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Agricultural News


Oklahoma Board of Agriculture Backs Off Vote on Emergency Rule for Poultry Setback- "Punt" Issue to State Lawmakers

Tue, 11 Dec 2018 20:59:48 CST

Oklahoma Board of Agriculture Backs Off Vote on Emergency Rule for Poultry Setback- Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese ran into turbulance in his final State Board of Agriculture meeting as Secretary on Tuesday, as public opinion caused him to effectively withdraw Emergency Rules that would govern set backs on any new construction of large scale Poultry barns in the state. Reese told those gathered that 191 comments were submitted to the Board on the Emergency Rules- and 182 of them opposed passage.


Reese said all board members read every comment submitted in addition to taking numerous phone calls on the subject- he thanked those who commented or called.


The Secretary told the meeting that because of the comments- "we will not approve the Proposed Rule listed as Item 6." Secretary Reese, serving as Board Chairman, elected not to bring the Rules to a vote and instead told those in the meeting room "I am disappointed we were unable to arrive at a consensus. It is very important, yet highly contentious issue that we worked very hard to address. At the same time, we are happy to punt it to the legislature. We will happily implement whatever legislation is passed and signed into law by the Governor at some time in the future."


The Secretary moved to the next item on the Board agenda, offering a motion to continue "Suspension on acceptance and processing of applications for new or expanding poultry feeding operations" until such time as the legislature establishes setback rules for new poultry facilities. The motion was amended to make the termination of the suspension May 31, 2019 and that was accepted- and the measure as amended was passed by a four to one vote.


Several of the Ag Groups that offered opposition to the Emergency Rules said they would like for the legislature to address this topic- and representatives of the Poultry industry said they looked forward to working with lawmakers to establish reasonable setbacks.



   

 

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