North Carolina Has A Pig Poop Problem

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, generate a tremendous amount of livestock feces and waste. In North Carolina, hog CAFOs are clustered in low-income, minority communities, with untreated hog waste seeping into the surrounding air and drinking water. They can also release harsh, burning odors that severely degrade everyday quality-of-life. Stricter limits on the number of animals in a certain area, rigorous air monitoring of CAFO emissions, and enforcing better practices for spreading animal waste can protect the everyday and long-term health of impacted communities.

The Dirty Truth About Biogas

Despite the clean-sounding name, biogas is very dirty. Biogas is created by capturing the harmful emissions from CAFOs and converting them into fuel. These operations release multiple pollutants into the air that threaten the health of surrounding communities, including ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter, and methane. Biogas producers can improve their transparency through rigorous monitoring and reporting programs, and can safeguard community health by setting stricter limits on harmful pollution emissions.

Together We Can Make A Difference

The Division of Water Resources has been directed by the North Carolina General Assembly to develop general permits by July 1, 2022, for existing CAFOs that intend to utilize a digester system. The NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has opened a public comment period through close of business, on May 2 and is hosting the final public hearing on April 21 at 6pm via Webex. CleanAIRE NC’s Policy Manager, Joel Porter, will speak at the virtual hearing to urge DEQ to add safeguards to protect our state’s air and water and the health of residents in surrounding nearby communities. Please attend the hearing to learn more and to show your support for stronger air and water protections. If you wish to speak at the virtual hearing, sign-up here by 4pm on April 21.

DEQ Virtual Public Hearing

April 21, 2022 @ 6pm | Event number: 2436 024 6769
Event password: NCDEQ (62337 from phones)
Join by phone: 415-655-0003 | Access code: 2436 024 6769
Línea telefónica de interpretación en español: 415-655-0003 | Access code: 242 976 22930

Demand Stronger Protections Against Hog Farm Pollution

Reach out to DEQ today and urge them to include commonsense protections for our air, water, and people into the biogas general permit.

Past Wins

Last summer, CleanAIRE NC and partners reached a settlement agreement with biogas plant Align RNG and DEQ that will improve community health protections in Sampson County. Align RNG has agreed to set new limits on air pollution coming from the plant. Align will also be required to monitor for (and publicly report) methane leaks going forward. Read the full press release >>

Check out our Q&A on biogas to learn more >>