Buffalo River Watershed Alliance

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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.

2011 

November 1st, 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.)

2012

June 14th, 2012:

C&H Notice of Intent (NOI) Submitted

August 3rd, 2012:

ADEQ Permit to C&H Approved (C&H NPDES permit was the first of its kind issued in Arkansas.)

C & H Permit Information 

November 16th - December 17th, 2012:

Farm Services Agency (FSA) & Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Guarantees Approved for C&H CAFOConstruction guaranteeing 97 percent of the loans received by C&H.

December 20th, 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.

2013 

January 3rd, 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. 

March 4th, 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 support 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.

March 10th, 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 11th, 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. 

March 21st, 2013:

Arkansas Department of Health Letter:  Expressing concern that water borne pathogens from C & H could pose risk for body contact on the Buffalo River.

March 22nd, 2013:

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 23rd, 2013: 

MIKE MASTERSON EDITORIAL ARK DEMOCRAT GAZETTE:  Our Buffalo and the hog farm

APRIL 25th, 2013:  

YOUTUBE VIDEO OF FAYETTEVILLE PROTEST:

May 1st, 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 Lionel 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 25th, 2013: 

BRWA Formal Organizational meeting officers Elected

July 23rd, 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 6th, 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.  

September 12th, 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 20th, 2013: 

C & H Responds to Compliance Inspection 

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

October 25th, 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.

2014

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

January 23rd, 2014:

ADEQ Inspection #2 of C&H shows continued conditions requiring  attention

January 2014: C&H request for permit revision

February 7th, 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 12th, 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 14th, 2014:  

Letter of notice from Earthjustice to ADEQ regards new information about inaccuracies in the C & H permit.

February 19th, 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 17th, 2014:   

Buffalo National River Comments

March 24th, 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. 

April 2nd, 2014: 

Arkansas Farm Bureau produces YouTube video on BCRET

April 22nd, 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 22nd, 2014:

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

April 24th, 2014:  

Public interest law firm wins big: Fed support for industrial agriculture polluter violated law.

May 24th, 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 5th, 2014: 

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

June 17th, 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 Society.

July 5th, 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 17th, 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 9th, 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 10th, 2014:   

Buffalo River Coalition Letter objecting to ADEQ's decision to allow an experimental plasma pyrolysis unit to be installed at C&H for the incineration of swine waste.  BRWA letter requesting to speak at APCE Commission meeting on October 24, 2014.

October 18th, 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 Stewardshold “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. 

NEW SWINE FACTORY FACES SCIENTIFIC SCRUTINY - KUAF OZARKS AT LARGE

October 20th, 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 24th, 2014: 

ADEQ Moratorium 180-day extension of the temporary moratorium on new medium or large swine CAFOs within the Buffalo River watershed.

October 2014:

French film documentary team on location

October 26th, 2014:  
INTIMIDATION TACTICS THREATS REPORTED MIKE MASTERSON

MAY 19th, 2014: PEER REVIEW REPORT ON BCRET

October 29th, 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. 

October 29th, 2014:  

10 BEST NATIONAL PARKS IN FALL , BUFFALO #2- USA TODAY  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? 

November 2nd, 2014: 
Arkansas Democrat Gazette COLORFUL CREDIT THE BUFFALO IN FALL BY MIKE MASTERSON 
November 8th, 2014:  
PLAINTIFFS URGE BLOCK OF LOANS TO C&H FARM - DEMOCRAT GAZETTE
November 16th 2014:  
VAPORIZED PIG WASTE LEAVING SOME UNEASE - 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.

November 18th, 2014: 

Arkansas Democrat Gazette Plasmic arcs and pigs  Electrons on the river MIKE MASTERSON

December 2nd, 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.

December 10th, 2014: 

ENVIRONMENTAL VICTORY MAY HAVE NATIONAL IMPLICATIONS - EUREKA SPRINGS INDEPENDENT  Becky Gillette 

December 12th, 2014:

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

December 17th, 2014: 
Eureka Springs Independent CARGILL OP-ED RESPONSE  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.
December 18th, 2014: 
A DAY IN HOG HEAVEN … EARTHJUSTICE BLOG  Because the Earth needs a good lawyer.  A DAY IN HOG HEAVEN AFTER JUDGE ORDERS FEDS TO EVALUATE FACTORY 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 14th, 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.

