• The great methane debate and what it could mean for North Carolina

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch April 21, 2021 Environmental advocates want stronger regulation of the potent greenhouse gas, but ag and energy interests are touting biogas More than 2,200 industrialized hog farms and another 200-plus dairy operations in North Carolina are constantly belching untold amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and driver of climate change, into the air. Yet because of the EPA’s inertia and the livestock industry’s significant political power, these farms have eluded any meaningful regulations of their methane emissions and their contribution to the climate crisis. More than two dozen environmental groups recently petitioned the EPA to regulate industrialized swine…


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  • Converting hog waste into energy: Not as neat and simple as it might sound

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch April 2, 2021 Public comment period ends Sunday on Optima TH’s air pollution permit for facility at Smithfield slaughterhouse  Optima TH has applied for a state air quality permit to operate a major biogas facility at Smithfield Fresh Meats in the Bladen County town of Tar Heel. If approved, Optima TH could emit 24,500 to 40,800 tons of greenhouse gases each year. Biogas, in the form of methane, would be collected from Smithfield’s wastewater treatment system, upgraded onsite at the Optima TH facility to meet natural gas standards, and then injected into a Piedmont Natural…


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  • The North Carolina hog industry’s answer to pollution: a $500m pipeline project

    By: Michael Sainato, The Guardian December 11, 2020 Elsie Herring of Duplin county, North Carolina, lives in the house her late mother grew up in, but for the past several decades her home has been subjected to pollution from nearby industrial hog farms. “We have to deal with whether it’s safe to go outside. It’s a terrible thing to open the door and face that waste. It makes you want to throw up. It takes your breath away, it makes your eyes…


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  • Keeping an Eye on the impacts of Factory Farms

    SIGN UP FOR FACTORY FARM WATCH DIGEST! 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 If you’re interested in staying updated on our project and the latest poultry-related news, click the button below! SIGN UP FOR FACTORY FARM WATCH DIGEST!


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