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Complaint Filed With EPA Over Hog Waste Disposal

A hog farm in Lyons, Georgia.
Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

Several environmental groups have filed a federal complaint against the state over hog waste. In a filing with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the organizations say North Carolina has failed to enforce rules regulating disposal of hog waste.  

Larry Baldwin is with the Waterkeeper Alliance.  He says the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources has not lived up to a deal struck in 2000 that allowed the agency to require Smithfield Foods and other pork producers to develop better waste management technology.  He says communities of color in eastern North Carolina are most often affected by the residual smell and water contamination.

"There is just a disproportionate location of these facilities in areas of the state that do not have the same political clout..or even the same financial clout other areas of the state have.  Areas that are both environmentally challenged as well as challenged from a socio-economic standpoint."

Officials with DENR say they aren't commenting yet because the agency's attorneys are still reviewing the complaint.

Gurnal Scott joined North Carolina Public Radio in March 2012 after several stops in radio and television. After graduating from the College of Charleston in his South Carolina hometown, he began his career in radio there. He started as a sports reporter at News/Talk Radio WTMA and won five Sportscaster of the Year awards. In 1997, Gurnal moved on to television as general assignment reporter and weekend anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston. He anchored the market's top-rated weekend newscasts until leaving Charleston for Memphis, TN in 2002. Gurnal worked at WPTY-TV for two years before returning to his roots in radio. He joined the staff of Memphis' NewsRadio 600 WREC in 2004 eventually rising to News Director. In 2006, Raleigh news radio station WPTF came calling and he became the station's chief correspondent. Gurnal’s reporting has been honored by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the North Carolina Associated Press, and the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.
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