Samples being taken from poultry farms in Eastern Oklahoma for lawsuits

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Oklahoma officials resumed testing soil, water, and runoff from 20 eastern Oklahoma poultry farms for Attorney General Drew Edmondson's lawsuit against 14 poultry companies in Arkansas. The lawsuit alleges their operations have polluted Lake Tenkiller and Illinois River watershed.

The original order authorized soil samplers to enter the property "one time". Edmondson then asked for a clarification for "one time". Federal Magistrate Sam Joyner said, in a supplemental order, "With regard to soil samples, Plaintiff (Oklahoma) is permitted to enter and leave the property, as necessary, beginning with the first date of entry and proceeding on subsequent contiguous days until the necessary soil samples are obtained."

Bev Saunders, spokesman for Poultry Partners, said farmer's resistance to testing was unlikely. Poultry Partners represents a group of about 400 farmers. She went on to say "We don't agree with this, but we do abide by the law."