Iowa Public Television


Water Monitors Cause Chicken-Fried Friction in South

posted on May 27, 2005

Arkansas and Oklahoma, which have been at odds for years over poultry-farm pollution flowing into the rivers they share, are squabbling again after Oklahoma-based water quality monitors were found in Arkansas.

County work crews in northwestern Arkansas discovered the water monitors and traced them to Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who is gathering information for a lawsuit against Arkansas farms over runoff.

"The political gamesmanship of the Oklahoma attorney general is getting more pungent than any perceived pollution he thinks is coming from Arkansas," Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee complained. "Rather than operating in good faith to solve problems, he had rather continue disparaging Arkansas farmers and communities in order to keep his name in the paper."

Charlie Price, a spokesman for Edmondson, blamed the furor over the monitors on an environmental consulting firm hired by the Oklahoma attorney general. Price said his boss did not intend for the device to be placed along Arkansas waterways without notifying local authorities.

Tags: agriculture animals chickens livestock news pollution poultry water quality