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Poultry Litter Isn't Solid Waste, Says Judge

by 5m Editor
16 December 2009, at 11:12am

US - The judge in the 'poultry litter' case says that poultry litter should not be considered solid waste.

Tulsa World reports that a federal judge ruled in favour of several poultry companies yesterday (15 December) by throwing out the state's claim that poultry litter is solid waste as defined by federal statute.

US District Judge, Gregory Frizzell, considered several motions by defence attorneys for Tyson Inc. and other poultry companies. The defence team argued that the state had not proven its case of phosphorus pollution nor its possible causes if such pollution existed.

In response to a defence motion, Judge Frizzell ruled against one of the state's claims, that poultry litter is solid waste as defined by the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The law governs the handling of solid waste and hazardous waste.

Oklahoma Attorney General, Drew Edmondson, said Judge Frizzell's ruling struck a heavy blow to one of the centerpieces of the state's lawsuit against 11 poultry companies. He called the decision to throw out the state's Resource Conservation and Recovery Act argument "a serious matter".

According to Tulsa World, the state's case will remains alive if it can convince the judge that the poultry industry is at fault for increased amounts of phosphorus that allegedly causes harm to the Illinois River watershed and its waterways.

Proceedings in the lawsuit continue. Providing that Judge Frizzell does not throw out the state's case, the poultry companies' defence team could begin presenting its case this week.

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