The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) announced the results from a drilling study that it contracted to be undertaken at the C & H Hog Farms, Inc. (“C & H”) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation located in Mount Judea, Arkansas.

ADEQ contracted with Harbour Environmental and Safety (“Harbour”) (Little Rock, Arkansas) to undertake the boring and sample collection at the facility.

ADEQ previously stated that the evaluation was being “ advanced to provide additional information to the agency and community.” See previous blog post here.

The C & H facility operates pursuant to a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System General Permit No. ARG 590000.

Harbour states by way of introduction that:

Interpreted results from a 2015 electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) survey commissioned by the Big Creek Research and Extension Team (BCRET) suggested vertical leakage from the waste storage ponds and possible fracturing within limestone bedrock below the site. Potential concerns raised by a citizen’s group regarding the study included the rapid transport of contaminants in groundwater through weathered limestone pathways and subsidence or collapse of the ponds due to karst terrain. The group recommended a subsurface investigation prior to installation of synthetic liners within the ponds.

This drilling study was conducted by the ADEQ to evaluate the lithology/geology below the site; and assess potential subsurface impacts from the waste storage ponds. This drilling study was conducted in general accordance with the Drilling Study Work Plan (DSWP). The DSWP describes the methods and procedures utilized in collection and analysis of soil and groundwater samples at the C&H Hog Farms facility.

The goals of the work was stated to include:

  • Evaluating lithology/geology below the waste storage ponds
  • Assessing potential subsurface impact from the waste storage ponds

ADEQ states that it “will make an announcement regarding its conclusions following completion of the final report.”

The ADEQ website includes links to:

  • Drilling Study Summary (slides)
  • 542-page Drilling Study Report (which includes parameters sampled, method of sampling, results of sampling, etc.)
  • Drilling Study Videos

A link to the previously referenced items can be found here.