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Monday, January 16, 2017

EWG Investigates: Scott Pruitt and Poultry Pollution

EWG Investigates: Scott Pruitt and Poultry Pollution: As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt rolled back efforts to protect the waters of his home state from the poultry industry and other polluters.





EWG INVESTIGATES: SCOTT PRUITT AND POULTRY POLLUTION



Toxic pollution from industrial-scale poultry farms – hundreds of thousands of tons of manure from millions of chickens – threatens the rivers and streams of northeastern Oklahoma.



But as Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt – President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency – rolled back efforts to protect the waters of his home state from the poultry industry and other polluters.



As the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee prepares to hold Pruitt’s confirmation hearing this week, an EWG investigation of his record “defending” the environment in Oklahoma shows:



Pruitt declined to pursue his predecessor’s lawsuit against poultry polluters, which would have kept chicken manure from fouling a state-designated scenic river.

Many of the poultry polluters named in the suit contributed heavily to Pruitt’s 2010 campaign for attorney general.

Before Pruitt took office, the Environmental Protection Unit of the attorney general’s office took on factory chicken farms over water pollution. After Pruitt was elected, he disbanded the unit.

The Illinois River, which flows into the state from Arkansas, is designated for special protection by Oklahoma as a scenic river, and the river's basin is classified as highly vulnerable to groundwater pollution. In 2005, Pruitt’s predecessor, former Attorney General Drew Edmondson, filed a lawsuit in federal district court to stop Tyson Foods and other poultry companies in the Illinois River basin from spreading massive amounts of chicken manure on land that ran off into nearby waters.


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