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Smelly North Carolina
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16734
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 1:42 pm    Post subject: Smelly North Carolina Reply with quote

When an addiction to barbecue and sweet tea becomes damaging to a state's environment and reputation.

Quote:
Instead of implementing safer systems, activists say Smithfield Foods is seeking to profit from hog waste under the guise of ‘renewable energy’

Michael Sainato and Chelsea Skojec
Fri 11 Dec 2020 04.00 EST

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 run,” said Herring.

She explained they also deal with constant trucks on the road, hauling pigs, dead and alive, in and out of the area, feed trucks, and the flies and mice that the farms attract.

Eastern North Carolina has about 4,000 pink hued pools of pig feces, urine and blood as a result of the hog industry, where 9m pigs produce over 10bn gallons of waste annually in the state. When the waste lagoons reach capacity, excess waste is sprayed on to nearby fields. In 2000, Smithfield Foods agreed with state officials in North Carolina to finance research to find and install alternatives to the waste lagoons and spraying systems, but none were deemed economically feasible.

But now – instead of implementing safer waste systems – Smithfield Foods is pushing to use the hog waste lagoons to collect, transport and sell the methane gas they produce. That terrifies many local people and environmental activists who see it as seeking to profit from an ecological problem rather than fix it.

Hog waste is pumped into a lagoon near Wallace, North Carolina.
Hog waste is pumped into a lagoon near Wallace, North Carolina. Photograph: Justin Cook/The Guardian
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“It only lines their pockets. They’re trying to sell it as renewable energy. It’s only renewable if pigs continue to poop, which is why I’m afraid they’re going to push the moratorium on new hog farms, because if you have that great of a demand, you have to supply to meet it,” added Herring.

“They’re not treating the waste, they’re converting it, so how is that hog waste ever clean?”

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is considering the first permit approval for an industrial-scale biogas project in North Carolina, which would cap waste lagoons from industrial pig farms in the state, capturing the methane and transporting it through pipelines to a processing plant.

The product, called biogas, is being proposed by a $500m joint venture between Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy, Align RNG, as a solution to the hog waste pollution problems plaguing North Carolina, but residents and environmental organizers are raising concerns that the project will worsen the problem.

Pigs are seen in a pen at a farm in Ayden, North Carolina.

“The biogas is a false solution,” said Naemma Muhammad, a community organizer and resident of Duplin county. “It doesn’t solve the problems we’ve been dealing with for three decades, which is to get rid of the lagoons and spraying systems so people can breathe and enjoy their property in the way they intended. We don’t need anything to encourage this industry to continue business as usual.”

The Grady Road Project includes trapping methane gas at 19 industrial hog waste sites in Duplin and Sampson counties in North Carolina, where over 30 miles of pipelines will be constructed to a central processing facility and distributed through existing natural gas pipelines. Duplin and Sampson counties are the top-hog producing counties in the US. The project is one of several biogas proposals being pushed by Smithfield and Dominion Energy.

Muhammad noted residents still don’t know where the 30 miles of pipeline will be laid or which waste lagoons will be used for the project, and the pipelines will pose greater risks of spills and leaks to the wetlands and groundwater in the region.

The methane capturing also produces other pollutants, posing greater risks to nearby communities when waste is sprayed on fields and spills are common, especially during strong storms.

“The process creates excessive concentrations of ammonia by extracting the methane,” said Sherri White-Williamson, the environmental justice policy director of North Carolina Conservation Network. “This is another way for the industry to be able to keep the lagoon sprayfield system in place. This is not a good system and to continue to find ways to justify keeping that system in place makes no sense.”

The waste produced by the industry has a long documented impact on the health, living conditions and pollution of communities near these hog farms, recognized as environmental racism as Black people, Native Americans and Latinos are more likely to live there than white people, according to a 2014 study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Living in the vicinity of a hog industrial operation has been linked to chronic illnesses such as asthma, anemia, kidney disease, certain cancers and high blood pressure.

“Methane aside, hundreds of other air and water pollutants remain uncaptured and are emitted untreated by the lagoon and sprayfield system to the environment and the communities which surround these facilities,” said Ryke Longest, the co-director of the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic at Duke University.

Will Hendrick, the staff attorney for Waterkeeper Alliance, noted North Carolina’s senate bill 315 passed in 2020 removed environmental standard requirements to pave the way for proposals such as the biogas project, despite other existing and cleaner technologies to produce biogas.

Young hogs at Everette Murphrey Farm in Farmville, North Carolina. Waste from the industry has had a long documented impact on the health of nearby communities.

Those standards called for new or modified permits to address five environmental problems with hog waste, including the elimination of animal waste discharge to surface water and groundwater, and substantially eliminating ammonia, odor, disease transmitting vectors, and nutrient and heavy metal contamination.

