Local organization reacts to North Carolina court ruling on Smithfield agreement

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WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The state attorney general’s office has the authority to allocate environmental grants from money received through a settlement with a food producer. 

That’s the ruling of North Carolina’s highest court.

The agreement requires Smithfield Foods to put two million dollars a year into North Carolina environmental projects.

It’s to make up for pollution caused by hog waste and the agreement runs through 2025.

In 2016, opponents argued the money should go to school districts. 

A local non-profit, Sound Rivers, and the North Carolina Coastal Federation joined the legal fight, supporting the state attorney general. 

Jill Howell is Sound River’s Environmental Project Manager and she shares how the organization feels about the ruling. 

“We’re happy that the money is going towards what it should be going towards, this piece of the Smithfield agreement was meant to give money to nonprofits or the government to implement projects that ultimately improve our natural resources, specifically our waterways,” says Howell. 

The high court ruling ensures five additional years of funding will go to environmental projects.

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