The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is discontinuing its practice of issuing permits for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, also known as CAFOs.
The department said this week that only one application has been received for a permit in five years. A CAFO is a type of industrial animal agriculture plant that holds thousands of farm animals in one place for months at a time.
C & H Hog Farm, which operates a 6,000-head swine breeding operation six miles upstream of the Buffalo National River near Mt. Judea in Newton County was the lone applicant. Groups of environmentalists, landowners and recreationalists have attempted to shut down C&H, for fears that waste from the farm could contaminate the Buffalo River.
In a news release, the ADEQ said it “determined that a renewal of this CAFO general permit is not warranted based on the limited use of this particular permitting option.” But ADEQ says current operations with CAFO permits, like C & H, may continue.
The current general permit went into effect in lat 2011 and was set to expire October 31st.