Independent journalists collaborate on in-depth study of NC hog farms


The first of a three-part series titled “Hogwashed”:

The odor isn’t just her problem. It’s ubiquitous across parts of eastern North Carolina. It’s the smell of hog country, of millions of pigs and even more tons of their feces. For years, their waste and its stink have been the subject of litigation, investigations, legislation and regulation. A growing body of research has documented the industry’s health and environmental risks. The issue has been well examined in the media, too. The New York Times and the Washington Post covered it. So have “Dateline” and “60 Minutes.” The News & Observer earned a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on it in 1995.

Nonetheless, the stench — and its consequences, both for the lower-income, largely African-American neighbors of the hog farms and the state’s environment — lingers.

North Carolina has so many dragons to slay in the realm of justice, and an equal number of issues associated with our environment. But the intersection of those issues (environmental justice) becomes greater than the sum total of those two, because nimbyism and selfishness on the part of society’s “leaders” has eroded the quality of life, the health, and the property values of minority citizens in nearly every community of our state. Happened 100 years ago, fifty years ago, and it’s still happening now. Here’s more:

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