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Independent drilling study begins at AR hog farm


September 19, 2016, North Little Rock, AK – The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is commencing drilling activities at the C&H Hog Farms near Mt. Judea this week.

Harbor Environmental and Safety notified ADEQ Sept. 15 that they had confirmed a driller to begin fieldwork.

“We are pleased to announce field work will begin,” said Becky Keogh, ADEQ director. “This investigation is a necessary and helpful part of our regulatory review process. We appreciate the owner’s cooperation in providing access to the property.”

Harbor has retained Cascade Drilling from Memphis, TN, to conduct the work. Cascade will mobilize September 20 and anticipates beginning the drilling process September 21. The drilling and sampling are expected to conclude within three to four days.

“This study demonstrates science-driven decision making and Governor Hutchinson’s commitment to doing so in an open and transparent manner,” said Keogh. “We also support the Big Creek Research and Extension Team (BCRET) efforts in their on-going independent research in the Big Creek Watershed, which will help inform future decisions.”

A sonic-drilling rig will advance a 120-foot boring in the vicinity of the waste storage ponds to evaluate the subsurface conditions. Soil samples will be collected at five-foot intervals for analysis of potential analytes of interest. Also, groundwater encountered during the drilling will be sampled. All activities at the site will be conducted in accordance with the accepted work plan with appropriate field adjustments. Upon completion of the borehole, geophysical logging will be conducted, which will include natural gamma and neutron logging. All work will be conducted under the observation of ADEQ and Tai Hubbard, professional geologist, an independent karst geologist.

Collected samples will be transferred to Arkansas Analytical, an independent Arkansas certified environmental laboratory. Quality criteria have been set to assure the integrity of the samples. Validated laboratory results and analysis will require approximately six weeks and Harbor anticipates submitting a final findings report to ADEQ by January 2017.

Information on the drilling is on the ADEQ website at www.adeq.state.ar.us.