National environmental groups unveiled this week four maps highlighting the number and polluting effects of concentrated animal feeding operations in North Carolina, including poultry farms not previously disclosed to the public by state regulators.
The interactive maps, which were compiled by the Waterkeeper Alliance, North Carolina Riverkeeper organizations and the Environmental Working Group, show the locations of waste lagoons, poultry farms, hog farms and cattle operations.
Although state environmental regulators say the operations have a robust regulation program, the environmentalists worry about the facilities’ impact on water and air quality. According to the map, facilities are located near surface water, disadvantaged, small communities and floodplains.
The maps place more than 6,500 facilities, including 3,900 poultry operations whose locations are typically protected under North Carolina law, and more than 4,100 hog waste lagoons.
Large animal operations have been shown to have a negative impact on human health and quality of life in surrounding communities in addition to detrimental environmental effects.
Users can search for information on the maps by ZIP code, county, census and watershed.