Permit raises cap on Smithfield's hog slaughter

US - More than 1 million additional hogs may go to market annually at Smithfield Packing Co.’s processing plant in North Carolina.
calendar icon 29 June 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

The state Division of Water Quality has recently renewed Smithfield’s water usage and discharge permit. raising the cap on how many hogs the plant may kill per year to 9.5 million, up by about 1.0 million pigs.

The permit also sets new restrictions on the company’s water usage and the amount of disscharge it can put into the Cape Fear River.

The company says the increased slaughter potential will put more money into the pockets of its 5,000 workers and into the local economy.

Environmental activist Rick Dove of the Waterkeeper Alliance worries that the production increase could cause more water pollution from the farms used to supply the plant, but a provision in the permit aims to prevent that. Although he said that he had not reviewed the permit.

About 130 people attended a public hearing in March on Smithfield’s request to increase production. Nearly half of the people who spoke before Division of Water Quality officials used the opportunity to air grievances about work conditions and injuries at the plant.

The permit takes effect July15 and ends in October 2011.

“It sounds like they granted pretty much what we were asking for,” said Smithfield spokesman Dennis Pittman on Thursday evening. He was traveling and had not seen details of the permit.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.