MOUNT JUDEA, Ark. (KTHV) - If pigs weren't in the headlines enough this week, a pig farm near the Buffalo National River is now the center of a lawsuit.
A coalition of conservation and citizen groups are suing the US Department of Agriculture over its loan to the farm with 6,500 pigs. The groups fear waste runoff will pollute America's first national river, endangering several species along with threatening tourism on the popular fishing and canoeing destination.
The farm sits on the banks of a small river that flows into the Buffalo National River, which attracts more than 1 million visitors per year and is home to several endangered species, including the snuffbox mussel, the endangered Gray bat, and the endangered Indiana bat.
The farm will be the largest of six swine farms located in the Buffalo River Watershed, and the owners allegedly plan to spread the estimated two million gallons of waste produced by the farm across 630 acres-some of which are near the river's edge.
In a letter to the USDA, the groups said the threat of contamination and damage to the future of the river is too high to ignore.