Buffalo River 

Buffalo River Watershed Alliance Timeline

Designated in 1972 by President Richard Nixon as America's first national river, the Buffalo National River travels freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. The Buffalo River watershed is home to over 300 species of fauna including the endangered Snuffbox mussel, the threatened Rabbits Foot mussel, the endangered Gray bat, and the endangered Indiana bat.


A popular camping, canoeing, birding and fishing destination, the Buffalo National River attracts more than one million visitors a year.

C&H Hog Farms, a confined animal feeding operation CAFO, began to construct and begin its operation of a swine factory farm in Mount Judea, Arkansas in 2012. The facility’s two barns confine 6,500 pigs, with the estimated two million gallons of waste produced by the C&H facility being spread on land lying along a major tributary of the Buffalo National River.


Nov 1, 2011 NPDES Reg 6 General Permit  (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of

the United States) approved by Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ.)




June 14, 2012 C&H Notice of Intent (NOI) Submitted


Aug. 3, 2012 ADEQ Permit to C&H Approved (C&H NPDES permit was the first

             of its kind issued in Arkansas.)


              C & H Permit Information 

Nov 16 - Dec 17, 2012 Farm Services Agency (FSA) & Small Business

             Administration (SBA) Loan Guarantees Approved for C&H CAFO

             Construction guaranteeing 97 percent of the loans received by C&H.


Dec 20, 2012 Buffalo National River letter to ADEQ Director Teresa Marks. This was the first public communication regarding C&H Hog Farm which had been quietly permitted 4 months prior, in August, 2012.




Jan 3, 2013 ADEQ Response letter to National Park Service letter of Dec 20, 2012


Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization created in 2013

Alliance CAFO Brochures 


1. Health Impacts of a Factory Hog Farm

This brochure outline highlights many of the main adverse health impacts of a factory hog farm on workers, residents and children. For example, school children within 1/2 mile of a factory hog farm have a 1 in 5 chance of developing asthma compare to 1 in 14 living 10 miles away.  Mount Judea hog farm is less than a 1/2 mile from the Mount Judea Schools. 


2, Economic Impacts of a Factory Hog Farm

This brochure outlines both the factory hog farm's danger to Buffalo River tourism and the small town of Mount Judea and its residents. The factory hog farm will create 10 jobs, it places over 500 jobs at risk. Deep property value losses of 40% or more in Mount Judea more than offset any new revenues from the hog farm, placing the schools at risk, and threatening the future of the town. 


3.Karst Topography, Water & Living Things

The factory hog farm sits atop Karst, a limestone formation characterized by faults, caves and tunnels. Unlike other geology, Karst is ill suited to contain spills that most certainly will happen, and any accident will contaminate the Buffalo River's pristine waters, critical habitat for endangered species, the environment, and adversely impact tourism. 


(For detailed dates of meetings and events from March 2013 to present, see website: buffaloriveralliance.org  http://buffaloriveralliance.org/page1545627?EventViewMode=1&EventListViewMode=1)


March 4, 2013 Newton County Quorum Court meeting

             March 4th the Newton County Quorum Court heard testimony on the CAFO

             (concentrated animal feeding operation) planned on Big Creek, a tributary just 6

              miles from the Buffalo National River. NPS review of the supporting

              documentation found 45 areas of significant errors and omissions in the area of

              environmental impact. Concerns included inadequate monitoring provisions, the

              threat to the $38M BNR tourism economy, and the impact of Mt. Judea School.


See YouTube coverage below:





10 Mar 2013
Talking Points

ADEQ has granted a permit for a 6503 swine farm (CAFO) near Big Creek, West of Mt. Judea, (Hwy. intersections 74/123) in Newton County, Arkansas. There will be 17 separate hog waste application fields, 11 of these are adjacent to Big Creek, a tributary to the Buffalo National River. Total acreage = 630.7 acres. The treatment facility will consist of shallow pits with a capacity of 759,542 gallons, a settling basin with capacity of 831,193 gallons and a holding pond with capacity of 1,904,730 gallons. This amounts to 2,090,181 gallons of manure, litter, and wastewater per year, equivalent to what the city of Harrison produces


March 11, 2013  Keep The Buffalo Clean And Pristine a 10-minute video

             narrated by KUAF reporter Jacqueline Froelich providing an early

             overview of the C&H issue. http://kuaf.com/people/jacqueline-froelich



18 Mar 2013

Groups opposing plans for Newton County hog farm


             RYAN McGEENEY, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette /Associated Press.

