Buffalo River 
Watershed
Alliance
Documents related to the Mount Judea C & H Hog CAFO and research articles on the CAFO industry
(Entries in red are documents submitted by BRWA)


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 This ADEQ page includes information on C&H's current Regulation 6 NPDES General Permit, ARG590001. Click on "View Permit Information" to 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.
  

C & H SWITCH TO REGULATION 5 PERMIT, initiated April, 2016.


C & H Regulation 5 Permit Information This page provides information on C&H's efforts to switch from its current Regulation 6 NPDES permit, which ADEQ will not be renewing, to a state permit under Regulation 5. BRWA opposes this shift because it does not provide the EPA oversight afforded under the NPDES program. This Reg 5 application is under permit # 5264-W.

ADEQ Notice of Administrative Completeness, May 25, 2016 stating that C&H's application for a Regulation 5 permit is administratively complete and confirming that C&H has submitted the necessary forms. Following a 10-day comment period, ADEQ will begin a technical review (typically requiring about 90 days) and give public notice of their draft permitting decision. At that time there will be a 30-day window for public comments on the technical aspects of the permit.

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

ADEQ denies above request for a public hearing on administrative completeness, Sept. 26, 2016

ADEQ issues Notice of Technical Deficiency to C&H over its refusal to allow investigative drilling to proceed. C&H is required to carry out the drilling itself or risk denial of it's application for a Regulation 5 Permit, #5264-W. Sept. 2, 2016.

The AWMFH is a USDA-NRCS guiding document for waste management systems, including Reg. 5 permits (See Regulation 5.402 below)Chapter 7, Part 651-Geologic and Groundwater Considerations is particularly pertinent to karst considerations which should be taken into account by C&H and elsewhere in the Ozark region. 

APC&E Regulation 5 defines the rules under which Reg 5 permits are issued and regulated.

C & H 1st 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. 

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


Other Comments on Permit Modification
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 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.

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 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
 C&H Request for major modification to install liners in both waste storage ponds and a cover and gas flare system on pond #1.


BRWA's Oral Comments on pond liner modification, submitted at a public hearing in Jasper, Sept 29, 2015

Tom Aley's Public Comments on pond liner modification, prepared on behalf of BRWA and submitted at a public hearing, Sept. 29, 2015.

Email from Jason Henson to ADEQ Sept 29, 2015, asking if C&H must comply if modification is approved.

 
COMPLIANCE INSPECTIONS
 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.

ADEQ Complaint Inspection Report, December 29, 2015 based on citizen concern about potential flooding of C&H waste storage ponds due to heavy rains. No violations noted.

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.

ANNUAL REPORTS
       C&H Revised Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan 2/26/2015 submitted in response to above letter
         C&H 2014 Annual Report Aggregate PI 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 Letter dated April 16, 2015 sent in response to Letter above.
C&H 2015 Soil Test results, 12/4/1025. Note that all fields except one are "above optimum" for phosphorus 
BRWA and Coalition Response to 2015 Annual Report Includes expert analysis by Lithochimeia/Mike Smolens at bottom of document

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.
ADEQ Response to above letter, August 21, 2015, denying BRWA's request for an independent investigation.
Letter from Williams and Anderson Law Firm, September 21, 2015 on behalf of BRWA responding to ADEQ's refusal to investigate our August 12 complaint about possible contamination at C&H.
Williams and Anderson Followup Letter,January 7, 2016 requesting response to letter of September 21, 2015.

Letter from Williams and Anderson, October 23, 2015 on behalf of BRWA regarding a proposed permit change to remove the requirement for separate construction permits in Reg. 6 NPDES permit applications.

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.
BRWA and Coalition Comments opposing renewal of the general permit for swine CAFOs, ARG590000, April 14, 2016.

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.

Well Drilling Log for house well showing water-bearing substrata, Feb. 15, 2013
Well Drilling Log W2 for new house well installed June 12, 2015
Satellite Image showing location of both wells according to coordinates from well logs.


