For years, North Carolina regulators shielded the identities of polluting farms, burying public complaints against them and leaving those who lived nearby with few avenues for redress. Neighbors said their complaints were going unheard.
A joint investigation by The Guardian, Food & Environment Reporting Network, and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting backs up those residents’ assessments. In response to a public-records request, DEQ released only 33 public complaints against livestock operations in North Carolina from January 2008 to April 2018. Over the same period, other hog states have registered literally thousands.