Response To Request for Modification Denial, April 7, 2015 This letter mistakenly references the letter from Earthjustice, dated March 9, 2015 (see below), which addressed issues with the C&H 2014 Annual Report, not the modification request denial dated March 3 (above).
C & H 3RD PERMIT MODIFICATION, MAY 7, 2015
ADEQ Compliance Inspection #1 This is the the initial Compliance Assistance Inspection of C & H Hog Farm, performed on July 23, 2013, released to the public on September 10th, which identifies six conditions requiring "immediate attention" by C & H. ADEQ Director Teresa Marks states, "...we weren’t alarmed by anything we saw out there. We didn’t see any harm to the environment from this installation.”
EPA Compliance Inspection. Unannounced inspection of C & H on April 15, 2014 This is a 97 page report which includes soil and water test results. Page 95 shows the field applications to date.
House Well. This is drilling log for the well which supplies the people and swine at C&H, according to information in the EPA report above.
BRWA and Coalition Letter to ADEQ June 15, 2015 submitted by Earthjustice 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, and requesting that the C&H permit be reopened in its entirety for public comment.
ADEQ Response to above letter, July 6, 2015, stating that C&C/EC Farms would be required to submit a revised CNMP for a land application permit which would also require a public comment period.
BRWA complaint filed with ADEQ, August 12, 2015 regarding BCRET data showing potential leakage of C&H waste storage ponds with high E. coli and nitrate readings from the well, ephemeral stream, monitoring tenches, and Big Creek and requesting an independent investigation.
Buffalo River Watershed CAFO Task Force Outline This pdf outlines the mission and provides a list of "entities" charged by the PC&E Commission to study the possibility of a ban on all CAFOs in the Buffalo watershed as well as all Extraordinary Resource Waterways in Arkansas. March 14, 2014
Public Comments received by ADEQ on General Statewide Permit. Commenters include Butterball, Tysons, Farm Bureau and other paid
Reportobbyists. Most of the public was unaware of the significance.
EPA NPDES CAFO Final Rule This document sets forth the federal regulations with which the Arkansas General permit must comply.
NPDES General Permit This document sets forth the requirements for General permits such as currently held by C & H.
ADEQ Regulation 5 This document sets the requirements for Individual permits, as opposed to NPDES General permits above.
ADEQ List of BNRW CAFOS This chart from ADEQ shows all current and prior (closed) CAFOs located within the Buffalo River watershed including 2 dairy and 6 swine operations with open permits.
ADEQ Temporary Moratorium This is the Notice and Minute Orders establishing a temporary moratorium on any new medium or large swine CAFO permits within the Buffalo River Watershed. It expired October 22, 2014 and was renewed for 180 days on October 24, 2014.
ADEQ Moratorium 180-day Extension This is the Minute Order dated October 24, 2014 extending the temporary moratorium on new medium or large swine CAFOs within the Buffalo River watershed.
EC FARMS PERMIT INFORMATION
EC Farms was previously known as C&C Farms and was owned by the current C&H owners. C&C ceased operations when C&H opened but did not close their ADEQ permit. Currently, 36 fields totaling approximately 550 acres are covered by the still-active permit. These fields lie on the Left Fork of Big Creek and on the ridge separating Big Creek from the Little Buffalo River. Some fields are in the Little Buffalo watershed. Ownership was transferred to EC Farms. In August, 2015, EC Farms submitted a modification request to allow it to apply swine waste from C&H to its fields. On September 16, BRWA requested a public hearing on this request.
C & H and Plasma Energy Group (PEG) are proposing to install a plasma pyrolysis unit to incinerate swine waste.
ADEQ notice to PEG indicating the agency cannot make a permit determination and the company may "proceed at their own risk"
BRWA response objecting to PEG proposal, October 9, 2014. Included is the ADEQ response to the PEG application stating the agency cannot determine if a permit is required and the company may proceed "at their own risk".
