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DECEMBER 8, 1998   9:43 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Environmental Defense Fund
 
North Carolinians Kick Off "Hog Watch" Campaign with Website Launch; Web Site www.hogwatch.org Powerful Tool In Battle To Clean Up Hog Waste
 
NEW YORK - December 8 - The North Carolina Environmental Defense Fund (NCEDF) today joined former NC Congressman Tim Valentine and a group of citizen and environmental activists to launch a powerful new web site as part of a campaign to clean up hog factories in North Carolina. The new web site, www.hogwatch.org, will contain free, readily accessible facts and figures on the serious environmental and public health impacts of factory hog farming, along with detailed information on each of the state's more than 2,500 factory hog farms. This solution-oriented clearinghouse is also designed to provide real opportunities for citizens to influence important policy and regulatory decisions. Environmental and community groups are hopeful of major reforms in the 1999 NC General Assembly legislative session.

"The name of the web site conveys what environmental groups, community groups, and individual citizens are going to be doing – hogwatching -- until North Carolina solves the problems associated with factory hog farms," said Jane Preyer, director of NCEDF. "This is a new tool in a broad-based campaign to resolve North Carolina's hog problems once and for all."

"North Carolinians have a right to know what's going on in their own backyards. The site describes the hog problem in graphic detail," said Dan Whittle, an NCEDF attorney. "We are putting the facts on-line and providing new ways for the public to make their voices heard by the Governor and legislators."

"The passage of the moratorium extension is positive, and provides much needed momentum for putting solutions in place. But there is still much to be done. If North Carolina fails to act, we will be back to ground zero when the moratorium runs out on September 1, 1999," said former Congressman Valentine, who's been a leader in calling for tougher controls on factory hog farm pollution.

Special features on the web site include:

  • Interactive high-tech maps that will show exactly how many hog factories are in each county, how many hogs they raise, and how much waste those hogs produce. Click on a county and you can see instantly where the hogs are and which companies own them. The maps also show the close proximity of factory farms to rivers, streams, and other waterways.

  • Informative fact sheets on major issues associated with hog factories such as environmental impacts, summaries of important research and scientific data, a comparison of municipal waste and hog waste treatment, a virtual tour of a hog factory, status of government regulation of hog factories, and proposed solutions to clean up hog factories.

     

  • Personal testimonials from citizens who live next door to hog factories, describing their experiences.

  • A "poop counter" that shows the tremendous volume of hog waste being disposed of in North Carolina during every second of every day: Each hog generates over 10 pounds per day of hog waste, or 1.9 tons per year.

    • Together, the 10 million hogs in NC create 52,000 tons of waste per day, or 19 million tons per year. That's more waste in one year from hogs than the human population of Charlotte produces in 58 years.

    • Total nitrogen pouring into North Carolina from hog factories is over 640,000 pounds per day. Hog factories emit more nitrogen pollution into the air in coastal NC than all NC municipal and industrial sources combined.

  • Updates on pending legislation and rulemaking and an action tool enabling citizens to immediately send free email to key decision makers in North Carolina.

"The Hogwatch web site will serve as a place where the facts speak for themselves and myths and public relations rhetoric no longer rule," said Whittle. “Most importantly, this web site offers up real and lasting solutions.”

The Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national, NY-based nonprofit organization, represents 300,000 members. EDF links science, economics, and law to create innovative, equitable and economically viable solutions to today's environmental problems.

Other groups joining NCEDF's launch of the website included Alliance for a Responsible Swine Industry, Bertie Citizens Action Coalition, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Concerned Citizens of Tillery, Neuse River Foundation, North Carolina Coastal Federation, Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, Sierra Club/NC chapter, and Southern Environmental Law Center.

The Hog Watch website is designed and hosted by Knauer Communications.

Hog Watch
Hog Farm Facts
EDF North Carolina

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