ADEQ Director Becky Keogh's testimony before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, titled COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM: STATE PERSPECTIVES ON EPA REGULATORY ACTIONS AND THE ROLE OF STATES AS CO-REGULATORS”, March 9, 2016 

303(d) IMPAIRED STREAMS LIST

Every two years ADEQ must submit its list of Impaired Streams to EPA to comply with the Clean Water Act. The deadline for submitting the 2016 list was April 1, 2016. Buffalo National River recommended adding three tributaries of the Buffalo to the list, including Big Creek. ADEQ declined. BRWA is participating in development of the assessment methodology for the 2018 303(d) list. See our initial comments and other pertinent documents below.

ADEQ 2018 Assessment Methodology Review website for reviewing criteria for 303d List of Impaired Streams, Nov.3, 2016

 

ADEQ 303(d) Information page. Scroll down to see public comments.

NPS Letter To ADEQ Recommending Big Creek Be Added to 303(d) list of "impaired waters". October 6, 2015.

NPS Letters To ADEQ Feb. 25 and March 10, 2016, following up on earlier letter.

NPS Letter analyzing BCRET E. coli data and recommending impaired status for Big Creek, March 25, 2016.

Agenda for Joint Agriculture and Economic Development legislative committee meeting on 303(d) List, March 29, 2016

BRWA  and Coalition comments before Joint Committee, March 29, 2015. This letter was also sent with attachments to various EPA officials and Governor Hutchinson's office. The handouts referred to may be found in the public comments on the ADEQ site at top.

Teresa Turk's comments to the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission meeting, April 29, 2016.                                                                BRWA comments to ADEQ on 2018 Assessment Methodology for determining impairment of Arkansas streams, October 30, 2016                                            Ozark River Stewards comments on Assessment Methodology, supported and referenced by BRWA. October 31, 2016

ADEQ Letter inviting BRWA to participate in 2018 AM Stakeholder Workgroup meetings. November 9, 2016




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 March 5, 2016, ADEQ announced draft approval of the requested modification and opened a comment period with a public hearing to be held on April 11, 2016.

Coalition Letter To ADEQ, June 15, 2015, objecting to EC Farms modification request
Letter of Incompleteness issued by ADEQ, Nov. 30, 2015
Letter from National Park Service requesting hearing on EC Farms modification.Sept. 18, 2015. Several others, including BRWA, also sent requests for a hearing
ADEQ Public Notice of Draft Approval of Modification, March 9, 2016 announcing a comment period for written comments ending April 8, 2016 and a public hearing on April 11, 2016. This link includes the public notice as well as details of the conditions of the permitted modification.

Public comments on EC modification from ADEQ web site

ADEQ issues final decision to approve EC Farms modification request. This document includes a list of public comments received and ADEQ's responses to them. June 30, 2016

National Park Service files appeal of ADEQ decision to approve EC Farms permit modification. July 29, 2016
NPS subsequently withdrew this appeal on August 29, 2016.

Individual Appeals of EC Farms Permit Approval, by Carol Bitting, Nancy Haller and Lin Welford July 29, 2016. Follow the docket for the appeals process here.


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 5 Proposed Changes Scroll down to see comments
Regulation 6 Proposed Changes Essentially the same as the Reg 5 changes
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 
Regulation 5 Amended Rule Change, essentially identical to the Reg 6 change.

Renewal of Regulation 6 Swine CAFO General Permit ARG590000 

The NPDES General permit, ARG590000, includes the regulations under which C&H, permit #ARG590001, is covered. C&H. C&H is the first and only permit issued under these regulations. ARG590000 expires on October 31, 2016 and was revised and opened for public comment on March  , 2016, with a public hearing on April 14, 2016. Read the public notice and draft renewal permit here

Select public comments submitted to ADEQ are posted below. ADEQ intends to release the final approved of ARG590000 in May 2016. C&H must reapply for coverage under the revised General permit by October 31, 2016, or switch to another permit.

