Governor's Task Force on Public Health Issues Associated with the Swine Industry

Dear Governor Perdue,

North Carolina is the home of approximately 10 million hogs, and with the exception of a few family farms, all are being raised in Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), primarily in the eastern one-third of the state.  The waste from these animals has long been a concern from an environmental point of view, and that view has not changed.  We continue to see a decline in the water quality of many of our rivers, creeks, streams and groundwater as a result of the process of applying hog waste onto open fields.  Once sprayed onto a field, there is little to prevent that waste from being transported to the waters of this state, particularly during precipitation events.  We continue to oppose the continued use of this archaic method of waste disposal and have worked vigorously to support the conversion of all lagoons to environmentally superior technology.

Along with the concerns for our environment, addressing the growing list of consequences that these industrial animal facilities are placing on the health of the citizens of eastern North Carolina is of utmost urgency. The time to fully address these consequences is long past due. In this regard, the undersigned are respectfully requesting that you convene a Governor's Task Force to examine the environmental and human health impacts related to swine production and to act on those results at the soonest possible time.  In addition to the swine industry, we also have a concern for all types of CAFOs, including poultry and cattle, which should eventually be included in a Task Force study.


 The issues that need to be addressed by the Task Force include, but should not be limited to, the areas of asthma, chronic respiratory conditions, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and now the Swine Flu (H1N1).  As a factor in our human health concerns, the Task Force also needs to address the issue of groundwater contamination, as many residents in close proximity to these facilities depend upon well water for their household uses. 


The intent of the Task Force would be to assemble experts from several different fields whose combined knowledge would provide credible evidence relating to swine production in our state. We are convinced that such a study would verify the existing data that indicates that the swine industry is seriously impacting the environment and the health of the citizens of North Carolina in a negative way.

The goal of the Task Force would be to investigate and report on the potential for adverse affects on public health and wellbeing of North Carolina's citizens from CAFOs and the associated economic impact on the communities located in the vicinity of a swine operation, to include increased health care costs.  The Task Force would also report on the potential health benefits of the conversion of waste lagoons to environmentally superior technology.

The Task Force should consist of representatives from the health, scientific, research, environmental, environmental justice and economic sectors of the community, along with a representative from the swine industry.  Not more than one representative should be appointed to represent any one sector, including the swine industry. In the past, similar task forces and commissions have lost credibility by being too heavily weighted in representatives in the industry's favor.


We respectfully request that the Task Force be commissioned within forty-five (45) days from your receipt of this letter. 

We, the undersigned, request that you commission a Governors Task Force to address the above issue:

Dear Governor Perdue,



North Carolina is the home of approximately 10 million hogs, and with the exception of a few family farms, all are being raised in Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO%u2019s), primarily in the eastern one-third of the state.  The waste from these animals has long been a concern from an environmental point of view, and that view has not changed.  We continue to see a decline in the water quality of many of our rivers, creeks, streams and groundwater as a result of the process of applying hog waste onto open fields.  Once sprayed onto a field, there is little to prevent that waste from being transported to the waters of this state, particularly during precipitation events.  We continue to oppose the continued use of this archaic method of waste disposal and have worked vigorously to support the conversion of all lagoons to environmentally superior technology.



Along with the concerns for our environment, addressing the growing list of consequences that these industrial animal facilities are placing on the health of the citizens of eastern North Carolina is of utmost urgency. The time to fully address these consequences is long past due. In this regard, the undersigned are respectfully requesting that you convene a Governors%u2019 Task Force to examine the environmental and human health impacts related to swine production and to act on those results at the soonest possible time.  In addition to the swine industry, we also have a concern for all types of CAFO%u2019s, including poultry and cattle, which should eventually be included in a Task Force study.



 The issues that need to be addressed by the Task Force include, but should not be limited to, the areas of asthma, chronic respiratory conditions, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and now the Swine Flu (H1N1).  As a factor in our human health concerns, the Task Force also needs to address the issue of groundwater contamination, as many residents in close proximity to these facilities depend upon well water for their household uses. 



The intent of the Task Force would be to assemble experts from several different fields whose combined knowledge would provide credible evidence relating to swine production in our state. We are convinced that such a study would verify the existing data that indicates that the swine industry is seriously impacting the environment and the health of the citizens of North Carolina in a negative way.



The goal of the Task Force would be to investigate and report on the potential for adverse affects on public health and wellbeing of North Carolina's citizens from CAFO%u2019s and the associated economic impact on the communities located in the vicinity of a swine operation, to include increased health care costs.  The Task Force would also report on the potential health benefits of the conversion of waste lagoons to environmentally superior technology.



The Task Force should consist of representatives from the health, scientific, research, environmental, environmental justice and economic sectors of the community, along with a representative from the swine industry.  Not more than one representative should be appointed to represent any one sector, including the swine industry. In the past, similar task forces and commissions have lost credibility by being too heavily weighted in representatives in the industry%u2019s favor.



We respectfully request that the Task Force be commissioned within forty-five (45) days from your receipt of this letter. 



We, the undersigned, request that you commission a Governors Task Force to address the above issue:

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