Environmental Justice

The waste from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, stored in these lagoons, haunts nearby communities.
18
Apr
2017

Working to Protect North Carolina’s Communities and Waters from Industrial Animal Agriculture Pollution

by Geoff Gisler, Senior Attorney, The Southern Environmental Center Category:

Spring is in the air in North Carolina. For many of us, that means opening our windows to let the fresh air in, playing with our kids in the yard, or sitting back and relaxing in a rocking chair on the front porch. For North Carolinians who live near industrial hog operations, however, these rites of Spring are distant memories. The coastal plain of North Carolina is littered with industrial hog facilities—concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the legal terminology. The state is second to only Iowa in annual pork production. Thousands of CAFOs are concentrated in eastern North Carolina, with the greatest densities in Duplin and Sampson counties. Each of these facilities hosts hundreds or even thousands of hogs, which are typically brought in to the facility as piglets and kept on site until they reach slaughter weight. After the hogs are taken away, their waste is left behind. It’s that waste that haunts nearby communities, which are disproportionately low-income communities of color. The waste from the hogs is collected and stored in unlined, open-air storage pits... read more +

Rio Grande del Norte. Photo by Irene Owsley

Rio Grande del Norte. Photo by Irene Owsley

13
Feb
2017

Environmental Justice in Colorado’s Conejos Land Grant Region

by Justin Garoutte, Executive Director of Conejos Clean Water Category: , ,

Louis Bacon and The Trinchera Blanca Foundation, an affiliate of  The Moore Charitable Foundation are proud to partner with Conejos Clean Water. It’s another morning in southern Colorado’s Conejos Land Grant Region, a region that has seen more sweat and tears than I will ever know, a region with so much promise, resiliency and aspirations for a brighter future. I walk the aching streets of Antonito, and the warm Colorado sun spreads its blessings upon the adobe houses, houses that were once homes, some that still are, holding on in a town whose heart beats slow and steady for its people, our culture and the land, air and water that give us life. If you walk around town long enough, you’ll eventually find Conejos Clean Water, a grassroots organization, now it its seventh year. Conejos Clean Water came about in 2010 though a struggle for environmental justice when radioactive, hazardous nuclear waste was to be transferred at a site just south of town, right next to the San Antonio River that provides life for our people. We won that... read more +

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of the Waterkeeper Alliance

Robert F. Kennedy, Junior, Founder and President of the Waterkeeper Alliance

10
Jun
2016

CoastLine: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on the Origin of CAFOs, Environmental Justice

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Robert F. Kennedy, Junior is Founder and President of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization of nearly 300 waterkeepers spanning the globe.  He serves as Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, is a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic, and he is co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio. He came to Wilmington, North Carolina for the annual conference of The Waterkeeper Alliance.  There he sat down with Rachel Lewis Hilburn, News Director and Host of CoastLine, to discuss the origins of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), and environmental justice – issues that are inextricably intertwined. Here is the transcript of that interview, first published here and available as an audio file. RLH:  Robert Kennedy, your journey as a champion of clean waterways began on the Hudson River.  For that work, you were named one of Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Planet. You’ve held that up as an international model of ecosystem protection.  How is it that?  What changes were you able to make in New York? Robert F. Kennedy Jr.:  Well, It... read more +

A hog feedlot in Duplin County, N.C. Photographer: Travis Dove for Bloomberg Businessweek

A hog feedlot in Duplin County, N.C. Photo: Travis Dove for Bloomberg Businessweek

6
Jun
2016

Promoting a Sustainable Future for Agriculture in North Carolina

by Cordon Smart Category:

Last week, The Moore Charitable Foundation team attended the 2016 Waterkeeper Alliance Conference in Wilmington, North Carolina. The location of the event underscored Waterkeeper’s significant efforts to address the environmental destruction and injustice caused by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). As part of MCF’s ongoing support of partners and experts addressing this critical water and human rights issue, we are featuring a series of blog posts that look at the CAFOs dilemma from different angles. Speeding down I-40 through Duplin County, NC, many people will pass through the sea of pine trees and farmland without giving it a second thought. But linger here a bit longer and you will quickly learn that Duplin County, located within the Cape Fear River watershed, has the highest concentration of industrial hog farms in the nation. These industrial facilities, known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), are a far cry from our preconceived notions of small family farms in rural America: They raise hundreds­—if not thousands—of animals within confined structures. Along with this industry comes more waste than you can possibly imagine. Located largely within low-income,... read more +

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11
May
2016

Louis Bacon accepts TRCP’s award with remarks about conservation successes and future

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On April 27th, Louis Bacon, Founder and Chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation and its affiliates accepted The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) Lifetime Achievement in Conservation award. In his acceptance speech, he touched on TRCP and conservation successes – and sounded a warning bell about what the conservation movement needs to do in order to guarantee the basic human rights of clean air and water to all people. His remarks in full are published here: I am very, very honored to be here for this prestigious award… an award that is all the more meaningful for me coming from an organization that was founded in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, the childhood hero of mine and of course our country’s first hero of the conservation movement. I am doubly honored tonight to share the awards with two modern-day heroes in today’s conservation movement – Senator Heinrich and Senator Risch, recognized for their political leadership and continuing the environmental legacy of President Roosevelt. You know, for me it is kind of easy to channel TR, given that I live right... read more +

A CAFO stores toxic hog waste in an open pit.
6
May
2016

Environmental Injustice is Toxic

by Marc Yaggi Category: ,

Imagine a world where many times when you walked out your front door, you immediately were accosted by the overwhelming stench of animal waste.  Imagine a world where you couldn’t invite friends to your home for fear their eyes and throats would burn from the fetid stench.  Imagine a world where your health, and the health of your family, was at risk every day because the air you are breathing is saturated with toxic chemicals and bacteria. This world is a reality for people like Elsie Herring, who lives in rural North Carolina near a hog factory farm where she has endured a form of discrimination that rarely draws much attention.  Polluting industries and industrial-waste sites often are located in low-income communities, especially communities of color that offer the least political resistance. These massive factory farms generate enormous amounts of untreated animal waste, which is stored in giant cesspools and sprayed on fields until they are so saturated that the waste runs off and pollutes nearby streams and rivers – streams and rivers that local communities use for... read more +