Smithfield will provide another $1.3 million to assist environmental efforts in North Carolina and in cleaning up livestock waste lagoons. The grants are the latest round of funds associated with a 2000 settlement between North Carolina and Smithfield Foods, which agreed to pay $50 million during 25 years for environmental improvements.

Those funds, and another $15 million for North Carolina State University research to develop new technologies to process and treat hog waste, was offered after hog waste lagoons overflowed and polluted rivers and streams as an effect of Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

The new grants include $500,000 for the North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation to close inactive lagoons and improve animal-waste management, says Roy Coopr, this state's attorney general. The foundation has closed 77 lagoons and will close 14 more.

Another $475,000 will go to Ducks Unlimited to restore, enhance and protect 900 acres of wetlands in Hyde, Pasquotank and Halifax counties as part of a larger project to protect 22,000 acres in the eastern part of the state, reports the Herald Sun newspaper.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation will get $410,000 to create oyster habitat, restore shorelines and salt marshes, and construct an oyster shell-loading pier in Onslow County.

The grants are the fifth series to be awarded under the Smithfield agreement.