The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission is implementing a ban on new medium- and large-sized hog farms in the Buffalo National River’s watershed.
Under the motion that was unanimously approved by the commission, no new facility could have more than 750 swine weighing 55 pounds or more, or more than 3,000 swine weighing less than 55 pounds, according to a report from the Baxter Bulletin.
The ban will take effect 10 days after the commission secretary files it with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. Once enacted, the ban will last for five years.
The only hog operation currently in the watershed area that meets the criteria as a medium or large hog farms is C&H Hog Farms, located in Mount Judea, Arkansas. However, since that facility is already in operation, it will not be impacted by the commission’s decision.
Such a ban was advocated by environmentalists, which contended that the pig farms would harm the watershed and the Buffalo National River itself, which is the country’s first national river and a popular tourist spot that in 2014 attracted more than 1.3 million visitors.
While the ban passed is to last for five years, The Ozark Society and Arkansas Public Policy Panel petitioned the commission to implement a permanent ban.