Farm Bureau push for Buffalo River hog feeding operation continues | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Farm Bureau push for Buffalo River hog feeding operation continues

Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 9:58 AM

MAKING MANURE:  A concentrated hog feeding operation such as this one from a Wikipedia image produces lots of waste. Also, in Newton County, dollars for a Brazilian conglomerate.
  • MAKING MANURE: A concentrated hog feeding operation such as this one from a Wikipedia image produces lots of waste. Also, in Newton County, dollars for a Brazilian conglomerate.

Legislative lips remain largely sealed, but environmentalists attempting to protect the Buffalo River from factory hog farm waste say they continue to expect emergence of legislation to override the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and clear continued operation of the C and H Hog Farm in Newton County, whose topical application of hog waste, it is feared, could pollute the Buffalo National River, an Arkanas scenic treasure.

The Arkansas Farm Bureau, both a powerful political lobby and immense insurance company, fears overly stringent environmental regulation of farming could put farmers out of business. Environmentalists are putting out the message that sending premiums to Farm Bureau is paying to support pollution of the Buffalo River.

The farm fattens Brazilian owned hogs for slaughter and export.

The environmentalists' battle cry:

Dollars to Brazil, pork chops to China, hog shit to the Buffalo.

Legislative leaders had suggested, outside normal rules, a Monday deadline for filing of bills for the special session Gov. Asa Hutchinson is expected to call. As yet, no formal proposals have emerged on the Buffalo or the hotly contested pharmacy reimbursements under the Medicaid expansion. Early filing or no, a two-thirds vote of the legislature can expand topics in any session. The hog farm legislation is being circulated with an eye toward gathering that level of support.

C and H has been denied a new permit after years of controversy over the 6,000-hog feeding factory that produces millions of gallons of urine and feces. It continues operating while appealing. It and defenders contend it is operating within environmental limits and not harming the Buffalo. Opponents say that is hogwash.

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