U.S. Supreme Court may step into factory-farmed chicken poop

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2006:

The U.S. Supreme Court, recently reconstituted with two new
members including a new chief justice, may hear arguments on the
right of states to regulate agricultural pollution.
Arkansas attorney general Mike Beebe in November 2005 asked
the Supreme Court to throw out a U.S. District Court lawsuit filed in
June 2005 by Oklahoma attorney general Drew Edmondson against eight
poultry firms with Arkansas operations that allegedly pollute the
Illinois River, upstream from Oklahoma. The eight, among them many
poultry industry leaders, include Cargill, Cobb-Vantress, Simmons
Foods, Peterson Farms, Tyson Foods, Willow Brook Foods, George’s,
and Cal-Maine Foods.

Beebe claimed to be seeking Supreme Court intervention on
behalf of Poultry Partners, an organization purporting to represent
400 farm families in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Some of the same people
are involved in the Illinois River Watershed Partner-ship, formed in
December 2005 by a group including Poultry Partners spokesperson Bev
Saunders and Simmons Foods Chairman Mark Simmons.
Simmons, named vice president of the new group, told Robert
J. Smith of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he wants to make sure
it doesn’t “look like a front for the poultry industry.”
Edmondson in a January 6, 2006 response to Beebe’s petition
to the Supreme Court called it, “nothing more than an attempt by
Arkansas to use its status as a state to shield private companies
from being liable for their intentional pollution of Oklahoma’s
natural resources.”

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