Administrative Watch: DEQ Proposes Stronger Hog Farm Rules

Administrative Watch: DEQ Proposes Stronger Hog Farm Rules

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is now taking public comments on its proposed tightening of the rules governing big hog farms. Naturally, the industry is going whole hog in fighting any tighter environmental pollution controls that affect them.

While the rules could and should be tougher on the backwards, polluting practices currently used by Big Hog, the new proposals represent steps in the right direction. These include “groundwater monitoring, rain breakers — systems that automatically shut off spray field systems when it rains — daily documentation of hog deaths and disposal methods, as well as restrictions, depending on the wind, on the spraying of the hog waste. The department could also conduct surprise inspections rather than giving farms advance notice, a requirement sought by environmental justice groups. Accurately completing an odor checklist would also be a condition of the permit,” per NC Policy Watch.

Citizens concerned about the environmental impacts of these huge factory-style hog farms can act by submitting comments to DEQ on these new rules, which are conditions of the proposed updated “general permit” for large swine farms. To comment:

  • Email Christine Lawson, program manager of Animal Feeding Operations Division: christine.lawson@ncdenr.gov.
  • Include “draft general swine permit” in the subject line.
  • Provide summary details of your experience with the issues/problems and your recommendations for stronger rules.

The deadline for public comments is this Friday, December 7!

Up next, Lame Duck Attacks >>

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