, Muskogee, OK


June 19, 2013

Clean water needs good partners

Compromise between two parties is best served when both parties seek cooperation.

That does not appear to be the case in the fight to clean up the Illinois River.

Oklahoma and Arkansas have long tussled over the definition of clean water, what causes the pollution of our scenic rivers, and how best to correct the problem.

But even after Oklahoma and Arkansas attorneys general agreed in principal for standard pollution limits, it appears our neighbors are continuing to employ delay tactics.

Arkansas, specifically the chicken industry, has tried to delay the implementation of Oklahoma phosphorous standards.

A letter-writing campaign initiated by Tyson Foods asked regulators for the delay.

That seems to be going behind the states’ backs and undermines the agreement between the two states.

It is difficult to create compromise designed to move forward in any dispute if you can’t trust the other side.

Tyson Foods has a major financial stake in delaying the phosphorous standards.

It will cut the profits of Tyson and other chicken producers because they will have to spend money to meet the new standards.

This is not the first delay tactic created by Arkansas or the chicken industry.

They want a new study, agreed to abide by it, and then ask for delay of the implementation of the study’s results.

That’s not honorable.

That’s not in the best interest of clean water and our environment.

It is in the best interest of profit-seeking businesses.

Oklahoma should not be fooled to think it has a partner in clean water.

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