The Waterkeepers are up to their old tricks once again. They have recently published a petition, pushing folks to “tell the Cooper administration: Hold industrial hog polluters accountable.” The petition was accompanied by a short article that discussed cesspools, dumping waste, pollution, and a lack of transparency by hog farmers.
The Waterkeepers chose to frame the General Permit and hog farmers in such a way that left us confused and a bit offended. So, we’d like to clarify a few things:
Hog farmers are not opposed to the General Permit. We understand that regulations are important. We do, however, have concerns regarding some of the requirements. Those concerns do not mean we are opposed to regulations, rather we just want to ensure that the permit has sound and sensical requirements that benefit both hog farmers and the community.
Hog farmers already regularly report management of swine manure to the state, unlike what the Waterkeepers say.
The Waterkeepers say it is “time for more oversight, accountability, and transparency.” Hog farmers have had state oversight for years. We’ve been held accountable by the state, trade organizations, and the community. And, as for transparency regarding manure management…we’ve given explanation after explanation of how it works. We’ve written blogs, aired TV commercials, and invited people to farms. Just last week we published two blogs discussing lagoons. No transparency?
If the Waterkeepers are so concerned with the pollution of water, why do they only focus on hog farmers? Why do they continue to ignore sewer spills which were far worse than hog farm spills during the horrific Hurricane Florence?
We could go on and on about the discrepancies the Waterkeepers post, but we think you get the idea. They love to frame hog farmers as careless polluters. The truth is, we aren’t. We care.Publicly, we’d like to say, that we appreciate the Waterkeepers offer to be our accountability partner, but respectfully decline. We prefer partners who don’t spread falsehoods about us. We don’t need that negativity in our lives.