Agency Heads Ask Beebe to Step in on Behalf of Poultry Firms

March 25, 2006 - Posted at 12:18 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ A pair of state agency heads are calling for

Attorney General Mike Beebe to respond to this week's ruling by a

federal magistrate allowing the state of Oklahoma to take soil,

water and litter samples on poultry farms.

Oklahoma has filed suit against 14 Arkansas firms it alleges are

polluting its streams and lakes. Both sides expect more legal

battles before any samples are drawn.

The directors of the Arkansas Department of Environmental

Quality and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission sent a joint

letter to Beebe today. They asked him to ensue that the ``rights

and sovereignty'' of the state of Arkansas are protected.

Oklahoma wants to sample about 21 poultry houses and fields

where litter is spread. Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson

has said the state will first pursue sampling on farms in Oklahoma

and those owned by the firms themselves in Arkansas. He says

separate court action in Arkansas would be needed to conduct

testing on contract growers' farms there.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)