North Carolina Hog Initiative
North Carolina is the second largest swine producing state in the country-producing close to 10 million hogs.
This enormous concentration of animals has been detrimental to the environmental health of North Carolina because of the heavy impact of discharged animal wastes on water resources, and these impacts are only exacerbated by the unsuitable waste management techniques often used on North Carolina CAFO facilities.
In 1999, Waterkeeper Alliance created its Pure Farms, Pure Waters Campaign to combat the threats posed by factory farms in North Carolina.
Working with a group of North Carolina Waterkeepers, including the Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper, the Lower Neuse Riverkeeper, the White Oak-New Riverkeeper, and the Cape Fear Riverkeeper, the Alliance has been challenging industrial farming in North Carolina by advocating for the control of animal waste pollution, the reduction of pollution runoff, and the promotion of sustainable agriculture.
All regions of North Carolina suffer, in varying degrees, from nutrient pollution, but due to consolidation, the impacts of swine production in North Carolina are born exponentially by the communities in eastern part of the State. That means that this vast Industry, an Industry that houses more animals than North Carolina houses people and generates 12 million pounds of hog waste per day, disposes of its waste in the small region of eastern North Carolina. Such large waste output is due partially to the fact that the average hog produces ten times the fecal waste of the average human being, or taken another way, that “a large farm with 800,000 hogs could produce over 1.6 million tons of manure per year, which is one and a half times more than the annual sanitary waste produced by the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – about 1 million tons – with a population of almost 151.5 million.” However, unlike the intensive treatment and monitoring of the wastes produced by those comparable human populations, swine waste typically goes through a very minimal treatment regiment that ultimately results in the land application of waste containing high levels of nutrients and bacteria.
The Bush Administration passed a rule allowing factory farms to hide information about toxic pollutants. Ask the EPA to withdraw that rule and allow communities to protect themselves.
Local CAFO Programs
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