North Carolina maintains lead in pig poop
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1996:
RALEIGH–Babe star James
Cromwell on November 12 asked to North
Carolina governor Jim Hunt to halt the construction
of yet another mega-hog farm in the
state, already the national leader in both pork
production and pollution from hog waste.
“No one has to be a vegetarian like
me to be repulsed by the suffering these animals
will endure, packed tightly indoors,
never seeing sunlight or feeling cool mud
beneath their feet,” Cromwell wrote.
Eight days earlier, the Hunt administration
relaxed pollution rules to let hog
farmers plagued by overflowing manure storage
tanks and rain-saturated fields pump more
slurry out onto the land, despite the likelihood
the slurry will contaminate waterways.
The action came two weeks after the
federal Department of Justice pre-empted the
administration of Virginia governor George
Allen to levy fines of $3.5 million against
Smithfield Foods Inc., the biggest pork
processor in the east, for at least five years of
polluting a Chesapeake Bay tributary.
“We have been talking to the Allen
administration for the past six months about
our concern over the lack of enforcement” of
water pollution laws against Smithfield, EPA
regional administrator W. Michael McCabe
said. Smithfield was the top donor to Allen’s
political action committee during 1995.
Moving the other way, Oklahoma
attorney general Drew Edmonson ruled in
mid-November that neighbors of proposed
hog farms and feedlots may demand a public
hearing before an operating license is issued.
The ruling followed a controversial issuance
of a water use permit to Kronseder Farms Inc.
for a $100 million facility that will house as
many as 142,400 hogs at a time in Woodward
County, near the North Canadian River.
The meat-packing giant IBP Inc.
resumed seeking a site for a hog slaughtering
plant in the Carolinas, after abandoning plans
to build in Marion County, South Carolina,
on October 23. “The company’s decision
came after South Carolina legislators tightened
restrictions on hog farming to add setbacks
from property lines and waterways, and
guidelines for waste disposal,” reported
Robert Behre of the Charleston Post &