              This article with a Fayetteville byline was picked up by AP and posted in

              Raleigh, NC



22 March

A BRWA representative together with staff and members of the Audubon Society testify before the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission to express dissatisfaction with the permitting and public notification process which allowed the C&H facility to be built in a location that threatens the Buffalo National River.


March 21, 2013 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.


Mike Masterson Editorial Ark Democrat Gazette March 23, 2013

24 Mar 2013

                                     Our Buffalo and the hog farm - Mike Masterson



25 Mar 2013



26 Mar 2013






BRWA Planning Meeting



Mike Masterson 2nd Editorial Ark Democrat Gazette March 26, 2013

Hog farm flub How’d that happen?
By Mike Masterson




From NWAonline: 'Buffalo River chief still hopes to stymie swine' 3/26/13

26 Mar 2013


Buffalo River chief still hopes to stymie swine
Official: Pollution-risk report of farm flawed, permit invalid
By Ryan McGeeney


Mike Masterson 3rd Editorial April 6 Democrat-Gazette

06 Apr 2013

Meanwhile, back at the farm
        Mike Masterson



07 Apr 2013

Mike Masterson's 4th Editorial, April 7 Democrat - Gazette

CAFOs for dummies
                 Mike Masterson



National Parks Conservation Asso. Press Release


April 8, 2013
            National Parks Conservation Association Calls Permitting Process

            Flawed for Hog Farm on Buffalo National River Tributary
            National Parks Group Urges U.S. Department of Agriculture and

            Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to Pull Permit


Democrat-Gazette Article on HB 2252

09 Apr 2013

Legislation targets farms in watersheds
             By Ryan McGeeney


Fayetteville Council Opposes Hog Farm

11 Apr 2013

Fayetteville Council Opposes Hog Farm Near Buffalo River
             By: KOLR10 News with help from KFSM, Fort Smith, Ar


Mike Masterson's 5th Editorial,April 9 Democrat - Gazette

12 Apr 2013

Stuff I Don't Understand, 4/9/13 Mentally Hogtied, Mike Masterson


April 15, 2013 C&H CAFO Construction Approved


April 16, 2013

  Fayetteville City Council passes resolution opposing a hog farm near Buffalo River

             that Aldermen say could pollute the Buffalo River and Fayetteville area. The

             council voted unanimously to oppose a 6,500-head hog factory farm near

             Harrison in Newton County. Although the farm is a few counties away, the

             proposed resolution claims the factory could poison Buffalo River waters and

             hurt Northwest Arkansas tourism revenue.



Fayetteville City Council Passes Resolution Opposing Hog Farm

17 Apr 2013








·       Ozarks At Large/KUAF Report on C & H airs today, April 22

·       23 Apr 2013 Report on growing resistance to a swine factory farm permitted on the BNRW will air Tuesday, April 23rd at noon on “Ozarks at Large”





April 23, 2013

Protest Hog Factory in Buffalo Watershed

April 23, 2013

Rally for River and opposing Hog CAFO during Secretary of Agriculture’s visit to campus. 200 attend



YouTube video of Fayetteville protest

25 Apr 2013



May 1, 2013

 Buffalo River Rescue: Mission Possible hosts panel discussion about HOG CAFO on

             Buffalo. 400 Attend Standing-room-only at Fayetteville Public Library for

             Buffalo River public meeting. More than 400 people showed up, but many

             watched a monitor from the lobby. Presentations by Fayetteville  Mayor

             Lioneld Jordan and a panel that included representatives of UA science

             departments, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Ozark Society and other entities.



June, 2013   BRWA Articles, By Laws, 501c3 papers submitted

June 25, 2013  BRWA Formal Organizational meeting officers Elected


July 23, 2013   Initial ADEQ Compliance Assistance Inspection of C & H Hog Farm, 

            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.” 