January 21st, 2015:  FARMS CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR POLLUTION FROM MANURE - HUFF POST  

January 28th, 2015:  Request for permit modification above, ADEQ responds with incompleteness letter to C&H

February 1st, 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

February 10th, 2015:  Arkansas Democrat Gazette  BAD NEWS FOR RIVER BY MIKE MASTERSON 
February 11th, 2015:  FSA AND SBA REQUEST PROPOSALS FOR C&H EAS  PRweb US FEDERAL CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION 
February 14th, 2015:   Newton County Times BIG CREEK RESEARCH AND EXTENSION TEAM RELEASES 4TH QUARTERLY REPORT
February 17th, 2015:  Arkansas Online APPEAL FILED - DEMOCRAT GAZETTE  Environmental notebook By Emily Walkenhorst
March 2nd, 2015:  The Institute for Southern Studies  CARGILL HIGH ON LIST OF WATER POLLUTERS SPENDING BIG ON POLITICS
March 3rd, 2015:   BRWA and Coalition ask ADEQ to deny modification based upon ongoing errors in field maps and leases. 
March 3rd, 2015:   BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER: IS INDUSTRIAL HOG FARM HARMFUL? - BAXTER BULLETIN  Read the story with photos here: The Baxter Bulletin Thomas Garrett

March 8th, 2015:  "Buffalo Savings Time"   A video shoot by Lexicon of Sustainability -- about 200 supporters turned out for the photo shoot.

March 9th, 2015: BRWA and Coalition via Earthjustice send letter requesting permit be reopened based on discrepancies in 2014 Annual Report and related documents.

April 7th, 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.

April 11th, 2015: JASPER, ONE OF 10 MOST BEAUTIFUL TOWNS IN ARKANSAS  

April 20th, 2015: Public Hearing  BRWA Public Statement Requesting Denial of Modification

APRIL 20TH, 2015  PEOPLE EXPRESS CONCERNS ABOUT MOUNT JUDEA HOG FARM CHANGES - KY3 NEWS

April 21st, 2015:  HOG FARM WANTS TO MODIFY OPERATING PERMIT - BAXTER BULLETIN  Thomas Garrett  C&H Hog Farm, located near the Buffalo National River in Mount Judea, wants to apply more waste water on its land.
April 22nd, 2015:  NEW FILM CAPTURES BUFFALO RIVER CAFO CONTROVERSY - KUAF  RADIO LISTEN TO THIS 7-MINUTE INTERVIEW WITH TERESA TURK HERE  JACQUELINE FROELICH 

April 2015, Earth day:  Ozark River Stewards tables OMNI Peace Justice and Equality event “Don’t Fence Me In.” 400 in attendance.

April 25th, 2015:  MORATORIUM ON HOG FARM PERMITS RENEWED - AR NEWS BUREAU  By John Lyon
April 25th 2015:  HOG FARM LOANS NEED NEW ASSESSMENTS - HARRISON DAILY TIMES JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DROPS ITS APPEAL ON BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER HOG FARM CASE - NATIONAL PARKS TRAVELER
April 27th, 2015:  NATIONAL PARKS TRAVELER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DROPS ITS APPEAL ON BUFFALO;  NATIONAL RIVER HOG FARM CASE SUBMITTED BY NPT STAFF;   IN WIN FOR GREENS, DOJ WITHDRAWS APPEAL IN CAFO CASE - GREENWIRE;  FOULING A NATIONAL RIVER IS BAD FOR BUSINESS -ARKANSAS BUSINESS by Ed Bethune and Vic Snyder  
May 5th, 2015: Jacqueline Froehlich:  DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DROPS APPEAL OF FEDERAL RULING - KUAF

May 7, 2015:  C&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 12th, 2015:  ADEQ Approves Permit Modification for vac tankers.

May 24th, 2015:  

MEMORIAL AND TRIBUTE FLOAT HONORS LATE ARKANSAS CONGRESSMAN - KOLR TV  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 31st, 2015:  Musical Fundraiser for the Buffalo River Parthenon Arkansas.  100 attend.  REPORT: 1.3 MILLION VISITED BUFFALO RIVER IN 2014 - NEWTON COUNTY TIMES

June 15, 2015:  BRWA and Coalition Letter to ADEQ submitted by Earth justice 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.

June 27th, 2015:  AMENDED HOG-FARM PLAN: 5-YEAR BAN, THEN DECISION DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE - EMILY WALKENHORST
June 30th, 2015:   On the Buffalo EXTEND THAT BAN BY MIKE MASTERSON 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 pickedAndrew 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 6th, 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 period.

July 7th, 2015:  HOG-FARM RULE FOR WATERSHED GIVEN HEARING - DEMOCRAT GAZETTE

July 8th 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.

July 10th, 2015:  JBS TO KEEP 5,100 CARGILL EMPLOYEES - 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

July 16th, 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 17th, 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.

