Conditions were optimal for an overflight on a bright, sunny November day in New Bern, a riverfront city that was North Carolina’s first state capital and the birthplace of Pepsi. Larry Baldwin and Rick Dover, his colleague at the Riverkeeper Alliance, an international nonprofit focused on clean water, stood next to a small Cessna airplane, going over their flight plan before taking off. Baldwin’s mission was to fly over eastern North Carolina—host to an increasing number of industrial-scale hog and poultry barns, often crowded right next to one another, to collect evidence of the waste being discharged into nearby creeks and waterways, which could threaten neighboring communities with air and water contamination. For years, Baldwin and his colleagues from Riverkeeper organizations across the state have been undertaking airborne sorties in privately chartered planes to document hog and poultry waste leaking into watersheds. Baldwin would snap pictures to supplement ongoing […]