Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation to examine poultry operations

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker have announced a council to study the expansion of poultry operations in northeastern Oklahoma.

The Coordinating Council on Poultry Growth will look into the expansion of poultry production and its impact on the area.

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry records show about 200 permits have been issued in the past year for new houses that could hold more than a million birds.

Officials said the council is not related to an as of yet unresolved 2005 lawsuit filed by then-state Attorney General Drew Edmondson against a dozen Arkansas poultry companies. The lawsuit alleges waste from poultry raised by farmers under contracts with the companies polluted the Illinois River watershed in northeastern Oklahoma.