Eastern NC Residents, Environmentalists Want Hog Lagoon Ban

Environmentalists and others are asking lawmakers to permanently ban new hog waste lagoons because they harbor contamination and breed illness.

Several dozen people rallying yesterday at the statehouse urged lawmakers to extend a ten-year state moratorium on new lagoons that's to expire in September. They want existing lagoons replaced with safer methods of disposal ... even if they're more expensive.

Democratic Representative Dewey Hill of Columbus County filed a measure yesterday to extend the moratorium. And Pender County Republican Carolyn Justice plans to introduce legislation in the House to permanently ban hog lagoons.

North Carolina's hog farms dump 13 million pounds of hog waste a day into open-air pits called lagoons and is later sprayed on fields as fertilizer.

Farmers say the practice is the only affordable way to handle the waste.