Coal ash pits, hog manure lagoons — what could go wrong in North Carolina?

North Carolina is home to 31 coal ash pits where Duke Energy stores an estimated 111 million tons of toxic waste produced by coal-fired power plants. The state is also home to thousands of manure pits, known euphemistically as “lagoons,” which hold approximately 10 billion pounds of wet waste generated each year by swine, poultry, and cattle operations.

A handful of news outlets are reporting about the danger of coal ash and hog manure spilling into North Carolina’s waterways in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Bloomberg covered the serious environmental and public health risks and the Associated Press warned of a potential “noxious witches’ brew of waste.”

Don’t worry, be happy! Our Fake President is so confident after being reassured by his coal pimp buddies that he relaxed the rules regulating coal ash pits. Before Hurricane Florence arrived.

And the Hog Manure Lagoons? Hey, there’s only 4,000 or so. Not much of a problem if, say, only 5 or 10% of them overflow. Right? Ain’t any Senators or Congress-critters living nearby.

10 thoughts on “Coal ash pits, hog manure lagoons — what could go wrong in North Carolina?

  1. Cheerwine, not! says:

  2. Mike says:

    Fighting for survival: “The African-American families embroiled in litigation against toxic animal-feeding operations join a long history of black communities fighting for the right to their health in the Carolinas.” See also “Mapping Where Environmental Justice Is Most Threatened in the Carolinas “

  3. Postmortem says:

    Waters off NC deemed unsafe due to Hurricane Florence runoff (Charlotte Observer 9/26/18)
    Earlier this week, NASA satellites captured images of the pollution runoff filling rivers and floating into coastal waterways
    North Carolina firefighters remove masses of dead fish from I-40

  4. Anopheles Anne says:

    ‘Mosquito-pocalypse is in full effect’: North Carolina hit by blood-sucking pest outbreak (USA TODAY 9/28/18) Mosquito experts say that floodwaters can cause eggs that would have otherwise laid dormant for over a year to hatch – sending billions of the vicious parasites into the air. The ones plaguing the Carolinas can be three times as large as average mosquitoes and the larvae are known to prey on aquatic animals that are as large as tadpoles. The females grow up to feed on large mammals, humans included.

  5. Status quo says:

    (11/23/18): A Hog Waste Agreement Lacked Teeth, and Some North Carolinians Say They’re Left to Suffer Today, many farmers continue to store the waste in open pits despite the millions of dollars in private investment spent and years of research and political promises. The practice grows more hazardous with each hurricane that pounds the state.
    (In September hurricane Florence dumped 8 trillion gallons of rain on the state over four days, which caused thirty-three ‘lagoons’ to overflow)

  6. Crackers says:

    DPRK News Service @DPRK_News (“Official News feed of Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea”) 8:30 AM – 6 Dec 2018: “Elections in US North Carolina province, best known for production of hog sewage, hurricanes, and ignorant toothless hillbillies, are said to be marred by fraud.”
    See also: “Republican officials had early warnings of voting irregularities in North Carolina” (Washington Post)

  7. Cassandra says:

    North Carolina coastal flooding is worsening with climate change, population growth (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill July 23, 2019) A historic 120-year-old data set is allowing researchers to confirm what data modeling systems have been predicting about climate change: Climate change is increasing precipitation events like hurricanes, tropical storms and floods.
    Researchers analyzed a continuous record kept since 1898 of tropical cyclone landfalls and rainfall associated with Coastal North Carolina storms. They found that six of the seven highest precipitation events in that record have occurred within the last 20 years, according to the study.
    “North Carolina has one of the highest impact zones of tropical cyclones in the world, and we have these carefully kept records that shows us that the last 20 years of precipitation events have been off the charts,” said Hans Paerl, Kenan Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences.
    Paerl is lead author on the paper, “Recent increase in catastrophic tropical cyclone flooding in coastal North Carolina, USA: Long-term observations suggest a regime shift,” published July 23 in Nature Research’s Scientific Reports. See

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