Public Comments on ARG590000 Renewal:


ADEQ Press Release announcing it's decision to NOT renew ARG590000, April 28, 2016

ADEQ final decision not to renew ARG590000 and responses to 130 public comments

Arkansas Attorney General's opinion that the ADEQ Director does not have the authority to revoke or suspend the NPDES General CAFO permit, November 13, 2013

BRWA comments on proposed revisions to Regulation 6. October 17, 2016

 
   PLASMA PYROLYSIS 

C & H and Plasma Energy Group (PEG) proposed to install a plasma pyrolysis unit to incinerate swine waste. As of April 2016, indications are that this scheme has been abandoned due to the high cost of operation (~$1 million per year).

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.

Buffalo River Coalition Followup Letter to ADEQ and EPA regarding testing of plasma pyrolysis at Cargill's Sandy River CAFO and at C&H. December 8, 2015.

ADEQ Response letter to Coalition, December 18, 2015.


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
 

BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER DOCUMENTS

Find Buffalo River Watershed information at Arkansaswater.org.

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.

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 

NPS Letter To ADEQ Recommending Big Creek Be Added to 303(d) list of "impaired waters". October 6, 2015
To see more NPS 303(d) documents scroll up to the 303(d) Impaired Streams section above..

BNR 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.

Buffalo National River Economic Benefits Report , 2004-2014. Shows the visitor numbers, jobs created and economic impact of the Buffalo National River and other National Park units in Arkansas.


2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Natural Resource Report 



Water analysis results. 6/4/2015 - 5/17/2016 This document includes a map of numerous sampling locations along Big Creek,from upstream of C&H to the confluence with the Buffalo. The results are suggestive of nutrient loading in the vicinity of the hog factory.
Quality Assurance data in spreadsheet form to support above analysis






EARTH JUSTICE LEGAL DOCUMENTS

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

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

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

Defendants Motion To Dissolve Injunction, March 2, 2016


STATE OF ARKANSAS DOCUMENTS


Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the Beautiful Buffalo River Initiative (BBRI), comprised of 5 state agencies, "To address water quality concerns throughout the watershed and ensure the Buffalo National River maintains all designated uses" September 30, 2016. Read more on our BBRI page

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.

Buffalo River Coalition Letter to Gov. Hutchinson, April 17, 2015, noting the importance of the Buffalo National River to the Arkansas economy.
  Response to Gov. Hutchinson's letter of response, May 15, 2015

Act 369 of the Arkansas Legislature appropriating $100,00 in funding for fiscal year 2016 for "monitoring swine farming operations within the Buffalo River watershed." See Section 13.

FARM SERVICE AGENCY DOCUMENTS
  
 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. 


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

Buffalo River Coalition Comments on draft EA, submitted by Earthjustice, Sept. 4, 2015

Tom Aley, Ozark Underground Laboratory testimony on behalf of BRWA given at the public hearing in Jasper, AR, August 27, 2015
Lisa R. Pruitt, Professor of Law and Linda T. Sobcynski, J.D., University of California at Davis statement regarding the environmental justice impacts of C&H Hog Farms


ADEQ Comments on the draft EA


Draft Biological Assessment prepared to comply with the Endangered Species Act. October, 2015

FSA/SBA request 90-day extension until March 1, 2016 due to unprecedented volume of comments received.

Final Environmental Assessment with Draft Finding Of No Significant Impact, December 23, 2015. A comment period was opened for this draft FONSI, ending January 29, 2016.

Earthjustice requests extension on EA Comment Period until Jan. 29, 2015. This request was approved.

Earthjustice comments on draft final EA/FONSI submitted on behalf of BRWA, NPCA, Ozark Society and Arkansas Canoe Club, Jan. 29, 2016
PRESS RELEASE, Jan. 29, 2016
Dr. Van Brahana's comments, submitted January 28, 2016



Buffalo River Coalition Press Release, responding to Final FONSI, February 24, 2016


 
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.


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.

The Role of Phosphorus Management - Dr. Andrew Sharpley - January 30, 2015 Youtube presentation from Maryland Phosphorus Symposium. Quote from approximately 32;00: "We can't expect cheap food and clean water at the same time."

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. 

