WASHINGTON - A bill rushed through the North Carolina legislature and now on Gov. Roy Cooper's desk would severely restrict the traditional property rights of hundreds of thousands of property owners from the pollution and stench of factory farms.
Now the names of citizens impacted have been matched to the numbers.
Last month an EWG investigation used county tax assessor data to map the estimated 60,000 residential properties in the state within a half mile of either a hog or poultry factory farm. But peer-reviewed scientific studies in North Carolina and other states have documented health problems, reduced air quality and noxious odors at three or more miles from from hog factory farms.
Proponents of the legislation never provided even an estimate of the number or location of residential property owners in the state whose rights to relief from farm pollution would be sharply limited, if not eliminated, by the bill. EWG is releasing the names of the property owners to help members of the legislature, Gov. Cooper and the public understand just how many citizens could have their property rights sharply curbed should the legislation become law.
“This legislation was written to benefit the Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods, while significantly eroding the property rights of hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians,” said Craig Cox, senior VP for agriculture and natural resources at EWG. “Hard working families who have had to suffer from the pollution pushed onto their land from the swine and poultry industry would be denied their right to secure compensation from Smithfield and other factory farm operations for damage to their health and quality of life. This bill, should it become law in North Carolina, is nothing short of an assault on many of the state’s residents.”
Click here to see the full list of names.
Photo courtesy of Waterkeepers Alliance