William Butler | Indy Week

William Butler 
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Re: “Hogwashed, Part 2: Environmental Advocates Say Hog Facilities’ Antiquated Waste-Disposal Systems Are Threatening the State’s Waterways

My name is Tom Butler and I am a NC contract hog farmer. I am quoted several times in this article and I want to expand on the comments that I have made to Indy Week. It is not my intention to defame or be critical of DEQ or their inspectors and how they do their job. I do agree that I am a strong advocate for strict inspections of our hog farms, our records and our lagoons. I am a strong advocate for replacing our current lagoon spray field system with new affordable innovative and more environmentally friendly systems. I hope all NC hog farmers realize and seriously consider the fact that these waste storage lagoons as a part of the spray field system belong to us. Our lagoons and waste management records are our full responsibility as long as the lagoons exists. (Note: To officially end the lagoon responsibility a grower must spend $40,000 to $60,000 per surface acre to decommission a swine waste lagoon.) If I elected to close and decommission my farm and lagoons today, it would cost me between $250,000 to $312,000. The integrators and the regulators carry no responsibility for the lagoons or waste on our farms. Personally, I want records to show that I have a well managed closely regulated DEQ approved farm operation and storage lagoon. If something does go wrong or waste management issues arise, I would want a history to show that I was inspected and given a clean bill to continue to operate. I would expect most growers in the state have lagoons that are 15 to 30 years old. A lot of these storage facilities, including my two, are nearing their sludge capacity. Do you as a lagoon owner know your sludge level? I know that an annual lagoon sludge level measurement is required, but it is my understanding that a current data base is not maintained by DEQ. I think there should be a current year to year sludge level record kept by DEQ and it should be public information. In my opinion, DEQ should have the responsibility of notifying the grower, as a courtesy, when the lagoon level is nearing capacity. If you aren't notified by DEQ then you, as a grower, are required to notify DEQ that you have reached your sludge limit. When you do notify them, you have 90 days to draw up a plan with a technical specialist and up to two years to implement tne plan. http://www.butlerbioenergy.info

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by William Butler on 07/05/2017 at 11:47 AM

Re: “Hogwashed, Part 1: Hundreds of Poor, Mostly African-American Residents of Eastern North Carolina Say Big Pork Is Making Their Lives Miserable

My name is Tom Butler and I am a NC contract hog farmer. I am a 76 years old family farmer and I live in Western Harnett County, NC in the Flat Branch/Anderson Creek community. I have been a contract hog farmer for more than 20 years. This article is near and dear to my heart because it pretty well tells the truth about our industry. I am not an activist against our hog industry, but an advocate for affordable and environmental friendly changes to our industry. Changes that will help make the aforementioned issues go away. We as an industry can do better and the time for that has come, but again, instead of doing the right thing we have stooped to a new level with House Bill 467. I call House Bill 467 "The Boss Hog Bully Bill" and named it this because it shows the people of NC (especially any critics) that the current NC General Assembly can pass most any legislation they want to without rhyme or reason! I can assure all readers, that in my opinion, HB 467 was not passed in an effort to protect family farmers. There is not enough room on this comment sheet to explain the true reasons!

27 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by William Butler on 07/03/2017 at 8:17 AM

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