Save the Illinois River, Inc.
24369 E 757 Rd.
Tahlequah, OK 74464-1949
(918) 284-9440

[Archived] Statement from STIR on Oklahoma's lawsuit filed by Attorney General Drew Edmondson

| STIR NEWS | April 21, 2017


Oklahoma's lawsuit is about clean, safe water for eastern Oklahoma not about money or power as some would have you believe. It’s about the Illinois River’s legitimacy as an “Oklahoma Scenic River”...STIR
Statement from STIR on 6/17/05 regarding Oklahoma's lawsuit filed by Attorney General Drew Edmondson
 
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Oklahoma's lawsuit is about clean, safe water for eastern Oklahoma not about money or power as some would have you believe.  It’s about the Illinois River’s legitimacy as an “Oklahoma Scenic River”and it’s about the future of Tenkiller Lake.  Successful resolution will benefit the entire region and wherever excess animal waste is degrading the nation's waters.
 
No industry has the right to ruin a river or a lake and we must remember that other industries are dependant on clean water.  A moderate amount of corporate responsibility by the poultry industry would go a long way toward resolution of this lawsuit.
 
STIR is encouraged by the Attorney General’s attention to other contaminants of concern besides phosphorus.  The lawsuit also requires an examination of poultry pollution from arsenic, growth hormones, and bacterial pathogens such as e coli.  While the problem associated with excess phosphorus is well-known, the concerns regarding these other pollutants must be investigated and addressed if we are to protect the citizens safety and heritage of Scenic Rivers.
 
Farmers' routine application of chemical fertilizers and manure to the land poses a far greater environmental problem to freshwater lakes than previously thought, potentially polluting the water for hundreds of years, according to new research.
 
In a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a University of Wisconsin-Madison expert blames the buildup largely on industrial agriculture's excessive use of fertilizer and manure since the 1940s.
 
The study concludes that major changes in soil management are needed to reverse the trend. It may add urgency to government efforts to stop phosphorus from fouling up lakes and streams.
 
Phosphorus in those substances has built up in the soil and will slowly end up in many lakes, where the nutrients lead to plant and algae growth. The environmental problem, known as eutrophication, can turn pristine lakes into smelly, weed-filled swamps with dead fish.
 
The concentration could cause the eutrophication of lakes for centuries as the treated soil slowly washes into lakes and streams, writes Stephen Carpenter, a professor of zoology and a leading expert on freshwater lakes.
 
Save the Illinois River, Inc. (STIR) is a non profit organization chartered to protect the Illinois River, its tributaries, and Tenkiller Lake.  STIR was formed by several Tahlequah residents in the 1980's to stop Fayetteville, Arkansas from dumping its sewage into the Illinois River basin.  STIR was a party to Oklahoma's lawsuit which ultimately went to the United States Supreme Court.  This suit resulted in the precedent-setting opinion that Arkansas (upstream states) must meet Oklahoma's (downstream states) water quality standards.
 
Contact STIR at 24369 E 757 Rd., Tahlequah, OK 74464, ed@illinoisriver.org