Owners of pork production units in North Carolina’s 100-year-flood plain who may want to cash in on a state program are getting details in meetings this week.

Producers whose bids are selected will be paid out of the $6.1 million that legislators allocated late last year from the state’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Officials expect to add 14 or 15 operations to the 14 that are currently in various stages of being closed down.

Details of this year’s offer are being spelled out in meetings scattered throughout the 39 eligible eastern-North-Carolina counties. This year’s program changes are as follows:

  • 1. Minimum easement area is 20 acres (no minimum last year).
  • 2. The state will pay for spreading sludge in a 3-mile radius (up from 2 miles).
  • 3. An owner willing to accept a 100-foot buffer will be paid more (50 feet last year, which is this year’s minimum).
  • 4. An owner must provide a “good and marketable” title.
  • 5. Fifteen percent of the payment will be held until the farm’s lagoon is closed.

Many of the 71 farm owners whose bids did not “make the cut” last year are expected to submit new bids this year. Final selections for the buyout are expected to be announced in May.