Peninsula residents should send would-be hog farmers packing

Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, April 19, 2002

In the continuing saga of how really friendly and good a neighbor the mega-hog industry can be, here is another example of a major "Oops!" from Waste News, April 1, 2002. This ought to be of some interest to the residents of either Seward or Homer, depending on which port the foreign owners of the Hog Farms are planning on slaughtering and processing those 600,000 hogs in and then shipping the processed results from.

In Snow Hill, S.C., Lake View Packing Company operates a slaughtering and processing plant. As an attempt to save on the operating costs of treating the killing floor wastes, the company took some short cuts. It installed a series of underground pipes that bypassed the permitted septic system designed to treat the killing floor, processing and bathroom wastes from the plant, and discharged the combined wastes into a nearby creek.

The combined slaughter, processing and human wastes went through a drainage pipe into a marsh that empties into Contentnea Creek and then into the Neuse River. The discharge averaged 30,000 gallons each day the plant was open. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's investigation into the illegal discharge found that the bypass system was designed so that it could be hidden from detection by inspectors.

The company has pled guilty to violation of the Clean Water Act and faces a possible fine of $500,000 and a five-year probation. Company spokespersons could not be reached for comment.

Once again, the industry advocates and the supporting politicians will not discuss the record of bad actions such industries bring to unsuspecting communities that believe the slick sales pitch of potential "good jobs." The people of the Kenai Peninsula need to send these characters packing for other locales.

Mike Blair , Anchorage and Kenai



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