Hog Farm Will Comply With EPA Emergency Administrative Order

A hog farm in North Carolina contaminates private water wells and the owners agree to provide alternate sources of water and conduct sampling.

The Tommy Naylor Farm, a hog farm in Newton Grove, N.C., is cooperating with an Emergency Administrative Order issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The order, issued in accordance with Section 1431 of the Safe Drinking, addresses nitrate contamination in the underground source of drinking water underlying the farm, which has resulted in the contamination of private water wells. The contamination may present an imminent and substantial threat to human health and the environment.

Nitrate contamination in the groundwater at the facility and vicinity will continue to threaten human health until the source of contamination is removed and the site is remediated or until a permanent alternative source of drinking water is provided.

The order requires Tommy Naylor Farm to provide alternate water to residences with contaminated wells; conduct additional sampling of three private wells on a quarterly basis; and propose a plan for an alternate permanent remedy.

The Tommy Naylor Farm consists of two swine facilities (No. 1 and No. 2) located at 12785 U.S. Highway 421 in Newton Grove. Together, the two farms occupy approximately 160 acres. The order pertains only to No. 2, which consists of approximately 1,225 hogs.

Due to documented groundwater standard violations in the private drinking water supply wells adjacent to No. 2, the State of North Carolina has required Tommy Naylor Farm to install six monitoring wells at both facilities. The wells are required to be sampled three times a year to help determine the extent of contamination.

Drinking water with high concentrations of nitrates can cause serious illness and death in infants under six months of age from a condition known as "blue baby syndrome." For adults and children, too much nitrate reduces the capacity of blood to carry oxygen, turning the skin blue, causing shortness of breath, and depriving the brain of oxygen, which impairs metabolism, and other bodily functions. These symptoms can develop rapidly in infants.

edited by Sandy Smith

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