Keeping an Eye on the impacts of Factory Farms

CWFNC’s newest project addresses the under-regulated poultry industry and its threat to drinking water and community health. Poultry operations are spreading across the state at an alarming speed, while our state agencies downplay their risk to both people and the environment. These farms negatively impact the health of nearby residents, pollute the air and water, and neglect the safety of their workers. Alongside preexisting efforts by Environmental Working Group and the Waterkeeper Alliance, we will push for better permitting, transparency, and enforcement to help mitigate this issue for North Carolinians. 

Advocacy groups and investigative journalists have released a number of eye-opening reports and news articles to call attention to the dangers of industrial animal operations and how this impacts each and every one of us.

Here is a collection of recent news and reports: 

REPORTS:

UNDER THE RADAR 
NC Regulators have Ignored the Decade-Long Explosion of Poultry CAFOs
, which create 5 million tons of nutrient-laden poultry waste a year (4.8 times more nitrogen & 4.1 times more phosphorous waste from poultry than from pigs).
EWG, Feb 13, 2019

Investigation: Counties With Meatpacking Plants Report Twice the National Average Rate of COVID-19 Infections
Counties with or near meatpacking plants have almost twice the rate of known COVID-19 infections as the national average, according to a geospatial analysis by the Environmental Working Group.
EWG, May 14, 2020

NEWS:

Nearly a billion birds producing five million tons of waste per year
While hog farms and their waste are monitored by DEQ, poultry farms remain under the jurisdiction of the agricultural department, which has limited knowledge of their whereabouts.
NC Policy Watch, May 19, 2020

DEQ lists progress on environmental justice, swine farms; critics say enforcement essential
NC DEQ released a draft of a violation point system that can be used to better gauge animal farms' permit compliance as well as the first version of an anonymous compliant tool.
NC Policy Watch, May 15, 2020

‘They didn’t tell us anything’: North Carolina poultry plant workers say Butterball isn’t protecting them from COVID-19
Up to 52 workers at the Duplin County Butterball plant tested positive, but the company and NC government won’t confirm the number of cases, leaving communities at risk, confused, and demanding transparency.
Southerly Magazine, May 1, 2020

FACTORY FARMS: A PANDEMIC IN THE MAKING.
Most recent pandemics have been the result of zoonotic viruses “spilling over” to humans from animals
, in many cases through domestic livestock right here in the U.S.
US PIRG, Apr 24, 2020

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