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Streamlined NC Biomass Operation Permits Advance In Senate

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The North Carolina General Assembly has started moving its annual farm bill. A Senate agriculture committee voted Tuesday for legislation that in part would create a more streamlined permit for turning hog waste into energy. The bill would create five-year “general permits” for animal farm operations that allow the owner to operate a farm digester system that collects natural gas. The pork industry backs the idea, saying it makes sense because these operations are similar wherever the farm is located. Environmental groups and residents from the bill sponsor's home county spoke against the provisions. General permits wouldn't require public hearings.