A ten-year state moratorium on new hog
farms and their waste lagoons would continue for three more years
in a bill that the House Agriculture Committee approved Wednesday.
The moratorium is set to expire September first.
But Representative Dewey Hill of Columbus County says it's still
needed while researchers and the swine industry try to lower costs
of alternative waste disposal methods.
The committee approved extending the ban until 2010, despite
requests by two environmental groups to permanently bar waste
lagoons in North Carolina.
The groups said a ban would pressure the hog industry and others
to develop less expensive technology for farmers.
The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.
North Carolina is the nation's second-largest swine-producing
state and its hog farms dump 13 million pounds of hog waste a day
into the open-air pits. The waste is later sprayed on fields as
The lagoon moratorium began in 1997 and has been extended four
times, most recently in 2003.