A federal judge has dismissed one of Oklahoma’s key claims in the state’s pollution lawsuit against Arkansas poultry companies.
U.S. District Judge Greg Frizzell on Dec. 15 ruled that bird manure isn’t “solid waste” under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976.
Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson says the loss of the federal claim is “serious” and that he plans to appeal the ruling to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The lawsuit filed by Edmondson in 2005 claims the poultry companies are responsible for polluting the Illinois River watershed with poultry litter. The poultry companies deny any wrongdoing and claim the manure is property of their contract growers who use it is a cheap fertilizer.
The trial in the AG’s case against 11 companies — including food giants Tyson Foods Inc. and Cargill Inc. — began in September.
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