Aug 6, 2013 Complaint Filed

        1. Violation of Administrative Procedures Act

        2. Violation of NEPA

        3. Violation of Endangered Species Act

        4. Violation of Buffalo National River Enabling Act


September 2013  Funding approved by a legislative subcommittee for state rainy day funds from

           the governor’s office for Big Creek Research and Extension Team, BCRET comprised of

           faculty and staff from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

          BCRET originally agreed to monitor fate and transport of nutrients but later

         changed plans to monitor surface flow instead on the farm and fields and adjacent

         sections of Big Creek, and to use funds to assist operators in mitigation practices.  


Sept. 12, 2013, Vic Snyder Little Rock fundraiser with Coalition

           Little Rock fundraiser for the lawsuit filed by four Arkansas organizations,

           including BRWA,  attempting to block a hog farm near the Buffalo River. The

           fundraiser was hosted at former Democratic congressman Vic Snyder's home.



September 20, 2013   C & H Responds to Compliance Inspection 

October 3, 2013    ADEQ's Reply to C & H Response


Oct 25, 2013

Waterkeeper®Alliance 7 City Tour in Arkansas Oct 25 - 31

Buffalo River Watershed Alliance hosts and funds a seven-city, educational Whistle-Stop Speaking Tour in Arkansas featuring experts from Waterkeeper® Alliance, beginning on October 25th in Fayetteville and ending on October 31st in Little Rock.





BRWA Pen Group- Citizens writing various corporations who do business with Cargill


January 23, 2014 ADEQ Inspection #2 of C&H shows continued conditions requiring



January 2014 C&H request for permit revision


Feb. 7, 2014   ADEQ Response to C&H request for permit revision. In 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.


February 12, 2014 | Press Release Earth Justice

Newly Released Arkansas C & H Water Monitoring Study Used Taxpayer Money to Test Wrong Fields for Hog Waste Contamination


February 14, 2014  letter of notice from Earthjustice to ADEQ regards new

         information about inaccuracies in the C & H permit.



Feb 19, 2014  ADEQ reopens their permit for a comment period. 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.


March 12, 2014

Citizens Rally for the River at Arkansas Governor’s conference on Parks and

           Tourism. 300 plus attend


Spring 2014

Ozark River Stewards  Hosts grassroots parties in Fayetteville, Berryville  and Eureka Springs: Letters to EPA , AR Legislators and Governor and Arkansas department of Environmental Quality. 


March 17, 2014   Buffalo National River Comments


March 24, 2014 ADEQ Notice of Public Hearing: public hearing in Jasper. 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. 


Apr 2, 2014  Arkansas Farm Bureau produces YouTube video on BCRET





April 22, 2014 Earth Day

Dr. John Van Brahana, Professor Emeritus with the University of Arkansas Dept. of

                 Geosciences, and renowned hydrogeologist and expert in Arkansas karst

                 geology presents “CAFOs in Paradise. At Unitarian Church in Eureka

                 Springs” BRWA and Ozark River Stewards table event. 150 attend.



April 22, 2014 National Audubon Society sends by Fed Ex over 2000 letters from Minnesota and Arkansas members to Cargill prior to company annual meeting.


April 24, 2014: Public interest law firm wins big: Fed support for industrial

            agriculture polluter violated law.


May 24, 2014

Raise Your Paddle for the Buffalo River

              Awareness Float organized by Ozark River Stewards reaches hundreds of

              other river lovers reached  with information about Hog CAFO threat.


June 5, 2014  BRWA received 501(c)(3) designation. June 5, 2014


June 17, 2014

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission held a public meeting in

               Harrison AR on a proposed ban on concentrated hog feeding operations

               (CAFOs) in the Buffalo National River Watershed. The proposed rules were

               initiated by petitions from the Arkansas Public Policy Panel and the Ozark



July 5,2014

2nd Raise Your Paddle for the Buffalo River

             Awareness Float organized by Ozark River Stewards reaches hundreds of

             other river lovers with information about Hog CAFO threat.


September 17, 2014   PLASMA PYROLYSIS   Experimental plasma pyrolysis unit

                to be installed at C&H for the incineration of swine waste PEG Air

                Permit Application and letter requesting that ADEQ provide an

                exemption to permit requirements.


