On September 17, 2018, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality ("ADEQ") issued a draft denial of C&H Hog Farm's permit application for the operation of a swine facility along the Buffalo National River.
ADEQ determined that the record lacks necessary and critical information to support granting of the permit and that the record contains information that the operation of the facility may be contributing to water quality impairment. In particular, ADEQ determined that a detailed geological investigation is required because the facility is located on a formation known to have karst terrain "which includes highly permeable foundations with the associated potential for groundwater contamination and potential for sinkholes to open up with collapsing ground or cause differential settlement." ADEQ additionally explained that the proposed listing of Big Creek and the Buffalo National River as impaired waterbodies, a statistically significant increase of nitrate-N in the ephemeral stream and house well, and an increase in soil test phosphorus in all land application fields receiving waste further illustrates the need for additional geotechnical data to demonstrate compliance with the Animal Waste Management Field Handbook.
The full text of ADEQ's Statement of Basis is available here.