WASHINGTON – A federal court judge in North Carolina ruled a lawsuit against a large pig farm may proceed.

The Humane Society of the United States and Sound Rivers, Inc. brought the action against The Hanor Company of Wisconsin for failing to report the company’s ammonia emissions at an 8,000-head swine farm, which the plaintiffs say is harmful to animals, people and the environment. The company, which is in the process of relocating its corporate offices to Enid, Oklahoma, operates the swine farm.

HSUS and Sound Rivers filed the lawsuit on behalf of residents living near the facility which is located between Rocky Mount and Tarboro, NC.  The lawsuit claims that Hanor is required by federal law to report its ammonia emissions, but hasn’t done so since 2011. The groups say the facility generates about 38,000 gallons of swine waste each day and emits “thousands of pounds” of ammonia each month.

But Hanor points to a regulation implemented almost 11 years ago that exempts large agricultural firms from reporting emissions while the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts air quality studies at large operations such as the Hanor facility in North Carolina.