Pollution, Environmental Justice, and the North Carolina Pork Industry
North Carolina ranks as the 2nd largest hog producer in the United States. Currently, the state houses over 10 million hogs. It is estimated that about 19 million tons of hog waste was produced in 2004 by the 10 million hogs in the state (scorecard.com). Despite the increase in waste output due to increased production, concerns are that majority of these producers have not improved their waste management practices. Most importantly, all the big factories are located in counties in the Black Belt region of the state. These are counties where the percent Black population is greater than the state and national averages of 25.4% and 12% respectively. The existence of pollution, poverty, and minority populations in a given area, more often than not, raise questions about environmental justice. Statistical and geographical information systems (GIS) analyses are performed at the zip code level to whether relatively poor, nonwhite populations are disproportionately exposed to hog waste directly or indirectly. The results indicate that these populations are not directly targeted but their association with poverty and also being rural dwellers help explain their disproportionate exposure.
KeywordsGeographical Information System Environmental Justice Hazardous Waste Site Federal Poverty Line Waste Management Practice
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