Press Release Nov 20, 2018

State Denies Industrial Hog Facility’s Permit, Protecting Buffalo National River Watershed

We are pleased with the state’s decision to put federally protected waters and local economies above private industry.

Little Rock, AR – The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) issued its final decision to deny an operating permit to C&H Hog Farms, Inc., an industrial swine facility located in the Buffalo National River’s watershed. ADEQ has directed C&H Hog Farms to cease operations within 30 days and submit a closure plan within 60 days of the final day of operation.

Statement by Emily Jones, campaign director for National Parks Conservation Association

“For more than six years, NPCA and its allies have been fighting to protect the waters of the Buffalo National River, America’s first national river, from untreated hog waste produced by C&H Hog Farms within the river’s watershed. And now, we’re one step closer to protecting this special place for future generations to safely experience and enjoy.

“More than a million people visit Buffalo National River each year to enjoy its spectacular setting, fish and swim in its waters, visit its historic sites and hike the park’s 100 miles of trails. We are pleased with the state’s decision to put federally protected waters and local economies above private industry by denying C&H Hog Farms’ operation permit and directing the farm to cease operations within 30 days. After a lengthy review, C&H did not meet the specific requirements for the needed permit and should not be allowed to continue operations that threaten the national park’s resources, local economies and park visitors.

“NPCA, our partners and thousands of Americans have and will continue to urge Governor Asa Hutchinson to follow through with his commitment to support the Buffalo National River and the economic benefits it brings to the region, and uphold the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s denial of the permit.”

Background: The Buffalo River is located in Northern Arkansas and was designated as America’s first national river in 1972. The River’s 135 miles of breathtaking landscape attracts nearly 1.5 million visitors annually who spend more than $60 million in nearby communities. Like many rivers, the Buffalo River’s water quality is affected by its tributaries, which lie outside of the park’s boundaries. In 2012, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) granted a permit to C&H Hog Farms, Inc., to operate on the banks of Big Creek, a major tributary of Buffalo National River. The company currently houses over 6,500 hogs, two storage ponds for hog manure and multiple fields where millions of gallons of manure are spread as fertilizer. National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and its partners have been working diligently for years to protect the Buffalo National River and its watershed from C&H’s industrial practices. Learn more: https://www.npca.org/advocacy/19-protect-buffalo-national-river.

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About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.