An advisory panel to the state environmental secretary has scheduled a listening session to get public feedback on proposed biogas operations in North Carolina communities.
The state Department of Environmental Quality Secretary’s Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board has set the virtual listening session for 6 p.m. Oct. 12 . The public may participate online or by phone.
The listening session follows a discussion during the board’s quarterly meeting in August.
Biogas is fuel produced by fermenting organic waste or capturing methane from manure.
In August, the board heard a presentation that noted that, during the last five years, the Environmental Protection Agency had expressed “grave concern” about the disproportionate adverse effects of biogas on communities of color in the state.
The increased numbers of frequent and severe rain events, including hurricanes Matthew and Florence, which were two 1,000-year storms, has led to widespread flooding and the structural failure of hog waste lagoons, according to the presentation. Public health researchers added to the large body of research showing residents living near industrial hog operations have higher rates of deadly diseases.
“The board members wanted to provide an opportunity for community members to speak, comment and share their thoughts,” Laura Leonard, public information officer with NCDEQ, told Coastal Review regarding the Oct. 12 listening session.
To attend via WebEx, go to: https://bit.ly/3hWvlCE, use meeting number 2430 414 3674 and event password. NCDEQ. To listen by phone, call 1-415-655-0003 and use access code 2430 414 3674. To sign up to provide comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org by 2 p.m. Oct. 12.
The board’s 17 members were selected from across North Carolina and represent the diverse cultures of the state. To view a full list of the Board’s members go to: https://deq.nc.gov/outreach-education/environmental-justice/secretarys-environmental-justice-equity-board.