Get involved! This can’t be emphasized enough.
- Contact ARK if you are concerned about an operation going up near you. We will be happy to help walk you through the process. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Respond to the public notice you see in the paper by sending your concerns to the FSA
The FSA will post in the Legal section of the local newspaper two different notices.
- The first notice will be called a Notice of Availability (NOA) to view a Draft EA (Environmental Assessment) and it should appear twice in consecutive printings. The public comment period should be posted in the NOA.
- The second notice some weeks later will be a called a FONSI (Finding Of No Significant Impact). There may or may not be a public comment period.
“What is a comment?” and “Will I be heard?” you might wonder. There are many comments that are acceptable and are acted upon, others not so much. For example, it is not illegal to emit a foul odor, but the contents of that odor can be commented on because there could be environmental and/or health issues. If no comments are presented, the project will believe nothing is concerning the public/neighbors so there is no reason not to move forward. The FSA should acknowledge receipt of comments and provide feedback to any comments.
Here are some ideas, in case you need assistance on what to comment on, that might help you provide comments to the proposed project.
- Property value loss, unable to sell and can’t live a quality life next to the CAFO.
- Water quantity (depletion by large water consumers could affect water levels in underground rivers called aquifers).
- Water quality (both ground and underground water, especially given many parts of the Ozarks are water recharge areas for underground water systems thru what is known as Karst topography). Primary of all concerns should be potable water quality.
- Many aquatic endangered species are identified by many agencies and easily found thru research, there are too many to list here. Some of the most natural waterways have been classified as being impaired, a primary example is the Strawberry River which is also classified as a wild and scenic river. Impairment has identified poultry feeding operations as the source of impairment.
- Environmental concerns which are produced by a CAFOs like ammonia, dander, dust and litter management.
- Cumulative affects of too many CAFOs and not enough acreage to spread the litter could be a major concern.
- Environmental concerns for wild, endangered and not endangered species. Things that potentially could be negatively affected birds and mammals like opossum, reptiles, ducks, bobcat, mice, rats, insects, fox, squirrels, turtles, lizards, skunks, mountain lion, bear, owls and bird of prey, spiders, ticks, flies, coyotes, frogs, bats, gnats, snakes, deer, turkey, raccoons, rabbit, quail, to name a few or anything that could upset our/their ecological balance. Not all these critters are appreciated, but they all have a purpose in the circle of life which needs to be balanced.
- Pest concerns, like huge increases in the population of flies, vermin (the list of these creatures is extensive), etc.
- Microbiology concerns, not much is known about this area of concern.
- Health concerns surrounding GMO (genetically modified organisms) and how eating them can adversely affect human health. Understanding these mutations and their affects on the human body are only now being understood. What might be good for rapid muscle growth in chickens might be disastrous for human consumption. Article
- Health concerns are numerous, in particular those will breathing difficulties and those with immune disorders.
- Crime as a result of migrant workers and/or their followers, which could require additional law enforcement officers and jails.
- Request a BA (Biological Assessment) and or EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) if the Draft EA doesn’t seem to address the issues adequately. These are tools that are sometimes necessary and available to the agencies to better evaluate impacts and more importantly, cumulative affects.
One thing is for sure, most people don’t want to see another NW Arkansas elsewhere within the Natural State, but unfortunately if rules and policies are not followed, it appears that the only way to protect ourselves is to get involved.