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 NEWS

For immediate use May 21, 1999 – No. 353

 

Environmental Resource Program hosts online sharing of hog issues, viewpoints

By LISA KATZ
UNC-CH School of Public Health

CHAPEL HILL – "Who should pay to clean up hog lagoons?" is the question a panel of activists, industry representatives and others interested in the health of North Carolina’s hog industry and the health of North Carolinians will tackle during an online forum beginning Monday (May 24).

Sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Environmental Resource Program (ERP), the World Wide Web forum will enable interested parties to continue in more detail a debate that has occupied many visitors to the program’s listserves in recent weeks.

To frame the debate and represent a balanced perspective, program officials have invited seven people especially knowledgeable about this topic to participate. All of them have committed to participate in the forum on a daily basis through May 28. Public discussion, however, may continue beyond the week of the 24th. Discussion will be archived on the program’s Web site so that it can serve as a reference for future visitors.

The online forum – the program’s first – will initially function like a panel discussion, augmented by questions and comments from the general public.

Panelists slated to participate include:

Alan Briggs, executive director, Save Our State;

Beth Anne Mumford, director of public affairs, North Carolina Pork Council;

Michelle Nowlin, attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center;

Karen Priest, Alliance for Responsible Swine Industry;

Michael Shore, senior policy analyst, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources;

Mike Williams, director, Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center, N.C. State University; and

Clark Wright, attorney

To access the forum, visit the Carolina Health and Environment Community Center Web site at http://checc.sph.unc.edu  and look for the icon marked "forum."

The Environmental Resource Program is a collaborative effort of UNC-CH’s School of Public Health and the Carolina Environmental Program. The program, established in 1985, links the university’s resources with North Carolinians by providing training, technical assistance, education and policy research to the state’s environmental and community groups, state and local governments and public school teachers. The program maintains a national award-winning Web site that is a prime source for North Carolina environmental information and functions as a key communication link among citizens, government, business, industry and the university.

The program’s community center Web site hosts 14 listserves on a range of environmental topics including issues related to air quality, water quality and smart growth. Two of these listserves have been used by state government to support air and water quality stakeholder processes; another has been adopted as the official listserve of the NC Smart Growth Alliance, and discussion on another contributed to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ recent policy on hog waste lagoons.

Besides its assorted listserves, the community center Web site offers 14 special collections with explanatory links to the best Web sites on specific environmental topics. The Carolina Environmental Casebook is a Web-based environmental education initiative intended to increase students’ ability to use technology to improve their critical thinking skills. Now in development, the first case focuses on the impact of the state’s hog industry.

For more information on how to participate in the upcoming forum, e-mail Kathleen Gray at kathleen.gray@sph.unc.edu  or call (919) 966-9799.

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School of Public Health media contact: Lisa Katz, 919-966-8498, lisa_katz@unc.edu

News Services contact: Mike McFarland, 919-962-8593, mike_mcfarland@unc.edu