ADEQ’s C & H Pond Integrity Evaluation

Hosted by ADEQ

Independent Integrity Evaluation Conducted at Hog Farm

In July 2016, with Governor Asa Hutchinson’s approval, ADEQ contracted a third party, Harbor Environmental and Safety, to study and evaluate the liner integrity of storage ponds at C & H Hog Farms in the Buffalo River Watershed.

The University of Arkansas Big Creek Research and Extension Team (BCRET) previously conducted an Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) study around the ponds and continues to do sampling to detect any potential leakage.

The primary purpose of Harbor’s study was to supplement information from the BCRET ERI for further investigation of the subsurface epikarst to ascertain the integrity of the waste pond liners.

ADEQ Director Becky Keogh said that Harbor’s study was “part of our statutory authority to conduct investigations and studies as needed to gather data and information in the administration or enforcement of pollution laws.”

ADEQ provided oversight and an opportunity to collaborate with other scientific experts from BCRET and the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance. ADEQ used BCRET’s ERI results to select an appropriate study location.

A link to the final study report is at the end of the timeline below.

Timeline of Events

  • July 8, 2016
    ADEQ presented information to the Buffalo River Coalition in Heber Springs.
  • July 24, 2016
    ADEQ announced the selection of the independent expert, Harbor Environmental and Safety.
  • August 2, 2016
    ADEQ rolled out the C & H Drilling project plan, complete with ADEQ’s C & H Pond Integrity Evaluation web pages dedicated for the posting of information updates about the progress of the project.
  • August 26, 2016
    ADEQ released final Drilling Study Work Plan.
  • September 2, 2016
    ADEQ sent C & H Hog Farm a Notice of Technical Incompleteness for its permit application.
  • September 7, 2016
    Letter from ADEQ to C & H acknowledging confirmation of authorized access to the farm for drilling.
  • September 22, 2016
    Letter from ADEQ to Richard Mays
  • December 1, 2016
    Harbor Environmental and Safety presented results of the fieldwork and laboratory analysis from the C & H Hog Farms Drilling Study to ADEQ and interested parties. An electronic version of the report that includes field notes, photographs, and videos is posted on ADEQ’s C & H Project Plan webpage under
    Final Drilling Study Report.