NC Civil Rights Groups Say Hog Waste ‘Biogas’ Harms Communities of Color

"In a complaint filed with the EPA, the activists alleged that creating natural gas from methane in hog waste will increase ammonia pollution in the air and water."

"Two North Carolina civil rights organizations have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the approval by state environmental regulators of a plan to produce “biogas” from vast waste lagoons at large industrial hog operations despite what they say is the likelihood that the project will increase air and water pollution.

In a complaint filed Tuesday by the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Duplin County branch of the NAACP and the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign alleged that degraded “groundwater, surface water and air quality” would disproportionately harm predominantly Black and Latinx residents in violation of both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and state environmental laws.

Duplin and Sampson Counties, where the four permitted swine facilities owned by Smithfield Foods Inc. are located, have the highest concentration of hog operations in the United States. A total of 9 million hogs are raised annually at 2,000 industrial hog operations “in the low-lying, flood-prone coastal plain of eastern North Carolina,” the complaint said."

Aman Azhar reports for Inside Climate News September 29, 2021.

Source: Inside Climate News, 09/30/2021