Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Buffalo National River - possible contamination issue.

*wikipedia photo

I have made a post or two about the hog farm approved by the state within the Buffalo National River watershed.  Recently, 2 members of the international group Waterkeeper Alliance said that hog farms in NC sullied rivers.  This March, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality approved a permit for a Cargill hog farm (C&H Farms) to place a industrial scale farm near a tributary (Big Creek) of the Buffalo River.

ADEQ's permit approval was met with an uproar across the state.  Especially, northwest and northcentral Arkansas.  Fayetteville and other local communities within the watershed of the Buffalo National River held forums and meetings with ADEQ and other state folks demanding a repeal of the permit and to give feedback about the negative aspects on how this hog farm could and probably will affect the state.

October 31st, Rick Dove and Larry Baldwin spoke at the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance in Little Rock.  They mentioned that hog farms located within watersheds had damaged rivers, fish and tourism in North Carolina.  Untreated animal waste used as fertilizer has eventually runoff into the streams and rivers of eastern North Carolina.

The Buffalo River Watershed Alliance opposes C&H Hog Farms operating near Mt.Judea, AR.  They are also in party to two lawsuits against the Farm Services Agency and the Small Business Administration.  Unbelievably, the farm has been approved for 2,500 sows and 4,000 piglets.  I love my bacon but not when it affects the state and it's people and the environment.  The farm, which has contracts with local farms can spread hog waste as fertilizer on 630 acres.

KARST - what is karst??  Landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum. It is characterized by sinkholes, caves, and underground drainage systems. Nearly all surface karst features are formed by internal drainage, subsidence, and collapse triggered by the development of underlying caves (Palmer, 1991). Rainwater becomes acidic as it comes in contact with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the soil. As it drains into fractures in the rock, the water begins to dissolve away the rock creating a network of passages. Over time, water flowing through the network continues to erode and enlarge the passages; this allows the plumbing system to transport increasingly larger amounts of water (Gunn, 2004). This process of dissolution leads to the development of the caves, sinkholes, springs, and sinking streams typical of a karst landscape.

*University of Texas at Austin

Karst allows water to easily run through cracks in the ground.  Hog waste will be able to filter through the ground and seep into waterways.  This can lead to algae growth and possible large fish kills.

C&H Hog Farms received the first National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit but I don't think it's going to change the fact that animal waste will be spread as fertilizer.  I'll keep you guys more abreast with knowledge of the affects of the hog farm, those that oppose the river and those that use the Buffalo river for recereation.

A certain publisher asked me to do a review of a soon to be released title.  Hopefully, I can get it done before the book is released.

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