North Carolina is the second-largest swine producing state creating a major environmental hazard. And to add to it, a five-year study to find more environmentally friendly ways to treat hog waste turned up several options – but none could make the farmers pay for.
The nearly 10 million swine on North Carolina hog farms have been abusing the region’s environment, by producing enormous amounts of manure and urine. And these are flushed from barns into open-air waste ponds and later sprayed on fields as fertilizer.
“The jury’s still out on how much these technologies will actually cost once they are on the farms… We know the alternatives are out there, but the costs appear out of reach,” said Dan Whittle, a senior attorney for the nonprofit Environmental Defense.