Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Process to ban medium, large hog farms in state's Buffalo watershed moves forward
by Emily Walkenhorst
The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission has started a rule-making process that would make permanent the ban against medium or large hog farms in the Buffalo National River's watershed.
The proposed permanent ban will go out for public comment later this year, and officials will hold a public hearing.
Farms are federally classified as small, medium or large, and medium hog farms are defined as 750 or more swine of more than 55 pounds or 3,000 or more hogs of 55 pounds or less.
Such farms have been banned since 2014 but only on a temporary basis, pending the conclusion of the Big Creek Research and Extension Team's research on the impact of C&H Hog Farms on Big Creek and the Buffalo River.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, after signing a buyout agreement with C&H owners that would close the farm in the coming months, asked state environmental regulators to petition to make the ban permanent.
The final research report is expected in the coming weeks.