ADEQ notice to PEG indicating the agency cannot make a permit determination

               and the company may "proceed at their own risk"


October 9, 2014  BRWA objects to PEG proposal. 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".


October 10, 2014   Buffalo River Coalition Letter objecting to ADEQ's decision to

              allow an experimental plasma pyrolysis unit to be installed at C&H forthe

              incineration of swine waste.

              BRWA letter requesting to speak at APCE Commission meeting on

             October 24, 2014.


October 18, 2014   ROLLING OUT THE SCIENCE. YouTube video of a public

            presentation to update the public on the current private research activities

            related to C&H. Buffalo River Watershed Alliance and Ozark River Stewards

               hold “Rolling Out the Science” event in Fayetteville, AR to inform the public

               conversation through presentations and Q &A with key scientists and legal

               experts involved in preserving the Karst hydrogeology in the Ozarks Newton

               County Buffalo River Watershed. An estimated 300 people attend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtzPRz41BF4&feature=youtu.be 


New Swine Factory Faces Scientific Scrutiny - KUAF Ozarks At Large

20 Oct 2014  http://kuaf.com/post/new-swine-factory-farm-faces-scientific-scrutiny

               Three different teams of scientists are monitoring Big Creek, a tributary to the Buffalo

               National River, to assess if a new industrial swine farm situated upstream is polluting

               the watershed. One team, led by noted UA Geoscientist Emeritus Dr. Van Brahana, has

              released a second round of findings. Jacqueline Froelich visits with him in her studio.





October 24, 2014  ADEQ Moratorium 180-day extension of the temporary

               moratorium on new medium or large swine CAFOs within the Buffalo River



October 2014 French film documentary team on location

Intimidation tactics Threats reported Mike Masterson

26 Oct 2014 



Peer Review Report on BCRET, May 19, 2014

29 Oct 2014

A team of outside experts was hired by the Big Creek Research and Extension Team (BCRET) to

           take a critical look at the research protocols and methods being implemented on C&H

           Farm. This Peer Review team submitted their report on May 19, 2014. This report pointed

           out certain weaknesses and included specific recommendations for improving the

           monitoring study. The Peer Review Report is followed by the BCRET response which

           includes explanations for why they chose not to implement some recommendations. 



10 Best National Parks in Fall , Buffalo #2- USA Today

29 Oct 2014 



Colorful credit The Buffalo in fall By Mike Masterson

02 Nov 2014  Arkansas Democrat Gazette

By Mike Masterson
           Did you see that an article published by USA Today lists our Buffalo National River as

           America's second most spectacular national park for autumn scenery? 




Plaintiffs urge block of loans to C&H farm - Democrat Gazette

08 Nov 2014

Arkansas Democrat Gazette





Vaporized pig waste leaving some unease - Democrat Gazette

16 Nov 2014

       Vaporized pig waste leaving some unease - Arkansas Democrat Gazette
       Farm’s plan short on data, state says  By Emily Walkenhors    

       A Mount Judea hog farm's new contract with a Florida company for an untested hog waste                    disposal method has environmentalists worried about the potential effect on the surrounding area.


Plasmic arcs and pigs - Mike Masterson

18 Nov 2014  Arkansas Democrat Gazette

            Plasmic arcs and pigs  Electrons on the river



December 2, 2014: In a court case brought by Earthjustice, plaintiffs and counsel

            EJ, Earthrise, Hank Bates a federal judge finds that federal agencies FSA

            and SBA illegally guaranteed loans to a factory farm near the Buffalo

            National River without first effectively evaluating the potential

            environmental impacts of this swine operation issued by U.S. District

            Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas, D. Price Marshall.


 10 Dec 2014

Environmental victory may have national implications - Eureka Springs      Independent 

 Becky Gillette


Dec 12, 2014 BRWA co-hosted fundraiser for Ozark Society and Arkansas Public Policy Panel for rule making action


Cargill Op-Ed response

17 Dec 2014  Eureka Springs Independent

           Guestatorial Cargill Op-Ed response Dane Schumacher
           There are times in the course of human events, when things are so unbelievable I just

            have to gasp in amazement. That was my first reaction to food giant Cargill’s comments.



