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STIR Poultry Waste Action Center 


Doesn't it just make you sick...what they're doing to our water?


Fast Facts About Poultry Pollution.


  • Poultry waste equals 10.7 million additional people in the Illinois River basin (Oklahoma A.G. Office).  This waste is UNTREATED!


  • The poultry industry is located primarily in northwestern Arkansas (Poultry Litter Removal Fact Sheet below).


  • Arkansas poultry waste regulations are weak compared to Oklahoma's rules.  Nutrient management plans are not required until 2007 (Arkansas Regs. below).


  • Oklahoma's lawsuit names poultry companies, not growers.  The companies say growers are responsible for the waste but supply the birds, feed, expertise, etc.


  • The suit seeks elimination of EXCESS POULTRY WASTE...NOT ALL CHICKEN LITTER.


  • Excess poultry waste contains arsenic, heavy metals, bacteria, hormones, and antibiotics.  It promotes growth of algae impairing water safety, clarity, taste and odor.


  • Oklahoma's premier scenic rivers, the Illinois, Barren Fork, and Flint Creek do not meet state standards for "primary body contact recreation" (OWRB) due to animal waste.


  • Tenkiller Lake, "The Emerald Jewel in Oklahoma's Crown of Lakes", is degraded by excess nutrients.


  • The poultry industry opposed higher water quality standards, poultry litter regulation, and nutrient limits.


  • The poultry companies have known for decades that the disposal of their waste was impairing Oklahoma's, and Arkansas' waters.


Send a letter supporting Oklahoma's clean water lawsuit naming Arkansas poultry companies.

Tell Congress dirty water is not O.K. with you.

What your organization can do to help support our state.

Endorsements for Oklahoma's Clean Water Lawsuit

Illinois River Outfitters Association

Concerned Citizens for Green Country Conservation.

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful endorsement of Oklahoma's poultry waste lawsuit.

Greater Tenkiller Area Association's endorsement of Oklahoma's suit.

Grand Lake Association.

City of Grove resolution in support of clean water action.

Indian Nations Audubon Society President's Letter.

STIR's position on Oklahoma's suit.

Sierra Club endorses Oklahoma's clean water lawsuit.

Trout Unlimited supports Illinois River watershed protection:

We as Trout Unlimited members and citizens of the State of Oklahoma are proud to support Save The Illinois River in its efforts to improve water quality in the Illinois River water shed. We feel STIR's voice is a critical component in the effort to inform the public as to the issues and the politics which are affecting the quality of life in eastern Oklahoma.

Thank you, STIR.

Mike Scott, Chapter President Oklahoma Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Oklahoma Clean Lakes and Watersheds Association

And thousands of concerned individuals (Sample).


Poultry Industry/Oklahoma Farm Bureau Dirty Tricks.

  • Initiated T.V. ads lobbying A.G. Drew Edmondson while negotiating settlement. 
  • Attempted to prevent Oklahoma A.G. from filing lawsuits on behalf of citizens. 
  • Tried to intimidate the A.G. before House and Senate Agriculture Committees.
  • Are attempting to redefine poultry litter as nonhazardous (federal Superfund law).
  • Virtually took eastern Oklahoma cities and businesses hostage by including them in the lawsuit. 
  • Had the Arkansas A.G. file lawsuit protecting their industry...not Arkansas waters.
  • Oklahoma Farm Bureau's Senate bill to define poultry waste and dead chickens as not hazardous.
  • And the list goes on....


Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson's testimony to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Superfund legislation. (pdf).

Exhibit, poultry industry in Oklahoma and Arkansas. (pdf).

Testimony of Waco, Texas official, a similar suit.

Link to all testimony before House subcommittee.

Why Tulsa sued the poultry companies.

Tulsa's Lawsuit Against the Poultry Companies Settled (Tulsa World).

Oklahoma Secretary of Environment on Poultry Litigation (Tulsa World).

Background on the clean water dispute between Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Federal Court document naming poultry companies in suit (pdf).

Dr. Riley Needham's research on bacteria in the Illinois River.

What is the law on poultry waste?

Fact Sheet on Poultry Litter Removal at Taxpayer Expense (please wait, pdf file).

Arkansas poultry regulations (please wait, pdf file).

Poultry Litter Application Report for 2003.

How to tell if a poultry farm is coming to your neighborhood. (See RPFO section)

What is the problem with nutrients including poultry litter?

Toxic materials in poultry litter

Phosphorus, what is the material that is polluting our waters?

The Scope of the Poultry Waste Issue


Algae, upper Illinois River near Watts, left, and typical algae found in nutrient-rich lakes, right.