OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson asked a federal court in Tulsa to dismiss an attempt by Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe to intervene in Oklahoma's poultry pollution lawsuit.
Edmondson filed a response Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma objecting to Arkansas' motion to intervene in Oklahoma's case against several Arkansas poultry firms.
After four years of failed negotiations, Oklahoma sued Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods Inc. and 13 other poultry companies in June alleging that chicken litter applied as fertilizer by farmers working for the companies is polluting watersheds.
Earlier this month, Beebe asked the federal court to intervene in the case, saying he wants to represent Arkansas farmers who could be affected by the suit. Beebe's request came after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a similar request to intervene on Feb. 21.
Beebe wants the issue resolved before the Arkansas River Basin Compact Commission, but Edmondson contends that panel was established to address water issues between the states, not between a state and a private company.
"Our lawsuit is against the poultry companies," Edmondson said in a statement. "We did not sue Arkansas. We did not sue one single farmer. My only interests in this case are the health of Oklahoma's people and the quality of Oklahoma's water."