NRCS Soil Survey Maps of C&H, October 2015
These maps and charts are from a Freedom Of Information Act request by BRWA to the U of A and describe the soils in the vicinity of C&H, their characteristics, and their suitability for pond construction and manure application.

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.

 Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI)

BCRET and the U of A School of Agriculture contracted with Dr Todd Halihan of Oklahoma State University to conduct and ERI study on three fields at C&H. Dr Halihan also conducted additional studies around the waste holding ponds in March, 2015. These subsurface imaging studies revealed what was described as a "possible major fracture and movement of waste" beneath the ponds. However, BCRET declined to investigate further and only through FOIA requests did BRWA discover news of this possible leakage in January, 2016.


Memorandum of Agreement between University of Arkansas and Oklahoma State University for ERI study

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." 

BCRET webpage with data supporting ERI Final Report and pond data

Email thread among BCRET team members regarding an Electical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) investigation around the C&H waste holding ponds, indicating concern over a possible subsurface fracture and leakage.
 

 

BRWA and Coalition Powerpoint presentation and accompanying narrative to the APC&E Commission meeting on April 29, 2016 regarding ERI data collected around C&H waste ponds in March 2016 which reveals a possible "major fracture and movement of waste" beneath the facility. Presented by Attorney Richard Mays. The narrative includes statements from experts in the field of geophysics and geology who concur that waste appears to be leaking from the ponds.

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.

BRWA and Coalition Press Advisory, June 17, 2016, announcing a press conference to follow the Pollution Control and Ecology meeting on June 24 to discuss ADEQ and BCRET positions on ERI followup.
 
ADEQ Press Release June 23, 2016 announcing, " INDEPENDENT INTEGRITY EVALUATION TO BE CONDUCTED AT HOG FARM: The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will employ independent experts to assess liner integrity of storage ponds at C&H Hog Farms in the Buffalo River Watershed. The evaluation is being advanced to provide additional information to the agency and the community."

BRWA and Coalition Statement to the APC&E Commission by Attorney Richard Mays on June 24, 2016 regarding ADEQ decision to pursue further investigation into ERI data.

BCRET Powerpoint presentation to APC&E Commission, June 24, 2016 which concludes that no further investigation into ERI pond data is necessary.

BRWA and Coalition press statement by Richard Mays at press conference following above Commission meeting. June 24, 2016.

BRWA and Coalition letter to ADEQ from Richard Mays as followup to June 24 Commission meeting. June 29, 2016

BRWA meeting with ADEQ to discuss plans for investigative drilling, July 8, 2016

ADEQ Powerpoint Presentation from meeting with BRWA and the Coalition, July 8, 2016.

BRWA and Coalition Followup Letter to ADEQ in response to July 8 meeting. July 12, 2016

Bert Fisher letter to ADEQ with recommendations for drilling.

BRWA and Coalition 2nd followup letter to ADEQ regarding lack of response to previous messages about workplan for drilling. July 28, 2016

Letter to ADEQ from BRWA and Coalition objecting to presence of BCRET as observers during well drilling. August 4, 2016

Letter to ADEQ from BRWA and Coalition providing comments on technical aspects of the Draft Workplan. August 4, 2016

BRWA FILES INJUNCTION seeking hearing on investigative drilling at C&H. August 24, 2016


BRWA Files Motion To Dismiss Injunction following settlement agreement with ADEQ, Sept. 2, 2016.


BRWA Press Release regarding settlement agreement with ADEQ and dismissal of injunction, Sept. 2, 2016.


ADEQ issues Notice of Technical Deficiency to C&H over its refusal to allow investigative drilling to proceed. C&H is required to carry out the drilling itself or risk denial of it's application for a Regulation 5 Permit, #5264-W. Sept. 2, 2016.


ADEQ letter to C&H acknowledging their agreement to allow drilling to proceed at state's expense with a projected drilling date of 9/19/16. Sept 7, 2016


BRWA letter to ADEQ from Attorney Richard Mays reiterating request for multiple bore holes and referencing 2014 Expert Review Panel recommendations re: pond leakage. Sept. 6, 2016


ADEQ letter in response to above letter from BRWA, Sept. 22, 2016


BRWA and Coalition ask EPA to be present during investigative drilling. Sept. 12, 2016.


