OKLAHOMA CITY - Two highly publicized accidents resulting in the spillage of hog waste is prompting State Senator Kevin Easley (D-Wagoner Co.) to call for an independent evaluation of the spills.
Senator Easley serves as chairman of the joint legislative committee created to study the impact of large corporate hog farms.
The Department of Agriculture has already conducted an evaluation of the spills and their impact. However, Senator Easley believes an independent study would be beneficial to lawmakers who are writing regulatory legislation this year.
"A similar independent review was conducted several years ago at the request of the Governor when MAPCO had an ammonia pipeline spill," said Senator Easley. "The main benefit is to use the review to identify agency weaknesses and make suggestions on how to improve evaluations."
In the MAPCO case, DEQ did the review on the joint response of the Ag department and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Senator Easley believes DEQ should conduct his proposed review as well.
"We must be sure that Agriculture officials have accurately determined the volume of each of these hog waste spills," noted Senator Easley. "The potential safety of Oklahoma's air and water demands a second look."- 30 -