Why they need to drill and other pertinent questions - some answered, some not!
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Photo by Don Nelms
The Spigelia comes at the end. No fair peeking.
Letter Sent to Governor Hutchinson-
Last Friday BRWA submitted a letter to Governor Asa Hutchinson addressing concerns regarding recent information which has come to light indicating possible leakage from the C&H waste storage ponds. Related to that is the pending retrofitting of synthetic pond liners.  Full text will  be released early next week.
What’s going on with this new permit
application by C & H? 
C & H, that hog factory on the Buffalo, recently applied for a Regulation 5 individual state permit.  A public notice was subsequently published stating that the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has determined the application is complete. This notice of “administrative completeness” only refers to ADEQ’s determination that C&H has submitted the necessary forms and documents and has nothing to do with the contents of those documents. 
BRWA contends that the application is not “administratively complete” and therefore filed a request for a public hearing.  Click here to see the document. It remains to be seen if ADEQ will grant the request for a hearing.

But, one way or the other,
-once the application is approved as complete, ADEQ will proceed with a technical review of the application, which could take up to 90 days. Then a draft permit will be released for a 30-day comment period.   That will be the opportunity for the public (that’s you!) to comment on the Nutrient Management Plan and other technical aspects, and contest, altogether the issuance of a Reg. 5 permit. At that stage in the process we will need your voice- your help.
We understand that permitting issues can be confusing but be assured that BRWA is making every effort to gain an understanding of the intricacies of the various state and federal regulations, including engaging the services of legal and regulatory experts.
Is it true that hog waste may be leaking into the underlying karst and that there may be a fracture under the ponds that could lead to collapse?
The short answer is, “Yes”.  There are test results that indicate both of these problems may exist at the C & H hog factory.
Oklahoma State University, under contract with the Big Creek Research and Extension team, conducted a geophysical investigation around the C&H ponds using Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI)  Based on expert interpretation of the ERI results, there are strong indications of possible major problems under the ponds.
There is only one way to confirm the test results and that is to drill.
Is it true that the Big Creek Research and Extension Team is refusing to investigate further, saying it could just be clay?
Inexplicably, the answer is again, “yes”. 
Some questions for which we do not have answers:

•Why doesn’t BCRET want to do the recommended science? We don’t know.
•Could it be they are afraid of what might be discovered?

•Are they so sure of their surface monitoring they are willing to ignore evidence that geologist were correct when, at the very beginning of this saga, they predicted a 90% chance a hog CAFO this close to the river would pollute it, and, of course, the wells in the neighborhood?
There is only one way to resolve this controversy and that is to follow the recommended and standard procedure – drill for core samples.
Special Notice – on June 24, BCRET is scheduled to present their rationale for not drilling at the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission meeting. If you are in the area please consider attending.  Confirmation of the meeting agenda will be available by June 17 and we will send a reminder at that time.
Who first suggested that pond liners be installed at C&H? 

The correct answer is Cargill, not any outside groups as has been suggested in the press. 
Good questions for which we do not have good answers-

If groups opposing the CAFO did not request the pond liners, why are liners going to be installed? 

It has always been claimed that the ponds are overbuilt so why the expense and soil disturbance which will be necessary to retrofit liners now?  Even C&H expressed second thoughts about installing liners.

Could there be a problem that needs to be "covered up"?
Why is BRWA opposed to pond liners? 
Strictly speaking BRWA does not oppose pond liners, in fact we think they should probably be required for all waste storage ponds state-wide.

However, liners should have been installed during the initial construction process.  Because ERI testing has revealed the possibility that there may be movement of hog waste and a fracture under the ponds, now is not the time to place a thin band-aide over the mess and call it done.  Now is the time too follow the advice of numerous experts and drill for soil samples.   By the way, when we say ponds, don’t picture lily pads, tadpoles, and swimming fish; instead imagine an open cesspool of hog manure.
Is there anything I can do?
Oh, dear reader, thank you for asking!  Yes, in fact, you and people like you are the only force that can bring this insanity to an end.  Here are some things you can do now:
•Do not give up! We need your support and engagement now more than ever.
•Sign the petition to Governor Hutchinson Click here.
•Encourage friends and relatives to become supporters. Remember it is free. Help us build our numbers email them the link to our sign-up page.
•If you have the means, make a donation. Donations help us educate the public through events such as Science and Songs, pay for the website, pay for expert scientific and legal opinion and advice. We have no paid staff . All six BRWA board members are volunteers.
•Say informed by reading these monthly newsletters, check the BRWA webpage and/or our Facebook page for up-dates.
•Write letters as requested or when the spirit moves you
If you live near Little Rock the third, and for now, final
“Science and Songs”
Tuesday, 07 Jun 2016 6:00 PM•
Little Rock Unitarian Church 1818 Reservoir Rd. 
the program features Dr. Van Brahana and the famous duo “Still On the Hill”.  
For details go here

Spigelia marlilandica or Indian Pink is blooming now in the Buffalo National River.

This plant likes moist woods and was seen recently along the road leading to Woolum. 
Please go to DONATE now to contribute and become a part of our campaign.
If you would rather send a check, please make it payable to “Buffalo River Watershed Alliance” and mail to the address below.
The Buffalo River Watershed Alliance is a 501c3 organization.  Contributions are tax deductible.
Our Email address is:
Thank you for your continued support.
Copyright © 2016 Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, All rights reserved.

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