Help Keep the Buffalo National River clean. Hog waste disposal in its watershed is an issue!

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Help Keep the Buffalo National River clean. Hog waste disposal in its watershed is an issue!

Post by Roger » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:19 am

4 minutes ago
Not sure how much info has gotten out past our state boundaries but approximately five years ago our state environmental agency (Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality) approved a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in the Big Creek watershed that would have 5,000 hogs and their waste being stored in lagoons. The waste would then be spread on fields in the watershed for disposal. The problem is that the surface area sits atop a karst formation which filters directly into the adjacent waterways (Big Creek in this case) which then feed into the Buffalo. This area is outside of the river park boundaries and thus the federal government has little or no options here to protect the river.

The original permit was issued under less than transparent procedures (last minute notice to public, little or no input, etc.) and then the permit was actually the wrong one needed. The loans (federal) were obtained when they probably should have come from another source. The various parties, including the state agency, have avoided the testing needed to ensure that the waste isn't working its way through the porous formation to the river. Algae growth in the river is to a level that suggests otherwise.

So the first permit is expiring and so this time they requested a new one (and the correct type of permit) and this time the state agency denied the permit. It has played out in courts but the operators are appealing to the ADEQ to reverse their decision. This comment period will end October 19th and we are trying to make sure that ADEQ continues to do its job in this case.

If you have enjoyed the river in the past and plan to do so again or have plans to paddle it in the future, I am asking that you take the time to let your voice be heard as a party that comes to the state to spend your dollars (money talks with these folks as usual) and might not if the river is not fit to paddle. From a personal standpoint, my last trip (three days and two nights) back in August had me leaving my rod stored as I could not retrieve my lure without it being tangled with algae stands or clumps. Again please take time to help keep this national treasure clean and worth visiting.

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