Governor Cooper Must Veto NC Farm Act

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina General Assembly today voted to approve the Farm Act, which creates a loophole in a decades-old law that prevents industrial hog facilities in the state from making big changes to their facilities if those changes fail to include basic protections for the environment and public heath from dangerous wastes.

The vote comes on the heels of the House majority’s recent override of Governor Roy Cooper’s budget veto – a surprise move which garnered national attention for its deceptiveness. Under the majority-backed budget, approved in June, minimal new requirements for industrial hog farms would be delayed an entire year. These requirements are essential to protect water quality and provide the public with information about whether hog waste lagoons are leaking.

A statement follows from Valerie Baron, Staff Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

“The General Assembly’s move to gut a decades-old law that protects the environment and public heath from dangerous waste is deeply disturbing. The legislation puts the profits of Big Ag over people and breaks the promise to communities that industry would not be able to make big changes to hog facilities without guaranteeing safety. Governor Cooper should not think twice – the Farm Act is a sell out to special interests and an insult to North Carolinians.”

For more background, read: Something in the NC Farm Act StinksWhat's Poo Got to Do With It?;Big Ag Is Hiding in Plain Sight and It’s Making Us Sick


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​

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