A DAY IN HOG HEAVEN … Earthjustice Blog

18 Dec 2014 Earthjustice - Because the Earth needs a good lawyer


               FARM'S IMPACTS By Marianne Engelman Lado



2014 and ongoing fundraising: Numerous informal fundraising requests resulting significant individual donations to BRWA. A single anonymous donor has been a consistent supporter providing $6,000 to BRWA and $10,000 to Van Brahana’s independent groundwater research team.





2015   BRWA letter writing campaign on website


             Ozark River Stewards : statewide letter writing parties : Parthenon, Fayetteville,

             Little Rock, Texarkana Ozark River Stewards letter writing campaign: Fayetteville,

                Parthenon, Texarkana, Eureka Springs. Letters to governor requesting support of

                ban of medium and large CAFOS in Buffalo River Watershed. Held in homes and

                businesses by Buffalo River supporters.



January 14, 2015 C&H Request for Major Modification #2of its permit.


           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.


 21 Jan 2015

 Farms Can Be Held Liable For Pollution From Manure - Huff Post  

              Huffington Post


28 January request for permit modification abouve, ADEQ responds with incompleteness letter to C&H re


Feb 1, 2015 C&H Revised NOI in response to Letter Of Incompleteness and

            C&H Revised NMP, reflecting the Modification Request above.



February, 2015  Hogs On The Buffalo, a production of the PBS series,

           This American Land, released in February, 2015


Bad news for river By Mike Masterson

10 Feb 2015 Arkansas Democrat Gazette



FSA and SBA Request Proposals for C&H EAs

11 Feb 2015

               US Federal Contractor Registration Washington D.C. (PRWEB



Big Creek Research and Extension Team releases 4th quarterly report

14 Feb 2015  Newton County Times



Appeal Filed - Democrat Gazette

17 Feb 2015 Arkansas Online

Environmental notebook By Emily Walkenhorst



Cargill high on list of water polluters spending big on politics

02 Mar 2015  The Institute for Southern Studies



March 3, 2015   BRWA and Coalition ask ADEQ to deny modification based

              upon ongoing errors in field maps and leases.


March 8, 2015 "Buffalo Savings Time"   A video shoot by Lexicon of

              Sustainability -- about 200 supporters turned out for the photo shoot.



March 9, 2015  BRWA and Coalition via Earthjustice send letter requesting

              permit be reopened based on discrepancies in 2014 Annual Report and

              related documents.


Buffalo National River: Is industrial hog farm harmful? - Baxter Bulletin

13 Mar 2015

                Read the story with photos here: The Baxter Bulletin Thomas Garrett



 April 7, 2015 ADEQ responds in letter and mistakenly references letter from

              Earthjustice, dated March 9, 2015 which addressed issues with the C&H

              2014 Annual Report, not the modification request denial dated March 3.


Jasper, One of 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Arkansas

11 April 2015  Theculturetrip.com

                 The 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Arkansas



April 20, 2015 Public Hearing

            BRWA Public Statement Requesting Denial of Modification


People express concerns about Mount Judea hog farm changes - KY3 News

              20 Apr 2015  KY3 News  Eric Hilt


Hog farm wants to modify operating permit - Baxter Bulletin

21 Apr 2015

Baxter Bulletin Hog farm wants to modify operating permit Thomas Garrett

C&H Hog Farm, located near the Buffalo National River in Mount Judea, wants to apply more waste water on its land.


New Film Captures Buffalo River CAFO Controversy - KUAF

22 Apr 2015

          KUAF Radio Listen to this 7-minute interview with Teresa Turk here.

          New Film Captures Buffalo River CAFO Controversy  By JACQUELINE FROELICH 


Earth day April 2015

Ozark River Stewards tables OMNI Peace Justice and Equality event “Don’t Fence Me

           In.” 400 in attendance.




