In this file:

 

·         Judge orders giant pork producer to clean up water pollution

·         The Latest: Pork Grower Denies Pollution After Judge's Order

·         Judge Rules Murphy-Brown Nuisance Trials Will Kick off in April

 

 

Judge orders giant pork producer to clean up water pollution

 

By Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press

via The Wichita Eagle - December 05, 2017

 

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A major pork producer must live up to an agreement it signed 11 years ago and work on cleaning up water pollution tied to almost a dozen industry-scale hog operations, a federal judge ruled this week.

 

Murphy-Brown LLC must end years of delay and have a mutually agreed consultant develop plans to fix problems at 11 sites identified in 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Howard ordered on Monday. Environmentalists said the company-owned operations are in Bladen, Columbus, Duplin, Pitt, Sampson and Scotland counties.

 

The farms produce large amounts of manure and urine, which are flushed from barns into open-air waste ponds called lagoons and later applied to fields as fertilizer.

 

"Considering that each of the farms were identified ... by conditions including lagoon leakage and elevated nitrogen concentrations, the corrective action is necessary to mitigate such conditions," Howard wrote.

 

Murphy-Brown must allow the consultant to start collecting data needed to form clean-up plans for each operation, the judge ordered. The company had blocked the consultant from evaluating the 11 hog operations for more than three years, environmentalists said.

 

Murphy-Brown is the North Carolina-based livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc., which is owned by the Chinese company that is the world's largest pork producer.

 

All of the company's farms and facilities comply with federal and state law, Smithfield Foods Vice President Stewart Leeth said in a statement Tuesday.

 

"Over the last 10 years 260 company-owned or operated farms or facilities were studied for potential risk. Of those 260, nearly all were eliminated from further study," Leeth said...

 

more

http://www.kansas.com/news/business/article188146159.html

 

 

The Latest: Pork Grower Denies Pollution After Judge's Order

A major pork producer says there's no evidence of groundwater contamination at its North Carolina operations after a federal judge ordered the company to live up to an agreement it signed 11 years ago and work on cleaning up water pollution.

 

Associated Press

via U.S. News & World Report - Dec. 5, 2017

 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a federal judge ordering pork production giant Murphy-Brown LLC to follow through on an agreement and allow studies that could lead to cleaning up water pollution (all times local):

 

5:30 p.m.

 

A major pork producer says there's no evidence of groundwater contamination at its North Carolina operations after a federal judge ordered the company to live up to an agreement it signed 11 years ago and work on cleaning up water pollution.

 

Smithfield Foods Inc. Vice President Stewart Leeth said Tuesday all farms and facilities comply with federal and state law.

 

U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Howard on Monday ordered Smithfield subsidiary Murphy-Brown LLC to fix problems at 11 sites in in Bladen, Columbus, Duplin, Pitt, Sampson and Scotland counties. The order ends the company's three-year delay to have a mutually agreed consultant develop clean-up plans.

 

Environmentalists say the independent expert found groundwater contamination or waste lagoon problems at the Murphy-Brown sites.

 

___

 

1:50 p.m.

 

A federal judge is telling a major pork producer to live up to an agreement it signed 11 years ago and work on cleaning up water pollution tied to almost a dozen industry-scale hog operations...

 

more

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-carolina/articles/2017-12-05/the-latest-pork-grower-denies-pollution-after-judges-order

 

 

Judge Rules Murphy-Brown Nuisance Trials Will Kick off in April

 

by Erica Hellerstein, Indy Week (NC)

Dec 5, 2017

 

Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Earl Britt ruled that the first set of cases in a high-profile and potentially precedent-setting trial against pork giant Murphy-Brown will begin in April.

 

The twenty-six lawsuits were filed by more than five hundred plaintiffs living near Murphy-Brown LLC's industrial hog farms in eastern North Carolina. The neighbors contend that the farms' waste-management systems, which consist of storing excess excrement in massive open-air cesspools and liquifying and spraying the remaining waste onto nearby fields, negatively affect their health and quality of life. They argue that Murphy-Brown’s multibillion-dollar parent company, Smithfield Foods, has the financial resources to manage the pigs’ waste in a way that minimizes the odor and nuisance to nearby property owners.

 

The issue gained notoriety this spring after Jimmy Dixon, a Republican state representative from Duplin County, introduced a controversial bill that capped the amount of money that property owners living near “agriculture and forestry operations,” including hog farms, could collect in nuisance lawsuits. Many speculated that Dixon, who has received more than $100,000 from commercial hog-farming interests throughout his political career, introduced the bill at the behest of the industry. (A provision in the bill that would have made the law apply retroactively, essentially nullifying the twenty-six federal lawsuits against Murphy-Brown, was voted down.) In May, after the legislature overrode Governor Cooper's veto, the bill became law...

 

more, including PDF of Order

https://www.indyweek.com/news/archives/2017/12/05/judge-rules-murphy-brown-nuisance-trials-will-kick-off-in-april