August 8, 2013
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report
The USDA and SBA, no reference to a lender, are being sued by a coalition of environmental groups for failing to perform a proper environmental impact report on a hog farm that was financed by an SBA loan.
Reports the Arkansas based Springfield News-Leader;
“The plaintiffs refer to the C&H Hog Farms as ‘a 6,500-pig factory farm’ located on a tributary of the Buffalo National River, a national park site and the country’s first national river.
“The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality granted a permit in August 2012 to C&H partners partners Jason Henson and Philip Campbell for a concentrated feeding operation supporting up to 2,500 gestation sows and up to 4,000 piglets under roof, and storage of more than 2 million gallons of of manure, litter and wastewater. The mix is to be diluted and dispersed by liquid spray applicators over a 630-acre area, according to a 260-page permit application posted to ADEQ’s website.
“The permit touched off a firestorm of criticism of state and federal agencies and pitted the National Parks Service against USDA.
“The permit caught U.S. Buffalo National River Park Superintendent Kevin Cheri off guard. He claims he did not receive a copy of the environmental assessment until Feb. 5, 2013, and wasn’t in the loop as the farm developed. Cheri fired off a letter to Linda Newkirk, executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Arkansas, in which he summarized 45 issues with the environmental assessment and the notification process. He called for a stop to C&H Hog Farms project until the National Park Service, a stakeholder that by law, had an opportunity to comment.”
The plaintiffs want the loan guarantees to be “set aside” and for SBA to “do the right thing.”