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Environmental Groups say 10,000-Hog Farm Pollutes Waterways

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Factory Farming & Food Safety page.

In a lawsuit filed in federal district court, the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, the Waterkeeper Alliance and Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation accuse a Jones County hog farmer of illegally disposing of and discharging animal waste into creeks, rivers, ditches and lands surrounding the farm.

The waterkeepers and environmental activists contend that Taylor Finishing, a hog farm in Trenton, and its owner are violating the federal Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act - laws governing water pollution and the disposal of solid waste.

The plaintiffs contend that pollution from the farm is endangering people who fish, swim, boat and live along the Trent and Neuse rivers, miles of waterway that empty into the Pamlico Sound south of New Bern.

The July 27 suit comes several months after the expiration of a legally required notice period, during which the farm and its owner had the opportunity to bring the operation into compliance with federal environmental laws.

It also comes several weeks after Thomas Walker, the top federal prosecutor in the Eastern District for the past year, reaffirmed his commitment to protecting the state's scenic and natural resources.

The case has been selected for mediation, according to federal court files.

The Neuse River, which rises in the Piedmont and flows through Durham and Raleigh on its way southeast, has been plagued in recent decades with environmental and public-health problems related to municipal and agricultural waste water discharge, storm runoff, and other sources of pollution.
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