Recently, we had a great meeting with Kemp Burdette, Executive Director of Cape Fear River Watch, a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, in Wilmington, NC, to discuss why we must stop the Titan America Cement plant. Titan’s proposed plant would be a major new source of air and water pollution adversely impacting the citizens of Wilmington. For your future health and that of your children, please sign CFRW’s petition to Stop Titan.
We also discussed the appalling issue of hog and chicken farm waste generated by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) – aka factory farms -in the Cape Fear River Basin. As we learned from Kemp, “There are more factory farms in the Cape Fear River Basin than any other place on planet Earth. There are over 5 million hogs, over 16 million turkeys, and 300 million chickens produced annually in the Cape Fear Basin.” He added, “The pollution discharge from both swine and poultry CAFOs is enormous. These discharges contain nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, heavy metals such as copper, toxic gases including methane, hydrogen-sulfide and ammonia and deadly bacteria and viruses such as MRSA and salmonella. Regulation and oversight of CAFOs is almost nonexistent.”
Scientific studies conducted at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and at the North Carolina State Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology have established significant degradation to the middle and lower Cape Fear River from the vast amounts of raw, untreated animal waste that runs into waterways from swine and poultry factory farms every day. In addition, CAFOs lead to human health issues including increased tolerance to antibiotics due to high doses fed to animals to keep them alive in the filthy conditions.