Help us protect the Buffalo River from industrial hog waste.

The Ozark Society and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel need your help to ban new medium and large industrial hog farms in the Buffalo National River Watershed (BNRW).  On December 5th, the House and Senate Committees of Public Health, Labor and Welfare and Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development will meet to review our proposed changes Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Regulations 5 and 6.  Contact YOUR representatives that serve on these Committees and ask them to support these changes.  Here are some talking points to assist you in calling, writing or emailing Committee Members.

THE PROPOSED CHANGES WILL …

PROTECT PROPERTY VALUES and QUALITY OF LIFE:

  • Industrial hog farms (also known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, CAFOs) have been shown to cause deterioration in the market value of property due to loss of amenities or risk of water or air pollution from the operation. 

PROTECT WATER QUALITY

  • An increased number of swine CAFOS in the BNRW place the pristine and treasured waters of at risk of contamination from multiple sources including leakage from waste holding ponds, run-off, and flooding even when best management practices are implemented.

PROTECT JOBS AND BOOST THE ECONOMY:

  • The Buffalo River is an extremely valuable piece of Arkansas’s tourism engine.  Tourism in the Natural State in 2012 accounted for a $5.76 billion positive economic impact and employed 58,452 people.
  • In 2012, the Buffalo National River attracted 1,093,083 visitors who spent $43.78 million in communities surrounding the river.  Direct spending from visitors to the Buffalo employed 610 people in 2012.

PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH:

  • Aside from the obvious unpleasant odors, rodents and flies that accompany large hog operations the gasses emitted from hog farms are toxic and contribute to greenhouse gas pollution.  Entrained fecal bacteria and other pathogens can be carried by the winds to local residences, schools, and towns.  

THE PROPOSED CHANGES WILL NOT...

  • The proposed changes will not impact any existing operations in the BNRW.
  • The proposed changes will not prohibit large swine operations anywhere outside of the BNRW.
  • The proposed changes will not impact small swine farms in the BNRW
  • The proposed changes will not prohibit dairy, poultry, or other operations in the BNRW
  • The proposed changes will not create a slippery slope, as the legislature must review all new rules. 

You can use the links below to find contact information for Committee Members. The hearing on December 5tth is open to the public and will begin at 9am in Room A of the MAC Building, 1 Capitol Mall, Little Rock.  While public comments might be accepted we have lined up individuals to provide testimony and believe it would be most beneficial to contact Committee Members prior to the hearing.  

Senate Public Welfare and Health:
http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2013/2014S2/Pages/CommitteeDetail.aspx?committeecode=430
Chair: Senator Cecile Bledsoe 709 Sky Mountain Dr., Rogers, AR 72757

House Public Welfare and Health:
http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2013/2014S2/pages/CommitteeDetail.aspx?committeecode=830
Chair: Representative John Burris PO Box 322, Harrison, AR 72601

House Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development:
http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2013/2014S2/pages/CommitteeDetail.aspx?committeecode=870
Chair: Representative Matthew J Shepherd 200 N. Jefferson Ave., #600, El Dorado, AR 71730

Senate, Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development:
http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2013/2014S2/pages/CommitteeDetail.aspx?committeecode=470
Chair: Senator Bruce Holland PO Box 2387, Greenwood, AR 72936

Find further information here, or contact the Arkansas Public Policy Panel:  Anna Weeks, annaw@arpanel.org, 501.376.7913 ext. 19