State Policy and Regulation
North Carolina's pork producers are subject to a full array of
federal, state and local environmental regulations. Areas of typical
regulation include: surface water and coastal water; air quality;
animal and manure disposal; land and soil quality; land use; and
As in other industries, pork producers must meet or exceed all
local, state, and federal worker health and safety requirements.
In 1995, the North Carolina State Senate passed Bill 1080, also
known as the Swine
Farm Siting Act, outlining detailed specifications with regard
to the disposal of hog farm waste product. The Swing Farm Siting
Act was amended in 1997, to the current law outlined below. The
amendment to the Act was dubbed Bill
515, which also placed a moratorium on constuction of liquid
animal waste management systems for farms larger than 250 hogs.
This moratorium was known as the Clean Water Responsibility Act.
The moratorium was renewed in 2003.
To help pork producers understand and comply with regulations,
producer-funded organizations, universities and government agencies
sponsor educational seminars and workshops. Environmental consultants
are available to help producers with on-farm audits and other types
of management initiatives.
Producers also depend upon a number of producer-funded programs,
like the Environmental Assurance Program, that provide environmental
Each year the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR) conducts two inspections at each hog farm in the state. During
2000, the state performed over 6,000 inspections at North Carolina's
2,500 hog farms. In 98% of the inspections, no direct discharges
of organic wastewater to the surface waters of the state were found.
In 94% of inspections, no evidence of over-application
to fields was found. Pork producers will continue to work to improve
this already impressive inspection record.
Waste Disposal Policy Effective March 1, 1997
Miminimum setback distances:
- 1,500 ft to occupied residence.
- 2,500 ft to school, hospital, church, park, historic property.
- 100 ft to perennial waters.
- 500 ft. to any property boundary.
- 500 ft. to any well supplying water to a public water system
or human consumption.
- No component of manure management system within 100 year floodplain.
Minimum sprayfield distances:
- 75 ft. to boundary of property with occupied residence, or
to stream or river.
- 25 ft. regulation buffer to perennial waters.
- Effluent must be applied at agronomic rates: i.e., nutrients
are applied at rates at which they will be utilized by crops so
that nutrients do not runoff into waters of the state.
- Complaint driven.
- Operators subject to management practices.
- Operators must submit odor management plan.
- Operator given one opportunity to correct objectionable odor
problem before state mandates control technology.
- In 200 complaints, the Division of Air Quality has identified
SIX farms with objectionable odor.