Buffalo River Coalition Letter to ADEQ, EPA, etc objecting to ADEQ's decision to allow an experimental plasma pyrolysis unit to be installed at C&H for the incineration of swine waste, October 10, 2014.
An Industry Blowing Smoke 10 Reasons Why Gasification, Pyrolysis and Plasma Incineration Are Not "Green Solutions", 2009 GAIA Report
REGULATION CHANGES - Third Party Rulemaking
These are proposed changes to Regulation 5 and 6 which seek to establish a ban on medium and large swine CAFOs in the Buffalo River watershed and place a cap on the numbers of existing swine. If adopted, these changes would not apply to existing CAFOs, like C&H, but would prevent additional facilities of this size in the watershed.
The second proposed change to Reg. 6 would significantly improve the notification procedures for new Reg 6 CAFO permits state-wide.
These proposed changes must be reviewed by the Public Health, and Rules and Regulations Committees of the state legislature as well as the Legislative Council before finally being voted on by the Pollution Control and Ecology Commission, likely sometime in the fall of 2014.
Regulation 6 Amended Rule Change June 19, 2015, incorporating a 5-year sunset clause at which time the temporary ban can be extended or cancelled at the discretion of the ADEQ Director
BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER DOCUMENTS
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.
Water Test Results
Below are water sampling results taken by BNR at selected points along the river. Of particular interest are samples taken from Big Creek (site BUFT06) just above its confluence with BNR. Compare the results from December 12, 2013 (before field applications began) with those taken April 7, 2014 (after field applications were underway). The Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Turbidity, Fecal Coliform and E. coli results are of concern.
January 27, 2014 Note: there is a second Big Creek, site BUFT18, in the Lower Wilderness.
Water Quality Characterization of Big Creek Powerpoint presentation to the Arkansas Water Resources conference, July 16, 2014 by NPS Aquatic Ecologist Faron Usrey. This presentation shows the negative influence Big Creek has on E. coli and dissolved oxygen levels in the Buffalo River.
Dissolved Oxygen Levels near confluence of Big Creek and Buffalo River, late Summer, 2014. This graph shows that during a 21 day period starting August 21 and ending September 10, the dissolved oxygen dropped to or below 5 mg/l on 19 nights. On several nights it remained at or below 5 mg/l for 8 hours or more. The stream was at a critical level for 23.76% of the time during that period.
2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Natural Resource Report
EARTHJUSTICE LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Demand Letter to FSA SBA of 6/6/13 This letter to USDA and Small Business Administration request review of faulty assessment that led to loan guarantee for industrial swine facility in the Buffalo National River Watershed. Animal waste from the C&H factory farm threatens America’s first national river, public health, and a multi-billion dollar Arkansas tourism economy
Complaint filed August 6, 2013 This is the complaint filed by Eartjustice, Earthrise, and Carney, Bates and Pulliam on behalf of plaintiffs BRWA, Arkansas Canoe Club, Ozark Society, and National Parks Conservation Asso. against the United States Dept. of Agriculture, Farm Services Agency, the Small Business Administration, and others challenging the environmental review and authorization of loan guarantees to C & H Hog Farm. See Amended Complaint filed 12/23/13 below.
Defendant's Proposed Response To Plaintiff's Memorandum Of Law Regarding The Scope Of Injunctive Relief filed 11/7/2014
Plaintiff's Motion For Leave To Respond To Defendant's Supplemental Briefing On The Scope Of Injunctive Relief filed 11/12/2014
Plaintiff's Proposed Response To Defendant's Supplemental Briefing On The Scope Of Injunctive Relief, filed 11/12/2014
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.
Order filed 12/2/2014
Judgement filed 12/2/2104
Notice of Appeal filed 1/30/2015 by Defendants
Withdrawal of Appeal filed April 22, 2015 by Defendants
Press Release on Withdrawal of Appeal
Defendants request a 90-day extension, until March 1, 2016, to comply with court order for a new EA. The extension is requested due to the "unexpectedly large volume of public comments on the draft EA". 1,858 public comments were submitted. Filed Sept. 25, 2015.
