As Hurricane Dorian pummeled the Carolinas Thursday, environmentalists warned the powerful storm could unleash millions of tons of manure and other animal waste if it floods the factory farms situated on the North Carolina coast.
Soren Rundquist, who studies the expansion of factory farms for the Environmental Working Group (EWG), said “the most important thing right now is that people stay safe” as the hurricane bears down on the southeast U.S.
“But we’re also watching the thousands of North Carolina factory farms that sit directly in Dorian’s projected path,” said Rundquist. “The heavy rainfall could flood poorly located factory farms, spreading untold tons of hog, chicken, and turkey waste along the coastal plain.”
Green groups and North Carolina residents have good reason to worry that a powerful storm like Dorian could flood factory farms and release tons of manure into the state’s rivers and creeks.
Last September, according to EWG, Hurricane Florence flooded or breached more than 130 pig manure lagoons and dozens of poultry operations.
EWG said the possible spread of factory farm manure could pose a severe public health hazard, as life-threatening bacteria could contaminate sources of public drinking water.
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