The state environmental agency in North Carolina has relented and is downgrading about half of the “notices of violation” issued this spring to producers. Instead, they will receive the less serious “notices of deficiency.” Triggering all of this activity was record-breaking rainfall this spring, after which about 400 lagoons rose into the storm-storage area– designated at 12 to 19 inches from dike tops.
The “notices of violation” are placed on the producers’ state environmental records and can adversely affect his/her ability to secure financing.
Regulators say no additional enforcement action will be taken against about 200 of the producers who had managed their lagoons “appropriately” during the wettest spring in North Carolina in more than 100 years.
Pork producers, the North Carolina Pork Council, other agricultural and environmental organizations mounted a concerted effort with state regulators, senators and House members to get regulations eased for producers who properly managed their lagoons. A working group, including NCPC representatives will review the issue and propose recommendations to address future “chronic rainfall impacts” on hog farms. They will be present their recommendations to the state Environmental Management Commission on Nov. 1.