Moratorium on hog farm permits renewed - AR News Bureau

25 Apr 2015

Moratorium on hog farm permits renewed

By John Lyon


Hog farm loans need new assessments - Harrison Daily Times

25 Apr 2015  Harrison Daily Times

           Hog farm loans need new assessments; DOJ withdraws

              appeal of court decision



Justice Department Drops Its Appeal On Buffalo National River Hog Farm Case - National Parks Traveler

27 April 2015

                National Parks TravelerJustice Department Drops Its Appeal On Buffalo

                National River Hog Farm CaseSubmitted by NPT Staff 


In win for greens, DOJ withdraws appeal in CAFO case - Greenwire

27 Apr 2015

                Greenwire In win for greens, DOJ withdraws appeal in CAFO case

                  Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter



Fouling a National River Is Bad for Business -Arkansas Business

27 Apr 2015

  Arkansas Business by Ed Bethune and Vic Snyder 



Department of Justice Drops Appeal of Federal Ruling - KUAF

05 May, 2015 Jacqueline Froehlich

                Listen to the KUAF Radio broadcast here


May 7, 2015C&H Request for major modification #3 to install liners in

            both waste storage ponds and a cover and gas flare system on

            pond #1.


May 12, 2015  ADEQ Approves Permit Modification for vac tankers.


Memorial and Tribute Float Honors Late Arkansas Congressman - KOLR TV

24 May 2015

Ozarks First TV

            Memorial and Tribute Float Honors Late Arkansas Congressman John Paul

             Hammerschmidt for his part in working to save the Buffalo National River in the

             1970’s organized by Ozark River Stewards sponsored by the Buffalo River Watershed

             Alliance, Ozark River Stewards, Arkansas Canoe Club and the National Parks

             Conservation Association. Tribute float and celebration on the Buffalo river.

             75 attended at Ozark campground, BNR.


May 31

Musical Fundraiser for the Buffalo River Parthenon Arkansas.  100 attend.



Report: 1.3 million visited Buffalo River in 2014 - Newton County Times

03 Jun 2015



June 15, 2015  BRWA and Coalition Letter to ADEQ submitted by Earthjustice

              expressing concern over a C&C Hog Farm 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.


Amended hog-farm plan: 5-year ban, then decision - Democrat-Gazette

27 Jun 2015

        Amended hog-farm plan: 5-year ban, then decision Emily Walkenhorst



Extend that ban By Mike Masterson

30 Jun 2015  On the Buffalo  Extend that ban



July 5, 2015 Research that Beebe funded for one year via rainy day funds,

           Modus of Understanding, MOU between ADEQ & U of A.  U of A picked

           Andrew Sharpley who picked BCRET team, and legislature extended

           funding in 2015 for 5 years. BCRET originally agreed to monitor fate and

           transport of nutrients but now is monitoring surface flow on the farm and

           fields and adjacent sections of Big Creek and assisting operators in

           mitigation practices.

July 6, 2015 ADEQ Response to above letter 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



Hog-farm rule for watershed given hearing - Democrat Gazette

07 Jul 2015

NWA Online



July 8 2015  Public comment period announced by ADEQ in response to the 3rd

             modification request by C&H Hog Farms to install synthetic liners in both

             waste ponds and a cover and methane flare on Pond 1. Written comments (no

             public meeting) will be accepted until 4:30 pm on August 7, 2015.


JBS To Keep 5,100 Cargill employees - newton County Times

10 Jul 2015

 Newton County Times

JBS USA Pork agrees to purchase Cargill Pork business



Inside the world's largest food producer you've probably never heard of - NPR

16 Jul 2015

              Inside the world's largest food producer you've probably never heard of NPR report

              describes JBS, the Brazilian company which is purchasing Cargill Pork



July 17, 2015 BRWA requests ADEQ to hold public hearing for comments on the 3rd

             modification request by C&H Hog Farms to install synthetic liners in both

             waste ponds and a cover and methane flare on Pond 1.


Waiting to be vaporized By Mike Masterson

18 Jul 2015

Waiting to be vaporized


27 Jul 2015  Want not waste - Democrat Gazette

By Ginny Masullo and Lin Wellford,  Special to the Democrat-Gazette

             Details the history of problems of the CAFO in the BNR watershed


7-29-15   The other side responds to Farm Bureau C&H video

           Max Brantley

                I posted the other day a slick piece of video aimed at assuring all of the safety

             of the C and H Hog Farm in the Buffalo River watershed and its owners'

             professed commitment to sound practices.

             Those on the other side of the issue have a fine video, too, and it's only fair that I

             share it as well. It was done for the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance.





