Owner of Controversial Hog Farm Applies For New Permit

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NEWTON, COUNTY, Ark. — A local hog farm owner has taken another step to fight for his business, after being denied a permit to operate.

Jason Henson, owner and president of C & H Hog Farm has applied for a new permit. This one falls under a slightly different classification than the one he was denied.

Henson says when C& H starting operating in 2012, they were given a permit by the Arkansas Department of Environment Quality. According to him, they were following the department’s advice.

“We was advised to go with a Reg 6, because everything was moving to a Reg 6. I mean we took ADEQ advice and it’s coming back to bite us now.”   

When it was time for Henson to renew his permit, five years later — they were expecting to be approved. However, they were denied over concerns the nearby Buffalo River was being contaminated by hog waste. So, earlier this month, Henson applied for a different type of permit which he’s hoping will help him keep his farm. This new permit is tailored for specific farmers and their operations — as opposed to general operations.   

“The regulation states that if you want to discontinue a permit, there are steps and procedures that you have to go through to discontinue the permit,” said Henson,  “And the ADEQ did not follow these procedures.”

Henson maintains that his operation has undergone a series of scientific tests — and they never come up with any violations.

“What blows my mind is how can a state agency give you a permit and then turn around with no violations and basically deny you of a permit for stuff they already approved,” Henson said.

An appeal has been filed. Henson says they will be in court August 6. 

The ADEQ released an email statement that says, “The application is currently undergoing an administrative completeness review.”

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