A challenge to a federal court ruling enjoining over $3 million in federal loan guarantees to a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in the Buffalo National River Watershed has been dropped. The US Department of Justice withdrew its challenge to US Eastern District Judge D. Price Marshall's ruling on Friday. The loan-giving agencies - the Small Business Administration and the Farm Service Agency - now have to complete an environmental impact study within one year in order for the loans to C&H Hog Farms be guaranteed.
Dane Schumacher with the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance said it’s a positive step for those opposing the swine farm.
“The agencies that guaranteed the loans should have done a proper environmental assessment. He [U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District D. Price Marshall] ordered them to go back and do an assessment, do the things that should have been done according to the National Environmental Policy Act. We feel like it’s a significant victory in that this environmental assessment can now get under way,” said Schumacher.
The Buffalo River Watershed Alliance wants the one existing operation, C&H Hog Farms, to be relocated or shut down. It argues the waste from the 6,500 capacity operation will pollute the National River.