The permit raises the cap on how many pigs Smithfield may kill per year to 9.5 million, up from about 8.5 million. The permit also sets new restrictions on the company’s water usage and the amount of pollution it can put into the Cape Fear River.
North Carolina farms
The 1 million additional pigs will come from North Carolina farms, Smithfield’s spokesperson Dennis Pittman said. North Carolina has been shipping pigs to other states because the slaughterhouses here couldn’t keep up, he said.Water use
Although production increases, the water usage has to decrease by 5%, according to the permit, to about 1.88 million gallons per day. Pittman said the company eventually plans to use river water and phase out usage of well water. To subscribe to the free pig newsletter click here.