Hello, my name is Rick Dove. This is my individual website used to expose the pollution practices of the swine and poultry industries in eastern North Carolina.
As a part of this website you will find various photos and videos attributed to the Waterkeeper Alliance. While I am affiliated with the Waterkeeper Alliance as an advisor, nothing in this site was produced by them and nothing is intended to represent the views of that organization.
For additional information regarding the Alliance, visit their website at Waterkeeper
On this, my personal website, you will find information that demonstrates the incredible amount of pollution generated by the practices of the hog and poultry industries as well as the state's failed enforcement effort regarding this industry. The consequences of this pollution are also provided.
While this industry is deemed a major source of pollution, it forms just one of many that pollute our water, air and communities in North Carolina. Other sources are well described in scientific studies. These sources should be consulted to gain a full understanding of all the factors that are impacting our environment.
The information set forth is based on nearly 30 years of close coverage of the animal industries' operations. It includes more than tens of thousands of hours of surveillance, monitoring and photography/videography of animal factories, as well as other sources of pollution, from the air, ground and water. More than 3,000 of those hours have been logged by me personally in aircraft flying over the animal factories, documenting their pollution practices and taking meaningful action to cause reform.
In North Carolina there are now approximately 2,500 industrial swine facilities with an inventory of approximately 6,000,000 hogs. The hogs in that inventory go to market twice a year resulting in an annual production rate of nearly nine million hogs. The poultry factories are raising nearly one billion chickens and turkeys in North Carolina each year, most of which, like hogs, takes place in North Carolina's coastal plain. This is a radical change from conditions that existed prior to the mid-1980s. At that time, there were approximately 24,000 family farmers raising a little over two million hogs and a limited amount of poultry.
HOGS: Based upon a study by Dr. Mark Sobsey of the University of North Carolina that compared hog to human fecal waste, these hogs are now producing more fecal matter in Eastern North Carolina each day than is produced, on average, each day, by 60,000,000 US citizens. Dr. Sobsey's short video This incredible amount of fecal matter is constantly being flushed from the confinement buildings where these animals are kept under what are often grossly inhumane conditions. Once flushed, the feces and urine from these animals is stored in the open environment in huge earthen sewage pits, called lagoons. Through the air and ground, these lagoons constantly discharge to the surrounding environment. As the lagoons fill up, the waste is sprayed onto heavily ditched fields, many with drain pipes buried a few feet under the ground. These ditches and pipes carry runoff from the spray fields to many local waterways. It is a waste disposal system that results in serious pollution to public trust waters. It is a major polluter of the air (ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and methane gases), ground water and wetlands, streams, creeks and rivers.
POULTRY: This industry is considered even more problematic. The feces of chickens and turkeys is applied to farm fields as dry litter. It runs off as easily as liquid swine waste during rain events. This industry disposes of their fecal waste without any meaningful permits, regulations or oversight by the state. In North Carolina the annual amount of this waste is over 2 MILLION TONS. For details on the rampant growth of poultry facilities in North Carolina visit this informative site link
The concentration of poultry and hogs in eastern North Carolina makes it one of the most concentrated areas for production and disposal of feces and urine in the world. This is taking place in North Carolina's environmental crown jewel, the Coastal Plain. It is an area of abundant waterways. It is also a land full of ditches, sandy soils and underground piping. These items are necessary for farming and other uses by lowering the water table with drainage directly into wetlands, streams, creeks and rivers.