The National Parks Conservation Association today issued a statement applauding the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality‘s denial yesterday of a permit to C&H Hog Farm, the 3,000-swine feeding operation near the Buffalo River watershed. The NPCA is part of a coalition fighting against the presence of C&H in the watershed for years. While the farm was directed to cease operations within 30 days, that fight is likely to drag on for many months more as C&H will inevitably appeal ADEQ’s decision.
The NPCA called the permit denial “great news for the health of the local community and the Buffalo National River.”
From their press release, here’s the full statement from Senior Program Manager Emily Jones:
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.