TIME Magazine: Flooding From Hurricane Florence Is Overtaking Hog Farms and Coal Ash Dumps
Industrial hog farms and coal ash pits should have been cleaned up long ago, but the General Assembly's insistence on protecting corporate polluters instead of public health resulted in these spills. Lawmakers should take the blame for whatever public health disaster this results in.
Flooded rivers from Florence’s drenching rains have swamped coal ash dumps and low-lying hog farms, raising pollution concerns as the swollen waterways approach their crests Monday.
North Carolina environmental regulators say several open-air manure pits at hog farms have failed, spilling pollution. State officials also were monitoring the ongoing threat from the breach of a Duke Energy coal ash landfill near Wilmington.
Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan said Monday that the earthen dam at one hog lagoon in Duplin County had been breached. There were also seven reports of lagoon levels going over their tops or being inundated in Jones and Pender counties.
Regan said state investigators will visit the sites as conditions allow. The large pits at hog farms hold feces and urine from the animals to be sprayed on nearby fields.