Declaration of Matthew Ponish, FSA, in support of 90-day extension.
Draft Biological Assessment prepared to comply with the Endangered Species Act. October, 2015
STATE OF ARKANSAS DOCUMENTS
CAFO Committee Final Report This is the report of Gov. Beebe's committee which was appointed to make recommendations for improved notification procedures for future CAFO permit applications. It was submitted to the Arkansas Legislative Council on January 17, 2014.
BRWA Response to HB 1080, a proposed amendment to the Arkansas Freedom Of Information Act which would shield th University of Arkansas and other academic institutions from FOIA requests. BRWA opposes this amendment.
FARM SERVICE AGENCY DOCUMENTS
Letter from Buffalo National River to the Farm Services Administration responding to the EA/FONSI and outlining 45 significant errors, misstatements, inaccuracies and other problems. If you only read one document this is the one The Park Service was not notified on the CAFO and was excluded from the assessment of impacts, violating federal guidelines.
This is the official response to the letter from the Buffalo National River above that cites 45 problems with the EA an FONSI documents. Posted 4/1/13.
NEW ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT, AUGUST 2015
Draft Environmental Assessment,
August, 2015 submitted per Judge D. Price Marshall's court order finding that the original EA was "cursory and flawed".
PUBLIC COMMENTS AND EXPERT OPINIONS ON DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
PRESS RELEASE, Sept 4, 2015: Arkansas Groups Find Draft Environmental Assessment of Industrial Hog Facility in Buffalo River Watershed Significantly Flawed
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS BIG CREEK RESEARCH TEAM DOCUMENTS
Arkansas Phosphorus Index (API) This document explains the role of this complex calculation which is the basis of the C&H NMP and was created in part by Dr Andrew Sharpley, leader of the BCRET.
University of Arkansas Monitoring Proposal This is the proposal by U of A for a $340,000 project to monitor C & H Hog Farm. This is a 1-year proposal but an additional 4 years of monitoring is recommended at an estimated cost of $100,000 per year. This proposal was approved by the legislature on Sept. 5, 2013 to be paid out of "Rainy Day Funds".
Arkansas Act 369
(see Sections 13-14), enacted March 6, 2015. This appropriations act provides an additional $100,000 per year for 4 years for continued support of BCRET, bringing the total amount of taxpayer-support for monitoring this privately owned industrial facility to $740,000.
BCRET Quarterly Reports
Electrical Resistivity Imaging
Preliminary ERI Surveys of Mt Judea Alluvial Sites
This report of work done in Dec. 2014 by Oklahoma State University on behalf of BCRET reveals karst features beneath 2 fields being studied. Of note: "The bedrock at each site contained potential pathways for groundwater flow. One difference between the sites that may be useful for application evaluation is the possibility of hog manure electrical signatures present on Field 12."
Big Creek Research Team Powerpoint Presentation titled "Sustainable Management of Nutrients On C&H Farm in Big Creek Watershed", presented by Dr Andrew Sharpley at the Arkansas Water Resource Conference, Fayetteville, AR, July 16, 2014
Peer Review Report and BCRET Response This is a review by a team of outside experts who critique the University of Arkansas research project at C&H. The Report is followed by the BCRET response. May 19, 2014
DR. VAN BRAHANA DOCUMENTS and PRESENTATIONS
Dr Brahana's Monitoring Proposal This is Dr Van Brahana's $70,000 proposal submitted to Governor Beebe. The legislature did not consider it for funding. While BRWA and others are providing some financial support, Dr Brahana and his team are currently working pro bono.
Attachment A This is preliminary water testing data from Big Creek valley.
Attachment C This is Dr Brahana's June 1, 2013 proposal to ADEQ which recieved no response.
