Uncategorized

Fayetteville Observer on another water pollution crisis

Hog industryCoal ash isn’t the only pollutant wreaking havoc in North Carolina’s waterways these days; the enormous problems posed by industrial hog production are back in the news. As noted in this space last week, there’s a stomach-turning crisis underway as you read this in involving a porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus outbreak in North Carolina.

This morning’s Fayetteville Observer weighs in on the subject with an editorial bearing the marvelously understated headline “Our view: Dead pigs, water may be an unhealthy mix.” As the editorial notes (after describing in grim detail what’s been going on) the recent coal ash disaster caused by lax regulation offers little hope that regulators are taking all necessary steps:

“Pig carcasses are generally buried in pits on the farms. In normal times, this may not put much contamination into the groundwater, although the leader of the nonprofit Clean Water for North Carolina says voluntary water monitoring around hog farms showed elevated nitrogen and bacterial contamination long before PED arrived. Two other nonprofits – the Waterkeeper Alliance and North Carolina Riverkeepers – say burying millions of carcasses could be loading bacteria and other pathogens into the groundwater, and ultimately into the drinking water in many communities.

The groups want Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler to release more information about the effects of the epidemic, but it’s not clear if there’s information to release. And Gov. Pat McCrory’s office is leaving it to Troxler, with a spokesman saying, “We’re confident he’ll request additional support from the Governor’s Office if needed.”

In a state where a hands-off regulatory environment just resulted in a massive coal-ash spill in Eden, we’d expect a more vigilant response than that. But as we saw with Duke Energy’s coal-ash ponds, the state is more eager to protect industry than to safeguard public health and safety.”

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

Check Also

Cooper continues winning streak against legislators; Judges grant TRO

In case you missed it earlier this evening, ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

With just a few hours left until the crossover deadline, the state of North Carolina’s environment i [...]

On Monday morning, there was only one way left to save the Court of Appeals and a few hours with whi [...]

The political compromise that repealed HB2 was enough for the NCAA and ACC, both of which have retur [...]

Conference comes a day after new report lauds benefits of same-day registration The new line-up for [...]

How many times do we have to say it? Well, it’s worth repeating – especially in the aftermath of rec [...]

As the national pundits weigh in on President Trump’s first 100 days in office and the General Assem [...]

How the General Assembly is spending “crossover week” and what it ought to be doing The last week of [...]

To casual observers, the recent controversy surrounding public school class-size mandates in grades [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more