Commenting on FSA Draft EA (Environmental Assessment)

The FSA (Farm Service Agency), a part of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), is a Federal Agency.  “All written comments will be carefully considered, and no action taken until the agency has completed an environmental review and issued a final decision. All who provide written comments will be informed of the decision when it is made. The Final Environmental Assessment will be made available and underlying documentation may be examined upon request.”  is a quote directly from the FSA Draft EA NOA (Notice of Availability).  Environmental issues like water quality, water quantity, karst topography, threatened or endangered species, watershed areas and wetlands may be of concern.  Health issues  like someone living within the direct affect area ( 1/2 mile radius from the proposed site of the CAFO) for those suffering from asthma, COPD (Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), dander and dust discharges or use of hazardous chemicals may be of concern.  Additional issues such as property value losses across a community, smells, flies, vermin (rats, mice, etc), large truck traffic on small dirt roads, vibration and noise from the fans or quality of life resulting from any action taking place at the CAFO.

This document is being made available to the public to hopefully assist someone in commenting on the FSA Draft EA (Environmental Assessment) in all parts of Arkansas. The file in green below is in PDF format to ensure compatibility for the viewer.  If a format like Word is needed, the file can be sent electronically upon request thru our website administrator at email address

Comments on Tracy Farm 3-31-16

Equally important are issues like how the animals are treated and what they are fed, how the birds are genetically modified and the affects on humans because of those modifications.  Many CAFOs do not provide enough room for birds to live a healthy life or to move about.  Crowded conditions encourage little activity, the spread of disease among the birds which can be transmitted to workers and the community.  Feed additives put more energy into  birds causing increased weight gain so they can be raised more “economically”.  Scientific research on chicken cells by Walter Bottje, professor of poultry physiology for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, has discovered implications for human health and the poultry industry.   Mutations caused by ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species or oxidants, when antioxidants are absent or unbalanced, compromises cell membranes, damaging proteins and even adversely affecting DNA) are tied to many diseases, including cancer, aging, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, obesity, and diabetes.  Click on the link for the complete ARTICLE:

Every United States citizen has the right to a clean environment, healthy living conditions, and a decent quality of life.  Poultry CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) are a threat to all of these rights.  The only way the Natural State will remain is through making our collective informed voices count by providing critical comments on proposed operations and letting government (state and federal) agencies know we demand action on critical issues important to Arkansans, the environment, health, community, animal welfare, and the quality of life for all.  The Natural State fades with every new CAFO and it is time we stop the fading before the Natural State becomes simply the State.

One of the biggest concerns might be litter management and cumulative affects.  NW Arkansas, a NSA (Nutrient Surplus Area) designated by the Arkansas State Legislature, is under the direction of the ANRC (Arkansas Natural Resources Commission) which sets the standards of land application of litter in the NSAs.  Under ANRCs direction, a CNMP (Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan) is written by the local County Conversation District which determines the number of tons of litter that can be applied to any given field in the NSA.  Many areas are not inside the NSAs, and therefore the CNMPs are not mandated and are voluntary.  It was the over application of litter that created the NSA, which contaminated water flowing into Oklahoma.  It is the rapid increase of CAFOs in NE Arkansas that sets the stage for a possible undesirable situation.

The ANRC also registers all poultry farms and collects information about the amount of litter generated, number of birds produced and many other facts.