© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oklahoma chicken litter lawsuit will go into federal remediation with clean-up plan postponed again

Five rafts full of people are floating down a wide greenish-brown river. Thick green trees and brush come right up to the banks.
Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
The Illinois River

A decades-long court battle between Oklahoma and poultry corporations in Northwest Arkansas has been extended once again.

Then-Attorney General Drew Edmondson filed the lawsuit against poultry producers in Arkansas in 2005, saying chicken waste was polluting the Illinois River Watershed in Oklahoma.

After 18 years, a federal judge ruled in Oklahoma’s favor this February. He ordered the involved parties to develop a plan to restore the watershed and limit future pollution. The clean-up plan was originally due in March, but that deadline was extended to June 16.

Now, Kelly Bostian reports for the Oklahoma Ecology Project that the deadline has been extended once again, so stakeholders can undergo federal mediation.

At the request of Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, the involved parties will go through mediation with a retired judge and submit an update two weeks after that concludes.

Drummond told Bostian that negotiations have gone back and forth, but he hopes the mediation will help the poultry corporations and the water advocates find common ground.

* indicates required

Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
Related Content