MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

April 28, 2014

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Mullin’s chicken farm comment dishonest

Records show that a chicken farm operated by a relative of Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin has not been cited by Oklahoma authorities for environmental violations. Congressman Mullin — in a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives — said the U.S. EPA was hurting small business including a poultry farm operated by his uncle Darryl Mullin.

Records obtained from the Oklahoma Agriculture Department show no violations by Mullin’s uncle Darryl Mullin who applied for and was given a poultry farm permit in 1998. The permit for the Adair County farm only cautions that poultry waste should not be applied on one of several locations on the Mullin property because of existing high levels of phosphorus in the soil.

Congressman Mullin used his uncle’s farm as an example of how the EPA was ruining small farms over minor violations such as “chicken feathers.” The fact is that poultry corporations such as Tyson have put their own growers out of business by demanding larger and more expensive poultry houses.

Congressman Mullin still has not explained his comments nor has he given any details of infractions the EPA allegedly found at his uncle’s farm. In fact, the EPA does not governed Oklahoma poultry farms unless they are Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). The Mullin broiler farm is not a CAFO. Congressman Mullin needs to be honest with his constituents when swinging swords at the EPA and at clean water regulations. Clean water is northeast Oklahoma’s future.

ED BROCKSMITH

Tahlequah

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