SEP 22, 2018 04:02 PM PDT

Overflow from hog waste threatens North Carolina post-Florence

Things have gotten pretty smelly in the aftermath of Florence. North Carolina is the second-largest hog-farming state in the country, home to 3,300 “hot lagoons” that house the animals’ waste in order to eventually be converted for the purposes of fertilizer. North Carolina is now facing overflows from the hog waste collection sites in several parts of the state. According to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), 13 hog lagoons topped over from the storm, sending waste into surrounding areas.

Officials say that the game isn’t over, for as rivers continue to rise, perhaps up to an additional thirty lagoons could follow the same fate. One such rising river is the Neuse River, which follows along the town of New Bern. The flow from the Neuse flooded farms, homes, and businesses, leaving an unpleasant stench of hog waste in its path.

Duplin County, which sits 60 miles from Wilmington, was another county that suffered from a lagoon overflow. The land-lying land is vulnerable to flooding. “An on-site inspection showed that solids remained in the lagoon,” the pork council said. The council did not elaborate on what steps were being taken to manage the crisis.

As The Guardian explains, this is not the first issue that Carolina residents have faced with the hot-farming industry. “Activists have campaigned against the collection of hog waste for years. The hog industry collects the feces before spraying it on to fields as fertilizer, creating a lingering stench. In July, Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, was ordered to pay $473.5m to people who live near three of its North Carolina farms after residents brought a case against the issues they encountered from the sewage.”

Residents and environmental activists alike are also concerned of the impact from toxic coal ash, which has been released in huge amounts (200,000 tons in the town of Conway, SC), from burning coal at power plants. Coal ash is toxic because of the mercury and arsenic it contains.

Sources: The Guardian, Mother Nature Network

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 22, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 22, 2019
Will Banana Crops Survive a Changing Climate?
Climate change impacts, most notably rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, are impacting agricultural production around the world. It&rs...
NOV 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 22, 2019
North American Bird Populations Fell 29% Over 50 Years, But is it Too Late?
Birds are often at the forefront of interest when it comes to wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Sadly, new scientific research suggests that bird pop...
NOV 22, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 22, 2019
Methylmercury levels rising with climate change
Researchers from the University of New Hampshire have recently published a study in the journal Geochemical Perspectives Letters detailing the consequences...
NOV 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 22, 2019
Even Seabirds in Remote Regions Are Impacted by Climate Change
Antarctic albatrosses are one of the world’s most distinguishable seabirds, and if you didn’t already know, they rely on the strong breezes tha...
NOV 22, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 22, 2019
Study Confirms Hurricanes are Getting Much Worse
If it seems like hurricanes have become more destructive in recent years, it’s because they have. Thanks to a new damage-framing method accounting fo...
NOV 22, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 22, 2019
"Sea-thru" Algorithm Clarifies Underwater Photos
Have you ever tried to take photographs underwater, only to be sorely disappointed by the results? Pictures of vivid underwater scenery usually appear very...
Loading Comments...