Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he supports reinstating a moratorium on issuing any new permits for hog farms near the Buffalo National River.
Hutchinson in a statement released by his office Wednesday called for reinstating the 180-day moratorium on issuing permits for medium to large scale animal-feeding operations in the Buffalo River watershed. The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission is expected to vote Friday on reinstating the moratorium, which expired earlier this week.
The Republican governor said the moratorium would allow the proposed rulemaking process to be completed and would give time for an independent study by the University of Arkansas to determine any impact of current feeding operations on the watershed.
In his written statement, Gov. Hutchinson said:
I think the public will understand the need to reinstate a 180-day moratorium on issuing permits for medium to large scale animal-feeding operations in the Buffalo River watershed to allow proposed rulemaking process to be completed. In addition, a five-year sunset clause for rulemaking is appropriate and will provide a needed deadline for action. This way, there is time for the University of Arkansas to complete its independent study to determine any impact of current feeding operations on the watershed.
Science and facts will drive our future decisions. In the meantime, we’ll do everything we can to protect the watershed while the facts are collected.