Regarding the Aug. 31 Focus article “Study finds hog farm waste in N.C. waters”: The debate over whether concentrated animal feeding operations pollute our surface water is not a debate at all. The study cited is just the latest in a decades-old series of scientific documentation of pollution from animal factories in North Carolina and is reminiscent of other instances where the findings of independent scientists are disputed by industry “hired guns” to create the illusion of a debate.
Does anyone really believe the meat industry would invest so much into discrediting independent science if it didn’t have anything to hide?
Common sense tells us that when an industry is allowed to store millions of gallons of raw feces in open-air, unlined pits then spray that untreated waste on heavily ditched fields all over the low-lying, waterlogged coastal plain, much of that waste will end up in our public waters.
Once again, science has confirmed that industrial meat production pollutes our waters, and, once again, we are left wondering what the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources will do about it.
When DENR commissioned this study, it promised to revisit whether more stringent monitoring was necessary. Will it choose to ignore its own science and side, once again, with a polluting industry? Or will it do what we need it to do – protect our environment?
Upper Neuse Riverkeeper, Sound Rivers, Inc.