Save Major River From Pollution by Factory Farm

Target: Teresa Marks, Director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality

Goal: Revoke the permit of a hog farm’s expansion near a major river and water source for local citizens

An expansion permit has been issued by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to C&H Hog Farms, which will now expand its factory along Big Creek, a tributary of the Buffalo river. This river is a source of roughly $38 million dollars annually in tourism and a major water source for the surrounding population. Over the last ten years, citizens have reported water shortages in wells, and the addition of 6,500 hogs and a huge factory farm would only make matters worse.

Another major concern lies in the farm’s waste management plan itself: 2 million gallons of waste will be spewed directly into neighboring grasslands each year – waste which any moderate rainfall would wash directly into the river. Such massive amounts of organic waste would produce excessive amounts of nitrates which, when added to the Buffalo River, could have devastating effects on wildlife and water quality.

Excessive nitrate levels promote algae growth. As algae decays, it strips the water of available oxygen, effectively killing existing wildlife and upsetting an already delicate and impacted ecosystem. Humans that drink water which is high in nitrates can often develop complications: the ability of red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body is significantly decreased.

Sign this petition to urge ADEQ to revoke C&H Factory Hog Farm’s expansion permit. Revoking the permit would protect the environment and citizens from massive waste pollution that could potentially destroy the local economy due to declines in tourism, disrupt wildlife in the river, and cause severe health complications for locals.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Teresa Marks,

C&H Hog Farms’ expansion near the Buffalo River has received backlash from the local community, and this has raised nationwide concern. Not only is the river a major source of income for the area, providing millions of dollars in annual tourism, but it is a central force in local life. The river is a major water source for the local population, which has already seen drought and decline in their water levels.

The expansion that you have allowed of C&H Hog Farms permits them to have 6,500 hogs along the banks, which will produce roughly two million gallons of liquid waste, which the company plans to dump into surrounding wetlands. This waste will eventually make it back to the river system, and due to it’s composition of organic matter, will drastically alter nutrients in the surrounding ecosystems. This sudden influx of nutrients such as nitrate will promote algae growth, which will not only discolor the river but effectively kill off wildlife populations that depend on the river to survive.

I urge you to revoke the permit of C&H Hog Farms, not only to protect the citizens that depend on the river, but to preserve the environment surrounding the area, and to maintain a healthy ecosystem to the best of your ability. As the director of the Department of Environmental Quality, it is your responsibility to maintain the highest environmental standards possible. Allowing the expansion of this Hog Farm will severely compromise the environment you protect.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photocredit: Graham Horn via http://www.geograph.org.uk

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