Arkansas Environment

Agricultural Research
9:36 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Grants For Sustainable Strawberry Projects Awarded


Close to $3 million in grant money is being awarded to 16 agricultural researchers to develop more sustainable methods for growing strawberries.

The project is funded by the Walmart Foundation and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability is administering the awards. Winners were announced Wednesday.

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Local & Regional News
6:16 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Arkansas Fire Boat Training Set For DeGray Lake

Degray Lake

More than 350 people and about 40 watercraft are to take part in a fire boat training exercise set for DeGray Lake. 

Departments from Arkansas and Texas are signed up for the Saturday event. The Arkansas Forestry Commission organizes the sessions with other agencies to put fire crews through different emergency scenarios, including evacuating victims by air and water. 

The training is designed to challenge boat crews with situations based on actual emergencies. One scenario is based on what crews had to handle during Hurricane Katrina.

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2:52 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Dozens Of Earthquakes In Arkansas This Week

Several earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 1.7 to 2.9 have hit Arkansas earlier in recent days.

Scott Ausbrooks with the state Geological Survey says even though no damage has been reported, they have prompted a lot of 911 calls.

“Basically it has been a very busy week. This week alone we’ve had earthquakes happening in three different areas of the state,” said Ausbrooks.

Dozens occurred near Strawberry, the Clinton and Morrilton areas.

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Local & Regional News
2:05 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Group of Fort Smith residents sue Whirlpool

Homes near the former Whirlpool plant in Fort Smith.
Credit Brian Chilson/ Arkansas Times

Three lawsuits filed in Sebastian County this week target the Whirlpool Corp., which operated a plant at Fort Smith until a year ago.

Homeowners and landlords are worried about a chemical used at the plant between the 1960s and the 1980s.

The state and Whirlpool reached an agreement on remediation efforts in 2001, but Whirlpool this year asked for a ban on new wells near the site.

The plaintiffs are seeking funds to restore their property and also punitive damages.

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Fracking and Drinking Water
6:30 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

New Study: Fracking Hasn't Polluted Arkansas Water

A natural gas drilling rig.
Credit Daniel Foster /

A new study says natural gas drilling, or fracking, hasn't contaminated drinking water wells in Arkansas but researchers say the geology there is more of a natural barrier to pollution than in other areas where drilling takes place.

Duke University professor Avner Vengosh says the team "didn't see any contamination" in an area of heavy drilling in north-central Arkansas. Members of the U.S. Geological Survey were also part of the study examining 127 drinking water wells for evidence of pollution from methane gas or chemicals.

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Local & Regional News
4:49 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Team Honored For Delisting Of Arkansas Snail

The Magazine Mountain shagreen, which was removed from the endangered list this week.

The team that helped remove an Arkansas snail from the federal endangered species list is being honored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as 2012 National Recovery Champions.

The Magazine Mountain shagreen was removed from the endangered list earlier this week after first being listed as threatened 1989.

The small snail is found only on Mount Magazine in western Arkansas.

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Public Meeting
4:15 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Tire Waste Permitting Procedures To Be Discussed At Meeting

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality will be hosting a public meeting on the permitting process for entities dealing waste tires in the state.

On Wednesday, representatives from regional governments, businesses and individuals are expected to attend and discuss the two types of permits: one for collection centers and one for waste tire processors.

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Local & Regional News
6:20 am
Fri May 10, 2013

$1.5 Million Awarded For Arkansas Trails Projects


Arkansas highway officials say $1.5 million in federal funding has been awarded for trails projects around the state. 

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department on Thursday announced the Recreational Trails Program funding would go to 30 different entities after receiving 45 applications requesting more than $3 million.

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Local & Regional News
4:52 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Arkansas Agency Takes Look At Waste Tire Facilities

Arkansas regulators are considering permits for sites that process and collect waste tires. The state Department of Environmental Quality has scheduled a meeting for 1 p.m. May 16 to discuss drafts of new general permits for the facilities.

The event is open to the public. The ADEQ has invited operators of waste tire collection centers and processing facilities to attend. The agency has also asked consulting engineers, and regional solid waste district representatives to offer their perspectives.

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Buffalo National River Watershed
2:54 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Arkansas Hog Farm Opens Doors To Reporters Amidst Environmental Oposition

Jason Henson, co-owner of C&H Farms, stands in a pen of sows on a recent media tour of the new farm. Its placement in the watershed of the protected Buffalo National River has many worried that runoff from the farm could contaminate the national waterway.
Credit Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

As opposition continues against a newly permitted industrial swine-breeding farm now operating in the watershed of the protected Buffalo National River in Newton County, its owners have remained mostly silent until Monday when members of the media were invited for a tour.

Campbell and Henson (C&H) Hog Farms is situated along a rugged mountain bench about 20 miles southeast of downtown Jasper. From the outside its new double-barn confined feeding animal operation (CAFO) looks ordinary, inside 824 large pink sows will soon give birth.

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