ADEQ Press Release announcing completion of drilling. Sept. 29, 2016


Other BCRET/ U of A Documents


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

Dr Sharpley explains new well sampling protocol, January 25, 2016. This response to a BRWA FOIA request describes BCRET's efforts to answer concerns about E. coli and nitrate contamination of "house well" samples. 

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

BCRET expenses as on 4/30/2016, totaling almost $500,000.

DR. VAN BRAHANA DOCUMENTS and PRESENTATIONS



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.

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


VIDEOS
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.

Media
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

  JUN 3, 2016


RESEARCH AND REGULATORY DOCUMENTS




Aquifers of Arkansas—Protection, Management, and Hydrologic and Geochemical Characteristics of Groundwater Resources in Arkansas

By Timothy M. Kresse, Phillip D. Hays, Katherine R. Merriman, Jonathan A. Gillip, D. Todd Fugitt, Jane L. Spellman, Anna M. Nottmeier, Drew A. Westerman, Joshua M. Blackstock, and James L. Battreal  Listen to Tim Kresse discuss the publication on KUAF Radio, Oct. 24, 2016


A Cow Palace Coup: Expanding the Reach of RCRA to Combat Agricultural Pollution Georgetown Law Review, 2016


The Role of Phosphorus Management - Dr. Andrew Sharpley - January 30, 2015 Youtube presentation from Maryland Phosphorus Symposium. Quote from approximately 32;00: "We can't expect cheap food and clean water at the same time."


EPA Risk Assessment Evaluations for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, May, 2004 (see chapters 5 and 8)


EPA 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria


The role of organic matter in the fate and transport of antibiotic resistance, metals, and nutrients in the karst of Northwest Arkansas  draft doctoral dissertation of Victor Roland, University of Arkansas,  2016. 


CAFOs Uncovered The Untold Costs of Confined Animal Feeding Operations by Doug Durian-Sherman, Union of Concerned Scientists, 2008 page2image1528 page2image1952


Reuse of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Wastewater on Agricultural Lands , 2007

Scott A. Bradford* USDA-ARS Eran Segal and Wei Zheng University of California–Riverside Qiquan Wang Delaware State University Stephen R. Hutchins USEPA


Corporate Agribusiness And The Fouling Of America's Waterways: The Role Of Large Agribusiness Companies In Polluting Our Rivers, Lakes And Coastal Waters. Environment America 2016 Report (50 pages). June 30, 2016.


Is Groundwater that Is Hydrologically Connected to Navigable Waters Covered Under the CWA?: Three Theories of Coverage & Alternative Remedies for Groundwater Pollution by Allison L. Kvien , 2015 Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology

  The Buffalo River: A Jurisprudence of Preservation John W. Ragsdale, Jr. 1994 A philosophical discourse on preservation law.


Discovery Farm ProtocolArkansas Discovery Farms: documenting water

quality benefits of on-farm conservation management and empowering farmers, April 2015



Guide To Confronting A Factory Farm by the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP)

C&H Hog Farms:An Investigation Into The Permitting Of A Concentrated Animal feeding Operation In The Buffalo River Watershed 2014 University of Arkansas Civil Engineering Masters thesis by Samantha Hovis 

Nevada Hydrogeological Study designed to demonstrate the use of the nitrogen-15 isotope analysis method as a means to determine if an animal waste lagoon at a swine facility in Reno County was leaking and affecting the water quality of the Equus Beds aquifer. August 2000

Tracing Nitrate Transport and Environmental Impact from Intensive Swine Farming using Delta Nitrogen-15, Groundwater Quality Journal, January, 2000. This study concludes that stable isotope analysis "...demonstrates nitrate export from the site, despite the presence of riparian buffers that meet current regulatory requirements."

 




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 and Heavy Metal Content of Hog Manure - University of Manitoba

 

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, CE



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.

 
© Buffalo River Watershed Alliance
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software