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      North Carolina is one of the biggest hog-farming states in the US, with about 9 million pigs being raised on some 2,300 farms. That equals a lot of manure—about 10 billion pounds of wet animal waste are produced in the state a year, according to the Waterkeeper Alliance. Farms store the pigs’ feces in uncovered, earthen lagoons, some the size of football fields. And now they’re at risk of becoming a public health hazard when Hurricane Florence touches down.The storm is set to sweep through North Carolina on Thursday or Friday, and the manure lagoons are squarely in its path .

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          Gayle Killian
          2 months ago

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          The hog-waste update.

          The Department of Environmental Quality reported Tuesday that 4 lagoons had structural damage, nine were inundated by floods, and 13 had overtopped. (“Inundated” means flood water levels have risen above the top of the lagoon, and “overtopped” means enough rain accumulated within the lagoon to flow out of the container.)

          Environmental activists are arguing that the state should have seen these risks coming and prepared for them better, particularly given the region’s history. Hurricane Floyd in 1999 also led to lagoons contaminating North Carolina’s waterways, killing fish and leading to algae blooms.

          https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/9/18/17873632/hurricane-florence-flooding-hog-lagoon-waste-coal-ash-north-carolina

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              Gayle Killian
              2 months ago

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              Gayle Killian Some years ago I was consulting with a waste remediation firm where the discussions included hog farms in North Carolina. The precautions were arguably capable of handling a low level cat 1, at best. The problem here is the insane amount of water contained in the engine of Florence, and while the winds may be cat 1, the water amount is that of a cat three. The flooding will be devastated and the hog manure pits will be vulnerable to both flooding and wall breech, particularly since many of the pools are of earthen construction. It does not take a massive farm to contaminate the ground water for years, and the smaller farms have far inferior infrastructure.

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                  BridgeTourJade
                  2 months ago

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                  Ugh, it's horrifying and disgusting to think about. I know the waste has to be dealt with, but if you live in an area where this is a possibility, greater steps need to be taken to protect the environment.

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