Several groups and community members expressed concerns about the effects that the hog farming industry is having on the local environment at a meeting held by the N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality at James Sprunt Community College in Kenansville on Feb. 19.
At the meeting, representatives of River Keepers, a group dedicated to maintaining river safety, complained that swine farming is causing substantial damages to land and air quality.
Multiple individuals at the event said swine farming so negatively impacts air quality that they stay inside to avoid the smell. In addition, the waste it produces could run down toward waterways and contaminate swimming and drinking water.
A representative of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network also pointed to the fact that many hog production plants are located in low-income communities, which lack the funds and leverage to affect change.
This meeting comes right before state permitting laws come up for review and changes, which would impact the swine, poultry and cattle industries.