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

House Bill 4118 goes to conference

Save the Illinois River Inc. | Environment | April 29, 2024

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Mega chicken barns in Delaware County, northeastern Oklahoma.  (Photo courtesy of Humane League's Common Enemy documentary)


Although HB4118, giving safe harbor to poultry growers, has passed both the Oklahoma House and Senate, it has not cleared all legislative hurdles.  The bill's title was striken and, along with a similiar bill in the Oklahoma House, it will go to conference.
When we learn who the members of conference committee are, we will inform everyone and resume our efforts to enlighten lawmakers about protection of state scenic rivers and Lake Tenkiller.

House Bill 4118 was passed by the Oklahoma Senate today by a vote of 33 to 10.  The title of the bill was stricken, sending it to a conference committee.
Those senators voting no were Boren, Floyd, Matthews, Rader, Brooks, Hicks, Pemberton, Rogers, Dossett, and Kirt.

House Bill 4118 by Rep. David Hardin of Stilwell gives immunity for water pollution to poultry growers with approved nutrient management plans. The author of the bill said that it was needed because of "frivolous" lawsuits.

Save the Illinois River (STIR) President Denise Deason-Toyne of Tahlequah issued the following statement on passage of HB4118:

State Senate passage of House Bill 4118 on Thursday is a great disappointment to Save the Illinois River members and supporters.

We want to thank the many people who did their civic duty by calling and writing to their legislators expressing concern for this measure's potential adverse impact on our valuable waters. Passage of HB4118 demonstrates the need for conservation organizations and state agencies to do a better job of enlightening lawmakers about the importance of Oklahoma Scenic Rivers and the impairments they face because of the lack of meaningful regulation of animal waste.