July 18th, 2015:  WAITING TO BE VAPORIZED BY MIKE MASTERSON

July 27th, 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.

http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2015/07/29/the-other-side-of-hog-farming-near-buffalo-river 

August 6th to September 4th:   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 @

CHHogFarmComments@cardno-gs.com. 

Comments on the Draft EA will be accepted from August 6th through September 4th, 2015.

Once again: Buffalo National River is #1 favorite;  Arkansas Outside.com

http://www.arkansasoutside.com/your-favorite-places-for-outdoor-adventure/ 

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

October 23rd, 2015:   CELEBRATE THE BUFFALO! Gala Fundraiser

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

2016

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 20th, 2016: Fayetteville

May 26th, 2016: Eureka Springs

June 10th, 2016: Little Rock

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

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

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

APRIL 29th, 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 26th.

May 4th, 2016:  PRESS RELEASE regarding ERI data.

May 23rd, 2016:  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 26th, 2016 meeting.

June 3rd, 2016:  Letter to Governor Hutchinson

June 23rd, 2016:  ADEQ Press Release announcing plan to further investigate ERI data from C&H waste ponds.

June 24th, 2016:  PRESS CONFERENCE ADVISORY, by BRWA and Coalition at ADEQ Headquarters following Commission meeting.

June 29th, 2016:  BRWA Letter to ADEQ as followup to confirm ADEQ assertion to include BRWA in independent ERI investigations around C&H waste pounds.

July 8th, 2016:  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 8th, 2016:  ADEQ Powerpoint presentation to BRWA and the Coalition at above meeting describing proposal for independent investigative drilling.

July 11th, 2016:  Bert Fisher letter to ADEQ with recommendations for drilling.

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

July 28th, 2016:  BRWA and Coalition 2nd followup letter to ADEQ regarding workplan for drilling. 

August 2nd, 2016:  ADEQ Webpage posted on C&H Pond Integrity Investigation. Includes the Draft Workplan.

August 4th, 2016:  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 4th, 2016:  2nd Letter to ADEQ from BRWA and Coalition providing comments on technical aspects of the Draft Workplan.

August 5th, 2016:  ADEQ announces drilling scheduled for August 8 will be delayed, pending availability of drill rig.

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

August 26th, 2016:  Final Drilling Workplan is posted.

September 2nd, 2016:  BRWA withdraws injunction; ADEQ issues C&H Hog Farm a Notice of Technical Incompleteness due to C&H sudden refusal to allow drilling to proceed. 

September 6th, 2016:  BRWA letter to ADEQ reiterating request for multiple bore holes and referencing 2014 Expert Review Panel recommendations re: pond leakage.

September 7th, 2016:  C&H agrees to allow drilling to proceed at state's expense with drilling date of Sept 19.

September 12th, 2016:  BRWA and Coalition ask EPA to be present during investigative drilling.

September 21st, 2016:  Drilling begins.

September 23rd, 2016:  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.

September 29th, 2016:  ADEQ press release announcing completion of drilling.

December 1st, 2016: Drilling Study released at public meeting but BRWA and public not allowed to ask questions.

December 16th, 2016:  BRWA issues statement about drilling, study

http://www.buffaloriveralliance.org/resources/Pictures/BRWA%20PRESS%20RELEASE%20on%20drilling%20report.pdf 

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/

 2017

January 17th, 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.January 29th, 2017:

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

February 16th, 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 

https://www.americanrivers.org/2017/11/saving-buffalo-river-future-generations/

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"

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

July 16th, 2017:  Citizen's Complaint

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

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

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

October 12, 2017:  Buffalo River Watershed Management Plan Recommendations were presented at a meeting in Jasper on . 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.

October 25th, 2017:  Inspection Report

November 7th, 2017: Court Order

November 13th, 2017:  BRWA submits comments to ADEQ on 2018 Assessment MethodologyUnpermitted hog CAFO in Buffalo watershed found in violation of state law: 

2018

January, 2018:  Buffalo River is USA-Today's #1 Tourist Attraction in Arkansas. 

https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-arkansas-attraction/ 

January 10th, 2018:  https://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2018/01/10/adeq-denies-candh-hog-farm-permit/

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

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

January 17th, 2018:  BRWA Response to Motion for Stay, filed;  ADEQ Response to Comments and Statement of Basis for denying C&H a permit.

February 5th, 2018:  Court Order/Permanent Injunction allowing Sanders to continue operations.  Complaint and Request for Injunctive Relief



April 23rd, 2013  Arkansas citizens protest possible contamination of the Buffalo river by proposed Hog Farm

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

October 18, 2014  What's up on the Buffalo: Rolling out the science

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

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