LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The owners of the Buffalo River watershed’s only large-scale hog farm have proposed building another one near the Arkansas River and Cedar Creek.
The farm is at least the second one proposed by the owners of C&H Hog Farms within the past year for the state’s northwest corner. Both have met opposition from locals who were concerned about the proposed farms’ smell and potential impact on the environment and outdoor recreational activities, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported .
“With respect to those citizens, I do believe it would have a negative or detrimental effect on the environment,” said Altus Mayor Veronica Post.
The nearly 10,400-hog proposed farm in Altus would have three indoor holding ponds for manure that would be spread on nearly 2,000 acres (809 hectares) of row crop land owned by dozens of people in Franklin and Johnson counties, according to a July 23 application submitted to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. The application is for a Regulation 5 permit, which never expires and sets parameters for operations based on the site and proposed activity.
Philip Campbell, who is listed on the application as president of the proposed operation, did not reply to the newspaper’s Thursday phone message seeking comment.
The Arkansas Farm Bureau said it was aware of discussions to open a hog farm but have not been involved. The bureau is unsure how the farm would compare in size with other hog operations in the state, but said the proposed one sounds “pretty big.”
The Department of Environmental Quality said the permit is being reviewed but declined to comment on whether the farmers needed to submit any more materials for the proposed operation. The department typically has 120 days from the application date to reach a preliminary decision on whether to approve the permit. That decision then has a 30-day public comment period, after which the department will review the comments before reaching a final decision.