Commentary

North Carolina company among nation’s biggest spenders on combating clean water rules

The good folks at Environment North Carolina and Environment America are out with a new report that flags one of North Carolina’s biggest industrial polluters for polluting our national policy debate as well. This is from the release that accompanied the report:

New Report Links Smithfield River Pollution to Political Spending

Raleigh, NC – The owner of Smithfield Foods spent $1.4 million on lobbying in a single year, according to a new report by Environment North Carolina The enormous spending came after Smithfield Packaging dumped over 2.3 million pounds of toxic chemicals into North Carolina’s waterways in 2012.

“Spending millions on lobbying and campaign contributions shouldn’t give polluters a free pass to dump toxins into our waterways,” said Liz Kazal, Environment North Carolina Field Associate. “We need to do more to ensure that the streams that flow into places like Jordan Lake and the Deep River are protected.”

Environment North Carolina’s report links discharges of toxic chemicals as reported in the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory for 2012 with federally reported campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures for 2014.

Major findings of the report include:

  • Smithfield Foods dumped 2,339,770 pounds of toxic pollution into North Carolina’s waterways.
  • Smithfield Packaging Company spent $1.4 million dollars on lobbying and $204,006 on 2014 campaign cycle.

Right now, polluters are lobbying their allies on Capitol Hill to derail EPA’s plan to restore Clean Water Act protections to 135,907 miles of streams in North Carolina. Loopholes in the law currently leave the waterways that feed the drinking water for 4.7 million North Carolinians at risk.

The report goes on to explain the horrific impact of water pollution like Smithfield’s (both on our natural environment and surrounding businesses). Click here to read more and learn about corporate lobbying to block clean-up efforts by the federal EPA.

3 Comments


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    March 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Did Smithfield foods move their headquarters from Smithfield Virginia? IF they did not move their HQ, then they would not be a NC company.

  2. joel english

    March 3, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    smithfield, n.c. in johnston county

  3. LayintheSmakDown

    March 4, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Uh, check again.

    When you google “Smithfield Foods Headquarters” you get the location of their headquarters. Plus, I live near and work a part time job in Smithfield and there is no corporate headquarters there. There actully is not much there but the outlets on 95.

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