Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Senate Backs Poultry Bill

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Senate Backs Poultry Bill

Article excerpt

A bill for registering poultry feeding operations and certifying poultry waste applicators passed the Oklahoma Senate on Monday.

Senate Bill 1170, by Sen. Paul Muegge, D-Tonkawa, and Rep. M.C. Leist, D-Morris, includes three new laws -- the Oklahoma Registered Poultry Feeding Operations Act, the Oklahoma Poultry Waste Transfer Act and the Oklahoma Poultry Waste Applicators Certification Act.

It requires registration with the State Board of Agriculture of poultry feeding operations (unless a particular operation is licensed under the Oklahoma Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Act), creates a poultry waste transfer fund for the Department of Agriculture, provides for collection and transportation of poultry waste out of areas where it would pollute watersheds and/or ground water, and requires poultry waste applicators to be certified by the agriculture board for a $15 annual fee. New language added in conference requires poultry integrators to contract with Oklahoma State University through the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to provide educational training courses. Integrators would be required to provide $150,000 during fiscal year 1999 and a maximum $50,000 for each of the three subsequent fiscal years for the courses. It also creates an agriculture regulation revolving fund for the agriculture department, to be expended for the regulation, enforcement and administration of the department's Water Quality Division. Sen. Bernest Cain, D-Oklahoma City, and Senate Minority Floor Leader Bill Gustafson, R-El Reno, initially sought to reject the conference committee version of the bill, with instructions to conferees to come up with some system of industry fees to at least cover regulatory expenses. Gov. Frank Keating also favors an industry-funded regulatory system. But other senators said this approach would not find support among House conferees. …

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