Hurricane Florence Lays Waste to North Carolina Hog Farms

When Hurricane Florence was first predicted to make landfall in Eastern North Carolina earlier this month, Governor Roy Cooper issued the unprecedented action of ordering state-mandated evacuations for many ENC residents. But in one county alone, 2.9 million residents stayed put: the hogs of Duplin County, N.C. Riding out the storm with them? Their waste. Hurricane aside, the Duplin County hogs have had a stormy year. Inundated with high-profile nuisance lawsuits, neighbors of the county’s industrial hog plants have sought damages for the hassle of living next to the pork producers. These nuisance claims have focused on the industry’s use of “anaerobic lagoons,” a process of storing hog waste in controlled pools, liquefying the feces, and spraying it on fields as fertilizer. The neighbor-plaintiffs argue anaerobic lagoons bring with them hordes of flies, an overpowering stench, and other negative externalities that severely reduce the quality of life of…

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