This page is dedicated to information about the Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) that is being built in the watershed of the Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas.  The Buffalo National River was the first National River to be declared as part of the National Park Service in 1972.  It is free flowing for 153 mi from upstream of Boxley, AR to its confluence with the White River near Buffalo City, AR which empties into the Mississippi River.  The site of the proposed CAFO is on Big Creek, a major tributary that empties into the Buffalo National River near the Carver Campground at mile 63 (see Maps).   

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) notice of intent submitted by Jason Henson of C&H Hog Farms (Hc 72 PO Box 10 Mount Judea, Arkansas 72655) to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (available online as a downloadable PDF--see Links page) has been approved and indicates the following details about the facility:

2503 swine over 55 lbs
4000 swine under 55 lbs
2,090,181 gallons of manure, litter, and wastewater to be generated annually
Application of manure, litter, and wastewater on 630.7 acres
The consulting firm contracted to build the facility:
Nathan Pesta
DeHaan, Grabs & Associates, LLC
1701 10th Ave SW, Bldg 15
Mandan, North Dakota  58554
ph: 701-663-1116

The municipal water utility for Mount Judea is less than 5 miles from the proposed site.

Waste handling will include 2 shallow earthen pits beneath the hog barns with a capacity of 111,122 cubic feet and 254,643 cubic feet of waste and 2 manure pits at 72,060 cubic feet and 29,483 cubic feet capacity for waste storage.  The total waste storage provided is 467,308 cubic feet. 

Rainfall data used in the calculations for required storage and overflow are based on a local 25-year 24 hour rainfall event of 0.58 feet. 

According to the permit, the soil on which the facility is to be build is the Noark very cherty silt loam on 3-8% slopes and Razort loam, occasionally flooded.  The soil profile for Noark from 0-14 inclhes is very gravelly clay loam, from 14-43 inches is very gravelly silty clay, and 43-72 inches is very gravelly clay.  For the Razort, 0-55 inches is loam, and 55-65 is gravelly sandy loam.  (Please note that these soil descriptions are general and taken from the Soil Survey.  It does not mean that this depth of soil or these soil characteristics are exactly correct for this location--soil investigations were performed through boreholes). 

The depth to the water table is given as 189 feet at a well located 1491.831 feet south and 4320.776 feet east of the proposed site.  (The depth to the water table is given for the facility, but not for the large field adjacent to the proposed site, which will be a spreading field, that forms the floodplain of Big Creek.)

The geologic investigation describes soils, but not geology.  The notice of intent states that the tests on the permeability of the soil are still being run.  They are not reported in the notice.  It is stated that the seepage rate of the liner will be less than the maximum required by ADEQ, but there is no indication of any specifications for what will meet those criteria.  From geology maps published by the Arkansas Geologic Survey (see Maps page or download through the Documents page), the geology at the site location is the Boone Formation, a limestone that is known to have high permeability, spring formation, and high levels of surface water-ground water interaction. Boreholes were used to observe the soils at the site of the facility but no boreholes on the spreading fields are indicated on the map.  The borehole investigations are detailed in the notice of intent (available online through ADEQ--see Links page). 

Waste will not be spread within 100 feet of surface water or sinkholes. 

Other owners include
Philip Campbell
PO Box 41
Vendor, AR

Richard Campbell
PO Box 45
Vendor, AR
(Richard Campbell, is a justice of the peace/member of the Newton County Quorum Court (the Arkansas equivalent of a Board of Supervisors))

According to a news article by the Newton County Times, Feb 27, 2013, the C&H Hog Farms will operate under a contract with Cargill.  For a list of Cargill food products and store brands, see the documents page. 

This site is operated and maintained by A. Keen-Zebert, PhD, Geoscientist, Arkansas native, and concerned citizen.  I am a professor of Geosciences at Murray State University.  Opinions expressed herein are my own and do not reflect those of Murray State University.  Others' opinions may be expressed herein through comments.