Buffalo River 

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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.

ADEQ FAQ Sheet on C&H Hog Farms
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 #2  Spray fields targeted for manure management.
    Attachment #3  Maps showing fields subject to periodic flooding.
    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. 
Letter to ADEQ Feb 12, 2014 Complaint and New Information This letter of notice from Earthjustice to ADEQ regards new information about inaccuracies in the C & H permit.

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. 

BRWA Comments on request for permit revision, requesting that revision be denied.

Other Comments on Permit Revision
See all comments posted by ADEQ Click "View Permit Information" to see the list of comments currently posted.

ADEQ Approves Permit Modification. Read the approval notice and ADEQ's responses to comments.

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.
ADEQ Incompleteness Letter, dated January 28, 2015 in response to C&H request for permit modification above.
C&H Revised NOI, dated Feb 1, 2015 in response to Letter Of Incompleteness.
C&H Revised NMP, dated Feb 1, 2015, reflecting the Modification Request above.
BRWA and Coalition Asks ADEQ to Deny Modification March 3. 2015, based on ongoing errors in field maps and leases.
 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.” 

ADEQ Compliance Inspection #2, Inspection of C & H on January 23, 2014 showing continued conditions requiring attention

ADEQ Compliance Inspection #3, November 5, 2014
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.

       C&H Revised Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan 2/26/2015 submitted in response to above letter
       C&H 2014 Annual Report Aggregate Phosphorus Index Spreadsheets 2/26/2015 also in response to ADEQ Letter of Incompleteness
     BRWA and Coalition Letter Requesting Permit Be Reopened 3/9/2015 based on discrepancies in 2014 Annual Report and related documents.

ADEQ Response to Buffalo National River This document also includes the FSA response (see below for more FSA documents). At the bottom is the letter of response from ADEQ

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.

Arkansas Department of Health Letter, March 21, 2013 expressing concern that water borne pathogens from C & H could pose risk for body contact on the Buffalo River.


C & H and Plasma Energy Group (PEG) are proposing to install a plasma pyrolysis unit to incinerate swine waste.

BRWA position paper on plasma pyrolysis- Lipstick on a pig, October 10, 2014

PEG Air Permit Application and letter requesting that ADEQ provide an exemption to permit requirements, September 17, 2014

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.

BRWA letter to APC&E Commission requesting to speak at Commission meeting on October 24, 2014.  

An Industry Blowing Smoke 10 Reasons Why Gasification, Pyrolysis and Plasma Incineration Are Not "Green Solutions", 2009 GAIA Report

RegREGULATION 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 5 Proposed Changes Scroll down to see comments
Regulation 6 Proposed Changes Essentially the same as the Reg 5 changes


Bacteria Characterization of Big Creek and the Buffalo River near Carver
by Buffalo National River Wildlife Biologist, Feron Usrey

Showing the slides used in the presentation
at the Boone County Library September 23, 2014

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. 

December 12, 2013 Scroll down to see results
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.


Case Overview from the Earthjustice website

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.
          Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law supporting motion to dismiss
           Defendant's Supporting Brief


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


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.

Arkansas Attorney General's opinion on moratorium. The AG's opinion states that while ADEQ does not have the authority to issue a moratorium on CAFO permits, the Pollution Control and Ecology Commission clearly does.

Governor Beebe's request for $250,00 "Rainy Day Funds" for monitoring C & H

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.

 Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) prepared by Farm Services Agency, the USDA agency which has provided a funding guarantee for C & H Hog Farm. Note: This is only the Executive Summary of the EA. Following is the EA divided into 3 parts, approximately 200 pages each.

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. 


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.

Memorandum of Agreement Between the University of Arkansas and ADEQ This specifies the agreement for the study to be done by the University on C & H Hog Farm which was funded by the state. (See U of A Monitoring Proposal below)

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".
2nd Coalition Letter to ADEQ from Karst Geologist Brahana  This is a continuation of the letter below requesting C&H Hog Farm 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.  

BCRET Quarterly Reports
University of Arkansas Big Creek Research Team Addendum to 1st Quarterly Report This addendum addresses the discrepancies in the application fields and locations of research work.

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


CAFO in Paradise Oct 24 pdf.pdf   This is Dr. Brahana's presentation in pdf format
 Full one hour video of Dr. Brahana's presentation To YouTube video

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.

Dye Trace Preliminary Report This report was presented to the APC&E Commission, 4/25/14

Dr. Brahana's Powerpoint Presentation, "Karst Hydrogeology of Big Creek Basin" presented at the Arkansas Water Resources Conference, July 16, 2014 in Fayetteville, AR

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.

Boss Hog: The Dark Side of America's Top Pork Producer Rolling Stone Magazine coverage of Smithfield Foods. December, 2006

Source Tracking Swine Fecal Waste 2014 research report on microbial source tracking of swine waste near CAFOs

Estimation of Pig Fecal Contamination in a River Catchment by Real-Time PCR  2008, Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Referred to in above research report.

The Questions Rural Communities Should Ask About CAFOs by Dr John Ikerd, 2006. "Not a single community where CAFOs represent a significant segment of the local economy is looked upon today as a model of economic success or prosperity."

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?

Understanding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Their Impact on Communities  2010 Report of the National Association of Local Boards of Health

Resources For Understanding the Impacts of CAFOs and Industrial Meat Production  Published by Land and Table on 05/10/2014. A collection of news links, academic, scientific and non-profit research and other resources that explain the issues involved in industrial meat production 

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.


Nutrient Content of Swine Manure Research from Clemson University.

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.

Analysis of Impact of Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production Finds Administration and Congress Have Exacerbated Problems in - 2013 Five years after the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP) released its landmark recommendations to remedy the public health, environment, animal welfare and rural community problems caused by industrial food animal production, a new analysis by Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future (CLF) finds that the Administration and Congress have acted “regressively” in policymaking on industrial food animal system issues.

Effects of Animal Feeding Operations on Water Resources And The Environment , 1999 Proceedings of USGS Technical Meeting/CAFO Conference, Fort Collins, CO

EPA Literature Review - Manure and Water Quality This is a July 2013 Literature Review of Contaminants in Livestock and Poultry Manure and Implications for Water Quality, by EPA.

Factory Farm Map Find out how factory fams affect us all.

Cargill: A Threat To Food And Farming How does the largest privately owned company in the U.S. impact you?

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. 

CAFOs and Environmental Justice: The Case of North Carolina The clustering of North Carolina’s hog CAFOs in low-income, minority communitiesundefinedand the health impacts that accompany themundefinedhas raised concerns of environmental injustice and environmental racism

Keep the Buffalo In A Natural State This website by a geoscientist from Arkansas provides a good overview of the 
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.

How CAFOs Impact Health This is a list of google search results from National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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

 Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production  Putting Meat on The Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America

Let Pigs Be Pigs A sustainable alternative to the CAFO model

As Factory Farms Spread, Government Efforts to Curb Threat From Livestock Waste Bog Down This article from fairwarning.com describes the catch-me-if-you-can attitude and chilling influence Big Ag lobbyists have had on government efforts to monitor and regulate CAFOs across the nation.

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.

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