EDF Works Towards Cleaner Hog Farms in NC

by 5m Editor
10 September 2008, at 9:02am

NORTH CAROLINA - With an astonishing ten million pigs in North Carolina’s hog industry, animal waste stored in open lagoons is a major environmental and health threat.

A program by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) worked towards enactment last summer is poised to begin the installation of cleaner technologies, bringing relief to hog farmers, their long-suffering neighbors and the environment.

Hogs on a factory farm in North Carolina.
(Photo courtesy USDA.)

Grants awarded to turn hog waste into fertilizer

This June, under its new Lagoon Conversion Program, the state awarded grants of up to $500,000 each to two hog farms and a nearby plant that will use new technology to turn the waste from 60,000 hogs into fertilizer.

“This is a great beginning for the state’s push to convert all open-air lagoons to modern systems,” said scientist Dr. Joseph Rudek.

Polluton from waste documented and a new law shaped

In recent years Rudek and his colleagues in the Raleigh office helped document air and water pollution from the open lagoons and shaped legislation that permanently banned new lagoons. Rudek also served on the committee that evaluated alternatives and chose the new waste treatment system, which cuts ammonia 80% and virtually eliminates pathogens and odor.

Along with Frontline Farmers, a coalition from the hog industry, EDF are working to make conversion to the new systems economically feasible. “Once we get these systems working on the ground, we can develop a market and bring down installation and operating costs,” Rudek said.

5m Editor