Poultry Lawsuit

Tulsa, OK – Okla. official told industry about pollution fix

TULSA, Okla. (AP) An Oklahoma official says he talked with the poultry industry more than a decade ago about ways to move chicken waste out of the Illinois River watershed.

Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Director Ed Fite made the comment during testimony yesterday in Oklahoma's pollution lawsuit against 11 Arkansas poultry companies. Oklahoma claims that tons of chicken waste have polluted the Illinois River watershed on the Oklahoma-Arkansas border.

The companies say their actions were responsible and within the law.

Fite said he once suggested adding a half-cent or cent to the cost of each bird to create a fund for dealing with the waste. He said many conversations he had with the industry were when he was on former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating's task for on animal waste in 1997.

Fite is to return to the witness stand when testimony resumes today in federal court in Tulsa.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.