Arkansas Agriculture Edition 44 : Page 21

A recently reviewed study of hog waste storage ponds on C&H Farm near Mt. Judea and Big Creek (pictured) in the Buffalo National River watershed found no leakage from the ponds. Photo by Ken Moore engineer, professional geologist and other scientists – reviewed the study’s findings while considering additional information derived from questions posed by concerned citizens. It found no evidence of a release from the storage ponds. The ADEQ personnel reviewed work by Harbor Environmental and Safety, which had undertaken the drilling study in September last year. Meanwhile, on Jan. 17, just before the ADEQ announcement, the Beautiful Buffalo River Action Committee – a group commissioned by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to address water quality concerns throughout the Buffalo River watershed – held its first meeting and approved its charter. The committee, which does not have a regulatory role, includes the directors of the departments of Environmental Quality, Health, Parks and Tourism and Agriculture, as well as the Natural Resource Commission. The directors of the Game & Fish Commission and Geographic Information Office are ex-officio members. John Bailey, Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs, attended the first meeting. Afterward, he explained that ArFB would be making one request of the group – adding agriculture-specific language to its mission statement. The present statement reads: “To protect the Buffalo National River as a source of scenic beauty, high-quality water, unique aquatic species and habitat and exceptional recreational uses through the coordination of resources within the Buffalo River Watershed.” ArFB is requesting that the commission add “…while recognizing the need for preservation of agricultural productivity and the livelihood of farm families in the watershed.” This language mirrors that used by Gov. Hutchinson in his official announcement of the committee’s formation, in which he stated that the Buffalo River is “a national treasure and a significant agricultural, recreational and natural resource.” Arkansas Agriculture | ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU • WINTER 2017 21

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