North Carolina Appeals Court Upholds Permit for Smithfield Biogas Collector at Hog Farms

North Carolina Appeals Court Upholds Permit for Smithfield Biogas Collector at Hog Farms

In a recent decision, the North Carolina court of appeals has affirmed a state court’s stance not to interfere with a permit allowing Smithfield hog farms to utilize systems for capturing biogases from animal waste, as per court documents.

The Environmental Justice Community Action Network and Cape Fear River Watch had sought intervention from the state’s appellate court, contending that the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) neglected to evaluate whether Murphy-Brown, the farm owner, had proposed the least harmful waste management systems and if their cumulative effects were reasonable.

The system in question captures methane emissions from lagoons containing hog waste, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, flood prevention, and creating additional income streams for hog farmers, as highlighted in Smithfield’s news release.

In March, Administrative Law Judge Donald R. van de Vaart rejected a motion to block the general permit, a decision celebrated by Smithfield as a “huge victory for hog farmers” across the state.