What You Need to Know About Bio Gas

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Protecting Quality of Water and Quality of Life in Coastal Carolina
“Protecting Quality of Water and Quality of Life in

Coastal North Carolina.”


What You Need to Know

What is Biogas?

North Carolina’s 9.5 million hogs generate over 10 billion gallons of waste each year. The untreated waste is stored in massive pits, known as lagoons. These are often unlined, and uncovered. Liquid from these lagoons is sprayed onto adjacent fields for disposal. As the waste is sprayed, it can run into our waterways, pollute our air, and degrade quality of life in surrounding areas.

Biogas projects propose to install covers over lagoons in order to trap gas. As hog waste breaks down, methane is released and captured. Methane would then be transferred to a central location, converted into energy, and transported into natural gas pipelines for electricity.

Leading pork producer, Smithfield Foods, is touting biogas as a sustainable energy source and a solution to the problem of CAFO pollution.

Why is it a problem?

Below lagoon covers, hog waste still remains. Biogas is still entirely dependent on the outdated lagoon and spray-field system. Biogas projects will perpetuate the water contamination, air pollution, and degraded quality of life associated with lagoon and spray field systems. Some impacts can even be worsened by biogas infrastructure, such as anticipated increases in ammonia emissions.

Given that Biogas is dependent on created methane emissions, it is not a renewable resource as compared to solar and wind. Biogas transport pipelines spanning across multiple counties, pose significant environmental risks as well.

Biogas provides profits and incentive for polluters to keep polluting. Now is the time we need to be investing in a just transition to true clean energy. Coastal Carolina Riverwatch advocates for the prioritization of the protection of our land, waters, and communities over dependence on destructive, green-washed systems.

“As the NC Department of Environmental Quality is drafting an animal waste digester system general permit, CCRW, along with statewide advocates, urge the DEQ to adopt a stringent permit, above and beyond current swine permits.

Requiring cleaner technologies, comprehensive water monitoring and reporting, assessment of cumulative pollution impacts, and prevention of disproportionate impacts to communities of color and lower income communities.”

– Rebecca Drohan, White Oak Waterkeeper, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch




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Coastal Carolina Riverwatch


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Morehead City, North Carolina 28557

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