SEP 22, 2018 4:02 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
MAY 17, 2020
Plants & Animals
Is This the First Known Swimming Dinosaur?
MAY 17, 2020
Is This the First Known Swimming Dinosaur?
If you think back to most of Hollywood’s dinosaur-based films, then you’ll probably remember that the bulk o ...
JUN 04, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Hydrogen-Powered Tankers Could Be the Future Face of Global Logistics
JUN 04, 2020
Hydrogen-Powered Tankers Could Be the Future Face of Global Logistics
International trade heavily depends on gigantic cargo ships to transport goods across oceans, and a majority of these ma ...
JUN 12, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Green Chemistry: Micelle-Based Technique Could Cure Chemists of Their "Hydrophobia"
JUN 12, 2020
Green Chemistry: Micelle-Based Technique Could Cure Chemists of Their "Hydrophobia"
While water is essential to many aspects of our life, it is the least popular thing in a chemistry laboratory. The major ...
JUN 14, 2020
Plants & Animals
Giant Hornet Queen Struggles to Establish Her Nest
JUN 14, 2020
Giant Hornet Queen Struggles to Establish Her Nest
Giant hornets are among the world’s largest and deadliest hornets, which might explain why they’re so revere ...
JUL 15, 2020
Plants & Animals
New Research Reveals Beluga Whale Social Networks
JUL 15, 2020
New Research Reveals Beluga Whale Social Networks
The familial and social relationships between whales, such as orcas and bottlenose dolphins, are moderately understood. ...
JUL 31, 2020
Plants & Animals
This Fungus Spreads by Manipulating Male Cicadas into Mimicking Females
JUL 31, 2020
This Fungus Spreads by Manipulating Male Cicadas into Mimicking Females
Researchers from West Virginia University (WVU) recently discovered how a parasitic fungus uses male cicadas to spread i ...
Loading Comments...