What's Up On The Buffalo: Rolling Out The Science video
, October 18, 2014, Fayetteville, AR. This 2-hour video captures the presentations made by Dr Van Brahana, Victor Roland (USGS), Dane Schumacher (BRWA), Chuck Bitting (NPS) and Anna Weeks (Arkansas Public Policy Panel). The purpose was to update the public on the status of scientific inquiries regarding the impact of C&H on Big Creek and the Buffalo River. (Note: Sound does not begin until 14:30)
TED Video on Hog CAFO's This YouTube link illustrates the impacts of a hog CAFO. It makes the case we have been advocating about. Share it with everyone, and tell them about our Alliance.
CAFO Notification Committee Meeting This is a series of YouTube videos which recorded the CAFO Special Committee meeting held on Dec. 21, 2013. There are six videos. This committee was appointed by Gov. Beebe to recommend improved notification procedures for future Arkansas CAFO applications.
Waterkeeper Tour Lecture This is a YouTube video recording of one of the Waterkeeper Tour lectures held on Oct. 25, 2013.
Animal Factory This book by author David Kirby describes the impacts of swine CAFOs.
The Cerrell Report This 1984 report commissioned by the California Waste Management Board provides insight into how industry with noxious facilities sees siting strategies as one of their most important undertakings. Among the least likely to resist :Southern, Midwestern communities Rural communities,Open to promises of economic benefits, Conservative, Republican, Free-Market, Above Middle Age, High school or less education, Low income, Catholics, Not involved in social issues, Old-time residents (20 years+),“Nature exploitive occupations” (farming, ranching, mining) Sound familiar?
EPA Report: Case Studies of Impact of CAFOs on Ground Water Quality, Sept. 2012
Phosphorus Retention and Remobilization along Hydrological Pathways in Karst Terrain by Helen P. Jarvie, Andrew N. Sharpley, Van Brahana, Tarra Simmons, April Price, Colin Neal, Alan J. Lawlor, Darren Sleep, Sarah Thacker,and Brian E. Haggard. Environmental Science and Technology, March 17, 2014.
CAFO Air Pollution and Children This document, submitted as a comment to ADEQ, points out the many dangers of exposure of children to air pollution from CAFOs.
Iowa Research on the CAFO Experience This is an outstanding summary of the various impacts of CAFOs in Iowa. Iowa has long term experience with CAFOs. This is a footnoted account of the impacts of CAFOs on watersheds, people, farmers and the economy. Very readable with footnoted research. A must-read for everyone.
Understanding CAFOs and Their Impact on Communities This document was created by the National Association of Local Boards of Health. It is very well done and covers all the impacts from water pollution, to health to, the impact on local communities. Required reading to understand the the scope of impacts of any hog CAFO. There is reason for much concern.
CAFOs: What are the Community Costs? This is a study of community impacts from the University of Louisville. It is yet another survey of CAFO impacts. Of particular interest is that it identifies issues related to limestone Karst regions. This is directly relevant to understanding the impact here.
C & H operation including a page of detailed maps of the CAFO location showing its proximity to the Mt Judea school.
The North Carolina Hog Industry The history and current status of hogs in NC. They are well ahead of us here in Arkansas and now a moratorium on hog operations larger than 250 head.
An Illinois Success Story Concerned citizens organized to halt a 5,500 head dairy CAFO located in karst terrain. After nearby surface waters were shown to be polluted by seepage from sewage lagoons the facility was closed and the land sold.
Confined Animal Feeding Operations Cost Taxpayers Billions Misguided federal farm policies have encouraged the growth of massive confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, by shifting billions of dollars in environmental, health and economic costs to taxpayers and communities, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists
The Economic Impact of Tourism in Arkansas This is a Department of Tourism report from 2012 which shows the importance of tourism to the Arkansas economy. In Newton County alone, where C & H Hog Farm is located, tourism expenditures were almost $12,000,000, generating over $277,000 in local taxes and supporting 138 jobs. C & H has stated it would provide 8-10 jobs and generate an estimated $25,000 in local taxes.