RALEIGH — Legislators got their first official look at the Farm Act of 2019, which focused on regulations to support the state’s fast growing hemp industry, but included a provision that would loosen requirements on upgrades and new construction at swine operations.
The change, aimed to accommodate the expansion of the use of covered anaerobic digesters and hog waste to energy projects, would drop a longtime state requirement that prevents expansion for operations that rely on disposal systems that use waste collection ponds and sprayfields.
The new legislation would allow expansion and construction of new facilities if they do not increase the capacity of the operation and applicants can prove that they substantially reduce odors, ammonia emissions, release of airborne pathogens and discharge of waste to surface water or groundwater.
The Senate Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee is expected to vote on the legislation next week.
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