NAACP Opposes Planned N.C. Chicken-Waste Power Plants | PlanetSave

NAACP Opposes Planned N.C. Chicken-Waste Power Plants

The NAACP has joined with environmental groups to oppose the construction of three power plants because of concerns that burning the feces will expose poor people to arsenic and other contaminants.

“Everyone wants jobs, but you have to be against a job that on the back end may bring disease,” said William Barber II, president of the state NAACP. “I guarantee you if they attempted to put it in a suburban community or a higher-income area, it would be an all-out fight against it.”

Fibrowatt, a Pennsylvania-based power company, plans to build three plants near large poultry producers in Montgomery, Surry, and Sampson counties. The plants will cost a total of $450 million.

The plan stems from a North Carolina law passed in 2007 that required power companies to use chicken feces to generate power.The same law requires the use of pig feces and solar power.

Opponents say the law was not thoroughly thought out and that burning chicken waste for power could have disastrous health effects. Fibrowatt’s one existing animal waste plant, located in Minnessotta, failed an emissions test last September. A Division of Air Quality study showed that the plant emitted more CO2 and particulates than a coal plant.

According to a representative of the Environmental Defense Fund, burning chicken waste would also worsen acid rain and risk tainting the water supply with arsenic.

If they’re sold on the idea of poo power, North Carolina should look into turning it to biogas instead.

Via: Energy Current
Photo Credit: b3nscott on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

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About the Author

is primarily concerned with animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and environmental justice. As a freelance writer in San Francisco, he leads a deliberately simplistic and thrifty lifestyle, yet still can’t help gawking at the newest green gadgets and zero-emission concept cars.
  • Finally at the end of the article someone suggested biogas.

    And why are there high levels of arsenic in animal poop?

    If it’s in animal poop, isn’t it going to be in the meat?

    And even if you do do biogas, where does the arsenic go?

    And what about pyrolysis?

    At the end of this article I don’t know if it’s even possible to burn feces in a Green way.

    I have too many questions.

    • Charles Kervin

      The arsenic in chicken litter comes from organo-arsenic compunds used as an antibiotic and anti-diarrheal, The concentrated population of chickens living on top of one another makes it necessary to give them them drug or they would otherwise die. greater than 70% of the arsenic compound is passed in the litter. When the relatively inert compund is exposed to a high level of heat while in the presence of the remaining contents of the manure, it creates one of the most toxic forms of arsenic which is then emitted into the atmosphere.