RIVERKEEPERS' REPORT: From Raleigh to the Swamp

Environmental, Sound Rivers

Posted on December 8th, 2022

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell and Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop have been in the field and behind the podium in the past week.

Last Thursday, the two hosted a crowd of 50 at Sound Rivers’ partner Neuse River Brewing in Raleigh to celebrate the Neuse’s designation as American Rivers’ River of the Year and talk about the Neuse River Rising paddle, an 11-day, 150-mile kayaking trip the two took on the Neuse River in late September/early October.

“It was an awesome turnout and a really great space,” Sam said.

This week, the two were in a completely different environment: Nahunta Swamp. Sam and Jill launched their kayaks into the swamp on a quest to take water samples near the White Oak Farms biogas facility. The facility was the site of a major spill earlier this year, when a cover meant to harness biogas exploded, releasing millions of cubic feet of foam, the byproduct of decomposing expired deli meats, hot dogs, hog waste and dead hogs.

“We took samples from three locations — and did nutrient and bacteria testing,” Sam said.

Results are pending.

This week, NCDEQ issued $34,000 in civil penalties to the owners of White Oak Farms, for the May spill, as well as other long-standing violations of its permit. Read more here.

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