OKLAHOMA CITY - Environmental Protection Agency officials heard presentations by several companies today that were presenting their technology to help Oklahoma deal with the ongoing problem of hog waste from big corporate farming operations, according to Senator Paul Muegge, D-Tonkawa.
Several companies from all over the nation, including Missouri, Texas, and North Carolina spent the day at the State Capitol giving EPA officials and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture's Water Quality Division options available to prevent clean-up nightmares similar to those recently uncovered in North Carolina.
Last week in North Carolina, a 36-count lawsuit was filed against the state's corporate hog factories for the pollution of state waters. Among many other concerns, some of the more disturbing facts are that the state's hogs outnumber the people and create more fecal waste than all the people in California and New York combined. Some industrial pork factories produce more sewage than America's biggest cities and waste from the millions of gallons of hog feces from the lagoons are literally choking water resources in these communities.
"The problem North Carolina is seeing now should serve as a wake-up call for Oklahoma," said Senator Muegge. "Irresponsible waste disposable practices, overproduction of hogs and faulty lagoon management are all issues that will soon be front and center in Oklahoma if we don't move forward with a plan toward modern technology in the management of their waste streams. I commend the groups who are here today for sharing their proposals for dealing with the fallout from corporate hog farms. It's something we need to consider very seriously."
The presentations today included several different proposals for dealing with waste. Various programs offered goals and objectives ranging from eliminating odors, lagoon elimination and recycling of water resources. All of these things will potentially lead to better community relations for the corporate hog farmers.
"The voluntary aspects of Senate Bill 1175 has not worked and the hog industry has not only resisted the potential management progress, but they have thumbed their nose at public opinion and current public policy," said Senator Muegge. "That legislation was intended to encourage responsible, ethical practices for corporate farming businesses, but the process is slow and frustrating. I hope they have the sense to realize the downward spiral of irresponsible corporate farming practices is closer to reality than many think. North Carolina found out the hard way, but we should learn from them to prevent a similar situation here in Oklahoma."