Help With Legal Aid To 'Save' Buffalo

Help With Legal Aid To 'Save' Buffalo

LTE Buffalo RiverDear Editor and Readers,

We are in need of your help. The Buffalo National River Watershed Alliance was created in order to protect the Buffalo River Watershed from a proposed Confined Feeding Animal Operation (CAFO) that was permitted to be built near Big Creek, a major tributary of the Buffalo National River in Newton County.

Many states, including North Carolina and Iowa, have suffered severe environmental damage to their air, soil and water due to the proliferation of hog excrement that is stored in above-ground lagoons and then sprayed on fields. This effluence is allowed to sit and putrefy until it is transferred to tanks and sprayed on fields as fertilizer. C&H Hog Farm’s spraying fields are located along the banks of Big Creek, 5.7 stream miles from its confluence with the Buffalo National River, and not even one mile west of the small town of Mt. Judea.

The farm and spraying fields are situated atop fractured and porous limestone known as karst terrain. Waste leakage from the holding tanks or lagoons is allowed at up to 6,000 gallons per acre per day and is highly likely to eventually reach Big Creek and then enter the Buffalo National River. Leakage into ground water and eventually into the creek and river can also be caused from heavy rainfall, floods or mismanagement of equipment and transfer of effluence from lagoons to trucks to spraying fields.

Contamination from the hog farm can also be caused by excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous that is not absorbed by the fields. Also, seepage from the hog farm will include toxins in the form of fecal coliform, the cysts-cryptosporidium and giardia, metals, hormones and pathogens. Not only would these toxic wastes eventually find their way into the waters, but they could also be responsible for closing the river and creek because the potential risks of these toxins are harmful to humans. Wildlife, fish and endangered species are also at risk.

On May 6, the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, along with the National Parks Conservation Association, Arkansas Canoe Club and the Ozark Society, led by a stellar legal team including Earthjustice, Earthrise and local counsel CPB law firm, filed a Notice of Intent to sue the USDA Farm Service Agency for violation of the Endangered Species Act in connection with loan guarantees which enabled C & H to secure construction and operation loans.

Currently, plans are being made to initiate lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for their inadequate review and improper authorization of loan guarantee assistance to C&H Hog Farms. Our goal is to close this existing CAFO and prevent the permitting of any CAFO’s in the Buffalo National River Watershed.

We are requesting donations to assist us in our efforts to pursue litigation, educate the public and advocate for the closure of C&H Hog Farm and the prevention of the permitting of any CAFOs in the Buffalo River Watershed, which will include but is not limited to the following: Testing of water in the Buffalo National River Watershed, Expert witness testimony, Travel expenses and fees for experts in scientific fields concerning CAFO issues, Notices and advertisements, Filing fees and other court costs, Web site hosting fee, Communication supplies including paper, stamps, envelopes, etc., and Legal expenses.

Our website, created and maintained on a volunteer basis, has the largest and most complete collection of information concerning the issue of C&H Hog Farm. Our data base includes information concerning the permitting process from ADEQ, notice of meetings, collections of news articles and commentary, letters written by experts in their fields who oppose the CAFO, planned events, and more.

Please visit the Donation page now to contribute and become a part of our campaign. If you would rather send a check, please mail it to: Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, c/o Elva Kelly, 2455 MC 5026 Valley Springs AR 72682.

Thank you for your support,

Buffalo River Watershed Alliance

Categories: Commentary