Processing Magazine

New Oklahoma Attorney General Will Review Poultry Pollution Lawsuit

November 10, 2010
The Associated Press reports that Oklahoma''s new attorney general, who accepted thousands of dollars in campaign donations from poultry industry employees, said once he takes office he will review whether the state should press on with a lawsuit accusing the industry widespread pollution. The state has spent millions of dollars arguing the case, and it is awaiting a judge''s ruling. Outgoing Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson sued the Arkansas companies in 2005, including Tyson Foods Inc. and Cargill Inc., alleging that chicken manure from their facilities polluted the 1-million-acre Illinois River watershed, which straddles Oklahoma and Arkansas. Testimony wrapped up earlier this year, but the federal judge has yet to rule. Edmondson, who filed the lawsuit in 2005, didn''t seek re-election so he could challenge Lt. Gov. Jari Askins for the Democratic nomination for governor. Edmondson lost by less than 1 percent to Askins, who also received contributions from the poultry industry. In 2006, poultry industry employees gave at least $24,000 to the failed attorney general bid of Republican James Dunn, state records show.