The largest and fastest-growing source of nutrient pollution in our waterways is the poultry industry, according to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. But the industry operates with so little regulation that state doesn’t even know where poultry operations are located, much less have good information on the impacts.
- North Carolina’s 515 million chickens and turkeys produce 5 million tons (ten billion pounds!) of waste each year.
- Roughly 4.2 million chickens and turkeys drowned following Hurricane Florence, according to the state. Composting their carcasses cost the state and federal governments a total of $12.6 million.
- There are more than 56 million birds in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico basins combined
- From 2008 to 2018, 87 new poultry operations were built in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico, adding nearly 13 million new birds and their waste in the two basins
That’s why we support a new bill before the state senate, and we’re grateful to State Sen. Harper Peterson for introducing it.
SB 516 would require the state to conduct a long overdue fact-driven, science-based study of the environmental and public health impacts of poultry waste. We urge you to call your NC Representative and Senator in Raleigh today (find them here) and ask them to support SB 516.