Save the Illinois River, Inc.
24369 E 757 Rd.
Tahlequah, OK 74464-1949
(918) 284-9440

Action Alert on House Bill 4118

Save the Illinois River, Inc. | Environment | February 17, 2024

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Delaware County Oklahoma Mega Chicken Barns

Attention STIR members, friends of clean water, scenic Rivers, and Lake Tenkiller.

House Bill 4118...the Right to Chicken Farm bill...may be heard
Monday by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

STIR and other conservation groups are asking their members to look closely and wisely at this bill as it appears to step backwards from the meager protections from poultry waste which we now have.

STIR believes this bill will not help meet our mission to protect,
preserve, and restore the Illinois River, its tributaries, its
aquifers, and Lake Tenkiller.

Please look at this bill, form your opinion, and call, email, or
write to your representatives and senators to let them know what you think about HB4118.  Please do it as soon as you can.

Link to HB418:

Link to Find My Legislators:

The Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma, whose members include STIR, Trout Unlimited, Spring Creek Coalition, other conservation groups, posted this position on House Bill 4118:

The Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma and all its member
organizations request a NO vote on HB4118.

HB4118 is a response by industry to provide immunity for damages caused by their practices.

•       This bill lessens the requirements of Nutrient Management Plans.

•       Creates immunity for all parties, both criminal and civil, should an environmental event happen and therefore provides no recourse for those being negatively affected.

•       Water (Rivers and Lakes) are the most likely to be negatively affected by pollutants from the poultry industry.
o       Communities such as Hochatown are a large portion of the tourism industry in the State of Oklahoma and this tourism is based around water recreation activities.
o       Impacts fr m pollutants entering the water system (illness, fish kills, unsafe drinking water) have large potential impact on the tourism industry in communities such as Hochatown. 

•       Impinges on Oklahomans’ rights.
o       Eliminates the ability for business owners and private citizens to seek compensation for losses due to pollution by providing immunity from any criminal or civil liability.

•       Favors poultry industry over other industries and private
o       There is a history of successful litigation found in favor of the plaintiff where it was found industry created immediate, continuous, and irreparable damage.

The Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma welcomes the opportunity to meet with legislators and discuss further this piece of legislation and any other legislation as it relates to water, wildlife, and habitat in Oklahoma.
Matthew L. Wright
Board Chair
Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma

The Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma, an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a unified voice to provide common-sense conservation policy in Oklahoma.