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January 19, 2006
Attorney General Meets with Poultry Farmers over Oklahoma Dispute

Attorney General Mike Beebe has met with northwest Arkansas poultry farmers to discuss that state's dispute with Oklahoma over chicken litter. Beebe describes the case as an "uphill battle'' for Arkansas. He met with about 40 poultry farmers in Lincoln Tuesday afternoon and held a forum on poultry issues Tuesday night in Fayetteville.

Oklahoma filed a federal lawsuit last June after four years of failed negotiations. The lawsuit says Arkansas poultry companies are legally responsible for pollution of the Illinois River watershed. It also says state and federal laws are being violated by improper poultry waste disposal practices.

Beebe has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for permission to sue Oklahoma. He says the two states should settle the matter under the Arkansas River Basin Compact. Beebe says the lawsuit would have a "catastrophic'' effect on Arkansas' $2 billion poultry industry.

Source : katv