Poultry Bill Shields Farmers from Pollution Suits

By Jeff Elkins, June 4th 2024

OKLAHOMA CITY — A bill establishing liability protections for Oklahoma’s poultry industry is set to become law.

With Gov. Stitt’s signature late last week, Senate Bill 1424 will become law in November. The measure outlines fines for pollution of $10,000 per day and protects poultry farmers from litigation due to water pollution provided they followed a nutrient management plan approved by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

Stitt said Friday the bill is one of the reforms he’s been looking at for “a long time.”

“If we want to change the rules in Oklahoma then change the rules, but you can’t have a business have a permit, doing what they’re supposed to do, and then come in and let a frivolous lawsuit take place and somehow put them out of business,” Stitt said. “That’s not American and it’s not going to happen in Oklahoma. So for those reasons, I signed that bill.”

The effort to provide protections to poultry producers started with House Bill 4118 early this session. Similar language was then written in Senate Bill 1424 by state Sen. Brent Howard, R-Altus, with the addition of a fine increase for pollution from $200 to $10,000.

Read the full article here at The Journal Record.