A North Carolina judge says a hearing is needed to determine if a complex of high-rise hen-houses where more than three million chickens lay eggs is polluting neighboring land, including a federal wildlife refuge.
Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons Jr. ruled that ventilation fans cooling hens inside the Rose Acre Farms facility in Hyde County blow feathers and dust from the bird droppings outside the buildings.
The judge said it will be up to a state administrative judge to hear evidence into whether the egg-laying operation discharges pollutants into state waters. Sermons said state regulators have authority to regulate water polluting activities.
Sermons said a consultant found the Rose Acre Farms complex increases the nitrogen deposits into the Pocosin National Wildlife Refuge by about one percent.