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US Pig Farm Sued Over Hazardous Pollutant Emissions

14 July 2015, at 12:00am

US - The Hanor Company of Wisconsin is facing a lawsuit for failing to report releases of hazardous amounts of ammonia from one of its North Carolina pig farms.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Sound Rivers, Inc. filed the lawsuit on behalf of the facility’s neighbours.

To protect the public, the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires large-scale emitters of ammonia and other dangerous chemicals to report those releases to state and local authorities.

According to the US' Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ammonia is an “extremely hazardous” substance.

It can cause serious health problems in people and animals, including burning and scarring the respiratory tract, reflex throat closure, loss of consciousness and even death. Ammonia also harms the environment by impairing air and water quality, endangering wildlife and the habitat on which they depend, and threatening farm animal health.

According to HSUS, Hanor’s North Carolina facility holds more than 8,000 pigs, generating about 38,000 gallons of manure and urine every day and emitting thousands of pounds of ammonia every month. Although required to report these ammonia emissions, the company apparently never has during the last five years.

Hanor is part of Triumph Foods, which collectively owns the second largest population of sows in the US.

The HSUS and Sound Rivers are represented by James L. Conner, II of Calhoun, Bhella & Sechrest, LLP in Durham, N.C., Daniel C. Snyder of the Law Offices of Charles M. Tebbutt, P.C. and lawyers with The HSUS animal protection litigation section.

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