Beebe gives a hoot; we must pollute | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Beebe gives a hoot; we must pollute

Posted By on Tue, May 2, 2006 at 1:59 PM

 Now Attorney General Mike Beebe is seeking to intervene in an Oklahoma court to disrupt Oklahoma's legal efforts to clamp down on Arkansas poultry industry pollution of Oklahoma waterways. Says the Beebe release:

“This lawsuit threatens to slow or stop the progress of environmental improvements already agreed to by both states,” Beebe said. “Oklahoma has gone to court to demand money and to impose its laws on Arkansas instead of working together to find common ground for protecting environments and livelihoods in both states.”

            In 1970, Arkansas and Oklahoma signed the Arkansas River Basin Compact, agreeing to address environmental concerns through a federally approved Compact Commission with representation from both states.  Oklahoma now seeks to circumvent the Compact and instead force its laws on Arkansans.

            In 2003, the two states agreed to work together over the next decade to substantially reduce phosphorus levels in the Illinois River.  Oklahoma’s lawsuit now changes the focus from an environmental-improvement issue to a financial issue.

            “We are filing on behalf of the State of Arkansas and the individual farmers who have no voice in this litigious attack on their farms,” Beebe said. “The poultry companies have their own attorneys and can pursue whatever legal action they wish.  Our goal is to get this matter out of court and back to the Compact Commission, where dialogue between the states has addressed this issue for more than 35 years.”


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