Senator Bruce Price is offering a helping hand to a new hog industry study commission created by Governor Keating, saying legislators have been working on the issue for a number of months.
"This has been a pressing issue in rural Oklahoma for some time. That's why we decided to get an early jump on it in the Legislature," said Senator Price.
"I think it would only be appropriate to offer our resources to Governor Keating since his study panel is just getting started."
Governor Keating appointed a special task force last week to look into the impact corporate hog farms have on water supplies. Senator Price, who is currently sponsoring legislation on the subject, began working on the issue last year.
"We need to address any problems corporate hog farms may present, but we also have to be watchful of all industries that could contaminate our water supply. We need to cover all our bases and strike a balance between what's good for business and what's good for the environment," said Senator Price.
The legislation authored by the Hinton legislator would overhaul the Oklahoma Feed Yards Act, replacing it with new, updated regulations to cover the industries of today. It combines some of the old, pertinent statutes with new regulations adopted by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
"Some of the old laws were written long before the corporate hog industry took off the way it has in recent years. We're trying to update those statutes so we can protect people's water and air supplies without unnecessarily tying the hands of business. If rural Oklahoma and the hog industry are to survive, they will have to live and work together," said Senator Price.
Senator Price's bill is currently in a conference committee where legislators are trying to hammer out a final version for legislative approval.