News | November 3, 2014

With SELC assistance, citizens slow poultry plant threatening Cape Fear River

SELC is assisting local citizens concerned about a high-volume chicken processing facility proposed for the Fayetteville area near the banks of the Cape Fear River. In the face of strong public opposition, local officials have now put consideration of the project on indefinite hold.

As planned, the Sanderson Farms plant would process more than a million chickens per week and generate more than a million gallons of wastewater every day. After only minimal treatment, this wastewater would then be sprayed directly on surrounding fields, exposing the Cape Fear to increased nutrient pollution and associated algal blooms. Moreover, hundreds of new poultry farms would likely spring up to supply the processing plant—further contributing to the area’s overall pollution levels. The Cape Fear watershed is home to more than 20 percent of North Carolinians and is also one of the most concentrated poultry- and swine-production regions in the country.