Walter G. Wright
Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law
Arkansas Times and Arkansas Business published articles yesterday referencing Governor Ash Hutchinson’s announcement that the State of Arkansas had resolved the proceedings/conflicts regarding C & H Hog Farms, Inc. (“C & H”) which is located in Newton County, Arkansas.
The C & H operation has generated conflict, along with both administrative and judicial litigation, due to its presence in the Buffalo River Watershed.
The C & H facility involves the operation of a swine facility. The liquid animal waste management systems at the facility triggered certain permitting requirements. The administrative and judicial litigation has involved C & H’s appeal of Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s denial of permits for such systems.
The Arkansas Times reports that Governor Hutchinson announced in an appearance before the Arkansas Municipal League the Agreement that had been reached with C & H. The Agreement is stated to include the payment of $6.2 million to the C & H owners. Further, the Arkansas Times states that the source of most of the money will be public but also will include funds from the Nature Conservancy.
The settlement is reflected in a June 13th nine-page Agreement executed by Governor Hutchinson and the stockholders of C & H.
Key provisions of the Agreement include:
- Termination of existing Contained Animal Feeding Operations (“CAFO”)
- Conservation Easement on a specified portion of the property which prohibits future CAFO operations (authorized uses are addressed)
- Assumption by ADEQ of responsibility for activities required to terminate the CAFO and liquid animal waste storage and Land Application operations and termination of such permits
- ADEQ development of implementation of closure plans
- Provisions for public input and comment upon closure plans
A copy of the Agreement can be downloaded here.