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Hog waste plans work

by 5m Editor
11 July 2007, at 10:22am

US - Environmental Defense wants to persuade state legislators, as well as the pork industry, that replacing hog waste lagoons with cleaner systems makes environmental and economic sense.

The state’s chapter of the national environmental organisation has rolled out the results of an 18-month study on the issue. Joe Rudek, the senior scientist with Environmental Defense in Raleigh, said it should help end debate over the affordability of replacing the lagoons with more environmentally friendly waste systems.

Moratorium

The report comes when state legislators are considering extending a 10-year moratorium on the expansion of the state’s hog industry. Lawmakers also are discussing whether to begin a pilot program that would use state money to put new technologies in up to 100 hog farms in the state.

The report, “Economic Impacts of Installing Innovative Technologies on North Carolina Hog Farms,” says implementing new technologies would have a positive economic ripple effect on many other industries. Building the systems, as well as operating and maintaining them, would create jobs in rural counties, typically the poorest areas of the state.

And because many of the new technologies create marketable byproducts from the waste — compost and fertilizers as well as fodder for alternative fuels — the added revenues and benefits would offset the costs of the systems, the report says.

Tanya Vujic, a lawyer with the North Carolina office of Environmental Defense, said market-based solutions often can be found to solve environmental problems. The study is a good example, she said, of how economics and environmental progress can be combined to benefit North Carolina.

Deborah Johnson, the chief executive officer of the N.C. Pork Council, a group that lobbies for the industry, said she and others with the council have yet to review the study’s findings. Johnson wants to see how it relates to economic analyses of new technologies that have already been performed.

Source: FayObserver.com

5m Editor