Oklahoma agriculture board punts poultry rules to lawmakers
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma Board of Agriculture wants state lawmakers to develop rules for poultry operations.
The board on Dec. 11 declined to approve or reject rules requiring large poultry operations to be at least one-quarter mile from occupied homes and one-half mile from public schools or city limits, in addition to distance requirements from public highways, property lines, certain streams and private and public water wells.
Environmentalists and residents of northeastern Oklahoma, home to numerous poultry operations, say the rules are not strong enough to protect water or prevent pollution. The state’s Farm Bureau and Cattlemen's Association says there was not enough time for additional input on the proposal.
State Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese says he’s disappointed a decision wasn’t made, but says “we are happy to punt it to the Legislature.”