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Monday, August 26, 2013 - 5:30am

Ease Pollution Rules On Hog Farms?

Georgia's leaders are considering rolling back some of the pollution rules governing hog farms.

Members of the Board of Natural Resources will discuss a plan Monday that would allow hog farms to grow from 7,500 pigs weighing 55 pounds or more to 12,500 pigs before they would be subject to stricter environmental rules.

Those rules were adopted in 1999 and meant to prevent hog manure from being washed into streams and rivers.

A coalition of environmental groups including the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Georgia River Network and the Sierra Club oppose easing the rules. They say changing the rules would increase the risk of illegal discharges to Georgia's water.

Agriculture industry leaders say there is no scientific reason for treating hog farms differently from other livestock farms. They say the rules stop growth.