Take Action to Make the Moratorium on Swine CAFOs Permanent in the Buffalo's Watershed
Save the Buffalo River Forever!
GO TO Support the Moratorium on this page:
During the last Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission meeting in May the Commissioners voted without objection to approve the proposed rule changes that would include the permanent moratorium. More steps must unfold to secure the moratorium:
The State law requires that changes in administrative rules must be reviewed and approved by the state legislature. Most committee meetings had been suspended due to the Covid Virus during the sheltering period. The Joint Committee for Public Health tabled the issue in March and it was finally rescheduled in June. Again supporters submitted comments and public attendance was not allowed. This committee voted to not review the rule change. The permanent moratorium is a controversial issue with active opposition from Farm Brueau and others claiming it threatens the “right to farm”.
Now the issue moves to the Administrative Rules Committee on June 17th for their review and then on to the Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC) on June 19th.
Call , text or email your legislator especially if they sit on the ALC. Find ALC roster here:
Call, text or email your legislators now, whoever they may be and let them know how you feel about a permanent moratorium on swine CAFOs in the Buffalo National River. Legislative Committees will be reviewing this June 17 and 19. With the restrictions on public participation due to COVID your voice is more important than ever. Please use respectful language. See steps below.
1. If you are unsure of your legislators, use this Arkansas Children’s Hospital link. Use the "Find Politicians" box and then click on their name for contact information. https://www.votervoice.net/mobile/ACH/Home
2. Sample text message to your legislators: The Buffalo National River and the economy it provides for several Arkansas counties and the State deserves a permanent moratorium on swine CAFOs. It is for the protection of the Buffalo National River. The BR watershed is the wrong location for industrialized swine factories.
3. More points:
1. The Buffalo National River is the crown jewel of Arkansas and is a valuable tourism destination in the state contributing $54.9 million to the area in 2018.
2. 86% of the watershed which feeds the Buffalo River lies outside of the National Park boundary and deserves robust protection by the state. A medium to large CAFO produces approximately 2.5 million gallons of untreated raw swine sewage yearly. This liquid animal waste must be disposed of near the CAFO because transportation costs to distribute it out of the Buffalo National River watershed are cost prohibitive.
3. The pasture soils in the watershed are too thin to accommodate this industrial level distribution of CAFO waste that contains far more nutrients than the vegetation could possibly use resulting in soil with legacy phosphorous that can continue to leach for years producing algal blooms.
4. The Buffalo watershed is particularly vulnerable to pollutants due to karst geology that underlies it. Dye trace studies sited by the Big Creek Research Extension Team’s report show just how far and how fast water can run underground.
5. In 2018 Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality placed Big Creek and 14 miles of the Buffalo River on the 303(d) draft list of impaired streams.
6. The Buffalo National River is an economic engine for the area. Many family businesses such as outfitters, restaurants, farm to table growers, cabin rentals and more rely upon the health of the river to support and sustain their livelihoods for their families and employees.
Approval of these rule changes makes the temporary moratorium PERMANENT. The state has already invested a considerable amount of money and time trying to correct the mistake of allowing a large CAFO in the Buffalo River Watershed. We need a permanent moratorium to preserve and protect the Buffalo National River and to ensure that such a mistake never happens again. Let your support be part of your legacy.
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