Opponents of a hog farm near the Buffalo National River have filed a federal lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the farm, asking a judge to allow a scientist consulting detractors to be present during a study of the site.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.
Research to determine the integrity of liners under hog manure ponds is to be conducted on C&H Hog Farms' private land in Mount Judea. The hog farm agreed to allow the department to conduct the research, but the department denied a request from the alliance to have its own consultant present.
C&H Hog Farms opened in May 2013 after having its permit approved by the department in late 2012.
Alliance attorney Richard Mays says he filed the lawsuit after he didn't get a reply to his Aug. 4 letter. According to Mays, the drilling might only be done one time so the alliance wants to make sure it's done correctly.
Department spokesman Kelly Robinson says May's letter was considered a "comment" on the project, and that the department would respond at a later date.
"Director Keogh has taken into consideration Mr. Mays' request to go on site at C&H Hog Farms in the Mt. Judea area as well as any requests," Robinson said in a statement. "All requests to go onto the site will be considered.