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Environmental Group Wants Lawmakers to Extend Hog Farm Moratorium

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RALEIGH — Calling lagoons an environmental disaster, a group of concerned citizens asked lawmakers Tuesday to change the way hog waste is disposed of in North Carolina.

Members of theHog Roundtable, and other groups, held a rally to convincelawmakersto extendthe banon new and expanded hog farms. The ban is currently scheduled to end September 1.

"There are methods out there for the industry to use," says Roundtable member Gary Grant. "There is available a way for them to do away with this other than to just dump it in open cesspools in the middle of communities and next door to people's homes."

He says the industry is not choosing other disposal options because "they're more concerned about the bottom line than they are about the health and welfare of the community."

The North Carolina Pork Councildisagrees. "We don't have a problem with new technologies," says pork council member Beth Anne Mumford. "Our problem is that none of these technologies are available to use on hog farms."

Council representatives say that despite a fewwell-publicized leaks, lagoons are safe for the environment and air when used correctly. They are looking forward to the end of the two-year ban.

"There's kind of been an economic moratorium," Mumford says. "We don't like the idea of the moratorium extending for two more years."

The governor has proposedphasing outthe use of hog lagoons in ten years. Some environmentalists want it done in half that time.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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