“The biggest problem with their biogas proposal is it fails to address those five long known well-documented problems,” said Hendrick. “Now suddenly they have money to invest in waste management technologies, but are conveniently overlooking their commitment to the people of North Carolina.”

The hog industry tried to appeal nuisance lawsuits won by residents in North Carolina over the effects of waste and odors from hog industry farms, and North Carolina legislators passed laws in response to the lawsuits limiting the ability of residents to sue the industry. A federal court recently upheld the verdict, in which a federal judge noted there was ample evidence farming practices persisted despite known harmful effects to neighbors. Herring was a party to that suit.

According to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, a decision on the permit application will be decided within approximately 30 days after the hearing, which will be scheduled after 20 November.

“We care about their health and the health of our environment. That’s why we started this project in the first place, to improve the region’s air quality and protect the climate for future generations,” said a spokesperson for Dominion Energy. They claimed the project will reduce emissions in the area by more than 150,000 metric tons a year.

“We will continue reaching out to make sure everyone’s voice is heard and everyone has the facts. The community has our pledge we’re going to do this the right way.”
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16734
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turns out it is unhealthy as well. Can't have any of that socialism health care keeping people healthy. But techno should rest assured that Alabama is at the bottom.

Quote:

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The nine states on the list right after Massachuettes are Rhode Island, Minnesota, Hawaii, Maryland, Vermont, Colorado, Iowa, Connecticut and South Dakota.

The five states ranked at the bottom just above Alabama are North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3974

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac, you just don't get it. I haven't hyped anything positive about North Carolina other than where I live and its proximity to the mountains and the ocean, plus the annual rainfall is significant and forest fires cause almost no problems. However, there are issues that the state struggles with, but as I have posted before:

Since 1901, there have been 23 Democratic and 3 Republican Governors. My point is to highlight the issues with liberal leadership and that's why I pick on Nutty California. The more you shout about the pig shit in NC, the more you highlight the down side of liberal leadership. Thanks for supporting my concerns.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 5084

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The deep thinker from Berkeley sneers at the lifestyle and plight of the rural poor, a large percentage of whom are black or other minority. and then cites as his authority an author that can't even count to five. What a guy!
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16734
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
The deep thinker from Berkeley sneers at the lifestyle and plight of the rural poor, a large percentage of whom are black or other minority. and then cites as his authority an author that can't even count to five. What a guy!


What a guy. Cannot read for comprehension. I’ll make it simple. Government in North Carolina, for reasons that you are welcome to explain, refuses to adequately regulate water quality, or take advantage of the benefits of the ACA. That increases the plight of the poor. I’m sneering at those who attack California instead of doing something to improve North Carolina, and conservatives who prevent regulation and the health benefits of the ACA.

Non thinker from Virginia may lower the average IQ in NC when he visits.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16734
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, in North Carolina, OB means obesity, not just Outer Banks. Despite the addiction to barbecue, North Carolina does not feature the highest obesity rate. At about 35%, it rates between the US average (31.9%) and the fattest state, Mississippi. But it has increased by 20% since 1990.

An excellent reason to ignore the ACA and make fun of Michele Obama’s efforts to get people to eat better, eh? After all, it will take some real eating to pass Mississippi.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 3125

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Techno,
The Democratic Party has not always been liberal nor has the Republican Party always been conservative, especially in the south. It was LBJ’s civil rights bill in the mid 60’s that caused all the white southern conservatives to jump to the Republican Party.
All those Democratic governors before 1965 were not liberal, otherwise your Jim Crow laws would have been abolished long before 1965.

Coachg
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3974

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coachg, I understand all that, but conservative leadership has been at a minimum. But for sake of full disclosure check out:

https://ballotpedia.org/Party_control_of_North_Carolina_state_government

Since 1999, Democrats had full control of the Governor, House and Senate for 12 years, while the Republicans had 4 years of full control. The remaining 7 years had split control.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16734
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don’t even have to read, you can podcast your way to knowledge.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/9/16/21430837/future-perfect-podcast-season-3-north-carolina-cafo-pig-farm
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16734
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don’t even have to read, you can podcast your way to knowledge.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/9/16/21430837/future-perfect-podcast-season-3-north-carolina-cafo-pig-farm

9 million pigs in North Carolina, in confined feeding facilities. They produce far more waste than humans. The North Carolina response was a bill in 2020 that largely codified existing industry practices. California regulates confined feeding facilities. North Carolina seems to gaslight neighbors who are affected. Perhaps one of our good old boys can provide an explanation for the politics. It certainly can’t be blamed on ten year in the past legislators and governors..

https://aboutblaw.com/RkM
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