August 6 to September 4  Public comment on Federal Judge Mitchell’s required revised

            FSA/SBA environmental assessment


Comments will be accepted by mail at: 


              C&H Hog Farms EA, c/o Cardno, Inc., 

              501 Butler Farm Rd., Suite H, 

              Hampton, VA 23666


                        and by email at 


CHHogFarmComments@cardno-gs.com . 


             Comments on the Draft EA will be accepted from August 6 through September

             4, 2015.


Once again: Buffalo National River is #1 favorite

             Arkansas Outside.com




August 27

              Public Meeting on EA FSA EA public hearing August 27, 2015 from 6 to 9 p.m.

              Jasper, AR





23 Oct 2015  CELEBRATE THE BUFFALO! Gala Fundraiser

             Fayetteville Town Center on the Fayetteville square. On Friday, October 23,

             the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance along with our Buffalo River Coalition

             partners, the Ozark Society, the Arkansas Canoe Club, and National Parks

             Conservation Assn., will host a gala fundraising event at the Fayetteville

             Town Center to support our efforts to protect the Buffalo National River

             against the threats posed by swine CAFOs. 

·       This special evening will include music, beverages, a plated dinner, a silent auction, special guests and much more. Stay tuned for more details to come and, in the meantime, SAVE THE DATE!

·       Show details

  • Other Ongoing Outreach Efforts
  • Save the Buffalo River Again Campaign


  • ·       Bumper Stickers, T-shirts, and brochures
  •  distributed at events and local businesses
  • Farmers Market tables through Ozark River Stewards with information 2014 and 2015: Summer and Fall tabling to update public as events unfold
  • ·       Letter Writing Campaign
  • ·       Monthly E-mail Newsletters/Alerts to BRWA supporters
  • ·       Editorial Columnist for Democrat Gazette chronicles Buffalo River and Hog CAFO 2013- to present.
  • ·       Billboard to inform public on Hwy. 65: “Tell Cargill Keep our Waters Clean”
  • ·       Yard signs distributed: “No Hogs on the Buffalo” Distributed by Ozark River Stewards


     Patagonia grant received for 2016 Karst Hydrogeology of the Buffalo National River  project

KHBNR events Science and Song of the Buffalo River with Still on the Hill and Dr. Van Brahana

April 20,2016 Fayetteville

May 26, 2016 Eureka Springs

June 10,2016 Little Rock

C&H applies to switch from its current Regulation 6 NPDES (Federal) General Permit to a Regulation 5 (State) Individual Permit. April 4, 2016

C&H applies to switch from its current Regulation 6 NPDES (Federal) General Permit to a Regulation 5 (State) Individual Permit.   April 4, 2016

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

APRIL 29 ,2016: BRWA alerts APC&E Commission to ERI data which indicates possible fracture and release of waste beneath C&H waste ponds.  http://www.buffaloriveralliance.org/resources/Documents/PPT%20Narrative%20for%20Commission%20Meeting.pdf with expert opinions.http://www.buffaloriveralliance.org/resources/Documents/PPT%20Narrative%20for%20Commission%20Meeting.pdf

Following revelations by BRWA in April, 2016, ADEQ agreed to perform investigative drilling around the C&H swine waste ponds to determine if, as suggested by ERI results, the ponds are leaking. . Also see the ERI section of the Documents page for more. Drilling was completed on September 26.

May 4: PRESS RELEASE regarding ERI data.

May 23: BRWA Letter to ADEQ 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  by BRWA attorney Richard Mays at the May 26, 2016 meeting.

June 3: Letter to Governor Hutchinson

June 23: ADEQ Press Release announcing plan to further investigate ERI data from C&H waste ponds.

June 24: PRESS CONFERENCE ADVISORY, by BRWA and Coalition at ADEQ Headquarters following Commission meeting.

June 29: BRWA Letter to ADEQ as followup to confirm ADEQ assertion to include BRWA in independent ERI investigations around C&H waste pounds.

July 8: Representatives of BRWA and the Buffalo River Coalition met with ADEQ officials at offices of Attorney Richard Mays to discuss plans for an independent investigation of possible leakage of the C&H swine waste lagoons as was indicated by electrical resistivity imaging conducted in early 2015.

