Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods

Environment Top Story

House passes Farm Act, which will fast-track controversial biogas projects

Rep. Jimmy Dixon calls agriculture "a whipping boy," says opposition is unfair Mt. Zion AME Church sits a ways off the road, flanked by farm fields near the Sampson County town of Magnolia. The small brick church, whose congregation is predominantly Black, is 100 years old. But its drinking water well is new.

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Environment Top Story

Converting hog waste into energy: Not as neat and simple as it might sound

Public comment period ends Sunday on Optima TH's air pollution permit for facility at Smithfield slaughterhouse   Optima TH has applied for a state air quality permit to operate a major biogas facility at Smithfield Fresh Meats in the Bladen County town of Tar Heel. If approved, Optima TH could emit 24,500 to 40,800 tons of greenhouse gases each year.

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Hog farm that spilled 1 million gallons of feces, urine into waterways had been warned of lagoon problems

DC Mills Farm has familial ties to another operation that incurred a record fine A Jones County farm that spilled an estimated 1 million gallons of hog feces and urine into a tributary of the Trent River shortly before Christmas had been cited twice in the past year by state regulators because its lagoon was too full.

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Environment Top Story

Could defeat in nuisance lawsuits herald a reckoning for the NC hog industry?

In an extraordinary concurring opinion, a Reagan-appointed judge offers searing indictment of industrialized hog farming Shortly after Smithfield Foods lost its third consecutive hog nuisance case in federal court, company CEO Ken Sullivan wrote a letter.

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Environment News Top Story

Smithfield, Dominion propose major swine gas project, but details are secret, troubling residents

Public hearing on Align RNG air permit set for this afternoon

Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy plan to deploy 30 miles of underground pipeline in Sampson and Duplin counties, part of a controversial project to buy methane from area hog farms, then transport and sell the energy to major utilities.

In and of itself, decreasing methane emissions in the atmosphere isn’t controversial. Such reductions are key to curbing climate change because methane is even more potent in heating the planet than carbon dioxide. And the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard requires investor-owned utilities to generate or buy a minute amount — just 0.02% — of their power from swine and poultry waste.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Court battle between titans Smithfield and Maxwell Foods lifts veil on corporate hog industry

Maxwell Foods alleges Smithfield intentionally lied, low-balling the price of pigs to drive Maxwell out of business For 22 years, a cabal of the nation’s largest hog producers held an annual private get-together — a high-powered gathering that court documents describe as “The Circle.”

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Environment Top Story

What’s in the water?

A civil rights settlement forced DEQ to sample Duplin County waterways for pollution. The hard part is pinpointing the source.

Stocking Head Creek was up, licking the bottom of the bridge on NC Highway 50. An inch and a quarter of rain had fallen in the past two days, and the high water, the color of umber, scaled tree trunks and inundated swamps. At the storm's peak, the creek must have reached the road, because the grass along the shoulder was combed over and had yet to stand back up.

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Environment Top Story

The case against Murphy-Brown: Inside North Carolina’s latest blockbuster hog trial

Shortly after 10 o’clock yesterday morning, a federal jury in the hog nuisance case Gillis vs. Murphy-Brown delivered the news: Hung. After a fortnight of patiently listening to plaintiffs’ and defendants’ testimony, and two days of deliberation, the panel of eight women and two men declared they were deadlocked...

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Environment Top Story

Hog trial drama: Defense attorney invokes Clint Eastwood, implies plaintiffs are liars in closing argument

Midway through Robert Thaxton’s closing arguments in the recent hog nuisance trial, the attorney for Smithfield Foods displayed a photo of a movie poster for Pale Rider, a 1985 Western starring Clint Eastwood. In the film, a mysterious justice-seeking preacher played by Eastwood tries...

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Environment Top Story

Swine farmers, hog industry turns out in force to oppose revisions to draft permits

DEQ proposes stronger regulations, but waste lagoon and sprayfield system would remain status quo

Jed Arena stands in his backyard, placing most of his weight on one bent leg. A former hog farm worker for Tyson, Smithfield and smaller operations, he’s been fighting off a bacterial infection in his spine. About 10 years ago, well before his recent diagnosis of osteomyelitis, he contracted MRSA...

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