One of the more controversial bills passed by the North Carolina General Assembly last year was the so-called Hog Waste Bill, HB 467, which was vetoed by Governor Cooper, only to have the veto overturned by the NCGA, as reported by Indy Week. The law limits the damages that nearby property owners can be awarded when their properties are affected by hog waste, sprayed into the environment by large scale hog farms.
Environmental groups cite a number of concerns about the impact of animal waste from so-called CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations, including the disproportionate impact of animal waste on communities of color and low-income communities and their effect on human health and the ecosystem. Rolling Stone recently published an exposé of the industry in North Carolina, claiming that North Carolina has become an attractive destination for Chinese companies to produce pork because of our state's relatively lax regulatory environment. On the other hand, the NC Pork Council and political supporters of HB467, such as Representative Jimmy Dixon and Senator Brent Jackson, claim that the measures taken by the NCGA give clarity and protection to farmers.
Find out more about the issue of animal waste contamination by reading the links below. Do you know where candidates in your district stand on this issue? Contact them to find out before you cast your vote.
- Indy Week: "Hogwashed", a series of articles examining the impact of hog farming
- Sierra Club: "The CAFO Industry's Impact on the Environment and Public Health"
- Rolling Stone: "Why is China Treating North Carolina Like the Developing World?"
- NC Pork Council statement on HB 467