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.