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
BA Environmental Studies
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
FEB 25, 2022
Earth & The Environment
High Temperatures Send More People to the ER for Mental Health Emergencies
FEB 25, 2022
High Temperatures Send More People to the ER for Mental Health Emergencies
High summer temperatures take a toll on the human body. Heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and dehydration are often caused by ...
APR 13, 2022
Genetics & Genomics
Human or Host? Parasites in Human History & Prehistory
APR 13, 2022
Human or Host? Parasites in Human History & Prehistory
We've all seen the latest historical interpretations on television, the movies, or even the stage. And while talented co ...
MAY 11, 2022
Technology
Tasting Robot Chef FTW!
MAY 11, 2022
Tasting Robot Chef FTW!
Let’s face it, robots are going to take over the world. But before these mechanical servants round us all up and p ...
MAY 13, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
How Do Bananas Ripen? The Dynamics of Spot Formation Reveal Secrets About Keeping the Fruit Fresh
MAY 13, 2022
How Do Bananas Ripen? The Dynamics of Spot Formation Reveal Secrets About Keeping the Fruit Fresh
A study out of Florida State University sets the foundation to reduce the 50 million tons of food waste per year linked ...
MAY 17, 2022
Health & Medicine
Reducing sedentary time mitigates the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
MAY 17, 2022
Reducing sedentary time mitigates the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
Sedentary literally means sitting or being physically inactive, and we often associate physical activity with exercise, ...
MAY 18, 2022
Technology
'Nanomagnetic' computing can provide low-energy artificial intelligence
MAY 18, 2022
'Nanomagnetic' computing can provide low-energy artificial intelligence
Science fiction has warned us time and time again that creating artificial intelligence (AI) will bring about our doom. ...
Loading Comments...