Judge Rejects Challenge on Clean Renewable Energy
USAgNet - 03/24/2023
A North Carolina administrative law judge has rejected a challenge to a general permit issued by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality authorizing the construction and operation of methane digesters for animal waste management.
The judge held that the permit was lawfully issued in accordance with specific directives from the North Carolina General Assembly.
The Environmental Justice Community Action Network and Cape Fear River Watch brought the legal action, which sought to require DEQ to consider "alternative technologies" in issuing the permit for anaerobic digesters.
Smithfield clains its digesters produce clean, low-carbon, renewable natural gas (RNG) by capturing methane emissions from hog lagoons.
"This is a huge victory for hog farmers who are adopting innovative technologies to protect the environment," said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. "Our biogas projects produce low-carbon RNG and represent a substantial financial commitment to transform the future of clean energy and sustainable agriculture and improve the quality of life in surrounding communities."
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