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Buffalo River Watershed Alliance

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In 2013, BRWA collaborated with the Ozark Society, the Arkansas Canoe Club and National Parks Conservation Association to engage Earthjustice, a public interest law firm, to seek a legal solution to the C&H issue. Efforts focused on a faulty environmental assessment of C&H by the Farm Services Administration in its issuance of $3.5 million in federal loan guarantees.

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 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


 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. 


Draft Environmental Assessment, August, 2015 submitted per Judge D. Price Marshall's court order finding that the original EA was "cursory and flawed".  


PRESS RELEASESept 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


Buffalo River Watershed Alliance is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization

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