TPWA may be pulled into poultry lawsuit

OKLAHOMA - The Tahlequah Public Works Authority may soon become involved in a lawsuit filed by 14 poultry companies against alleged polluters along the Illinois River.

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the companies, accusing them of polluting Oklahoma rivers - including the Illinois - with high-phosphorus chicken waste.

Earlier this month, the companies filed a suit of their own, naming 161 public and private potential polluters as defendants.

TPWA General Manager Stan Day confirmed he has been notified by Edmondson's office that the authority may be named in the poultry companies' suit as one of those polluters.

“We are contributors to the Illinois River of nutrient loading from our wastewater treatment plant,” said Day. “But we're meeting and exceeding our permit limits, which are imposed on us by the state.”

Day said TPWA's effluent into the Illinois River contains the same nutrients - phosphorus and nitrogen - that poultry waste contributes to the river.

“That's mainly what makes the algae grow - when you get too much phosphorus and nitrogen, and then sunlight is introduced into that,” said Day.

calendar icon 21 October 2005
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