July 8: ADEQ Powerpoint presentation to BRWA and the Coalition at above meeting describing proposal for independent investigative drilling.

July 11: Bert Fisher letter to ADEQ with recommendations for drilling.

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

July 28: BRWA and Coalition 2nd followup letter to ADEQ regarding workplan for drilling. 

August 2: ADEQ Webpage posted on C&H Pond Integrity Investigation. Includes the Draft Workplan.

August 4: Letter to ADEQ from BRWA and Coalition objecting to presence of two BCRET as observers during well drilling while disallowing BRWA's recommended observer, Dr Bert Fisher.

August 4: 2nd Letter to ADEQ from BRWA and Coalition providing comments on technical aspects of the Draft Workplan.

August 5: ADEQ announces drilling scheduled for August 8 will be delayed, pending availability of drill rig.

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

August 26: Final Drilling Workplan is posted.

Sept. 2: BRWA withdraws injunction

Sept. 2: ADEQ issues C&H Hog Farm a Notice of Technical Incompleteness due to C&H sudden refusal to allow drilling to proceed.

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

Sept. 7: C&H agrees to allow drilling to proceed at state's expense with drilling date of Sept 19.

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

Sept 21: Drilling begins.

Sept. 23: Drilling is completed and borehole is filled with cement, although a "void" at 25 feet deep makes it difficult and cementing is not completed until Sept. 26. See the Observation Logs here. Director Keogh states that the Final Report will not be made available to the public until January, 2017.

Sept. 29: ADEQ press release announcing completion of drilling

December 1: drilling Study released at public meeting but BRWA and public not allowed to ask questions.

December 16: BRWA issues statement about drilling, study




In 2016 Arkansas Outside magazine listed the Buffalo River its #1 place for outdoor adventure: http://www.arkansasoutside.com/your-favorite-places-for-outdoor-adventure/



January 17, 2017
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality releases analysis of the drilling study with cursory response to public comments. Conclusion is there is no evidence of leakage nor any evidence of major voids.


Jan. 29, 2017:

Mayor of Fayetteville proclaims "Buffalo National River Preservation and Appreciation Day",


February 16, 2017:

Public Notice of 30-Day Comment Period on draft approval of C&H Reg 5 permit. A public hearing will be held in Jasper on March 7 and the comment period closes on March 17.



March 2017

American Rivers names Buffalo National River # 9 in top ten Most Endangered Rivers for 2017 





The Buffalo National River is featured during November on American River's 2017 Most Endangered Rivers List, with a blog by our friend Lin Wellford, "Saving the Buffalo River for Future Generations"


BRWA submits comments to ADEQ on 2018 Assessment Methodology. November 13, 2017



Unpermitted hog CAFO in Buffalo watershed found in violation of state law:

Citizen's Complaint, July 16, 2017

Inspection Report, October 25, 2017

Complaint and Request for Injunctive Relief

Court Order, Nov 7, 2017

Court Order/Permanent Injunction allowing Sanders to continue operations. Feb. 5, 2018


University of Arkansas Big Creek Research Team 16th Quarterly Report, July 1- Sept 30, 2017


BRWA Report on tourism in Newton County, August 30, 2017



Buffalo River Watershed Management Plan Recommendations were presented at a meeting in Jasper on Oct 12. The draft plan may be useful to landowners, communities, and organizations interested in improving water quality on the Buffalo River tributaries listed in the plan.  Everyone should understand that this report has nothing to do with the CAFO problem on Big Creek.


Letter to ADEQ from BRWA attorney requesting copies of C&H responses to Sept. 19 letter (below) and the opportunity for public comment on any new information provided. Oct 2, 2017.


ADEQ letter requesting more information from C&H to complete review of their Reg 5 permit application. Sept.19, 2017



January, 2018

Buffalo River is USA-Today's #1 Tourist Attraction in Arkansas. 



 January 10, 2018
 C& H Permit Denied



BRWA Press Release on C&H Request for a Stay, issued January 16, 2018.


BRWA Response to Motion for Stay, filed January 17, 2018


ADEQ Response to Comments and Statement of Basis for denying C&H a permit.


C&H files Motion for Stay, January 11, 2018























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