Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tyson Pollution of Lake Wister

In the Friday September 25, 2009 edition of the Tulsa World, there is a story about our Oklahoma state Attorney General Drew Edmondson going to court in Tulsa this coming wednesday against the Arkansas
poultry processing plants who are polluting the Illinois River and consequently Lake Temkiller.
I am not alleging that this is a political stunt of Mr. Edmondson's since he in running for Governor, but, I
do wonder, and, always have since he started this action years ago, why he did not include the pollution
of Lake Wister by Tyson ? The Tyson chicken processing plant at Waldron, Arkansas has been dumping their
(treated) waste water into Bull Creek, a tributary of Lake Wister for about fifty years now.
Several years ago our good friend former state Representative Jim Hamilton secured a grant for tens of thousands of dollars for a study to be conducted on Lake Wister's sources of pollution. Samples were taken all the way up to that plant and the closer they got the worse the phosporous and undesirable chemcials got, with a trail of green glob leading all the way to the lake. Ninety-five percent of LeFlore county gets their drinking water from Lake Wister.
Yet, another source of lake pollution is as a matter of fact the runoff of rain water from the fields located in the lake watershed which are used to spread chicken litter on by the thousands of tons annualy. And, this is a rather "catch 22 situation" in as much as we, the people of LeFlore county depend upon the chicken industry for much of our income, taxes and economical stability.
Perhaps it is time for someone to come up with a new "green way" to get rid of the chicken litter, to allow the chicken growers to continue to operate unemcumbered and at the same time save the PVIA money on chlorine and other chemicals used to treat our water. And there are definetly"water purification systems" available large enough to treat the volumes of water used daily from the lake.
Well respected Poteau Doctor Winters once wrote in the Poteau newspaper that he believed
chemicals in our drinking water could be the reason why LeFlore county has a high rate of
deaths due to cancer. I have been concerened abou this matter since I was the Mayor of Poteau
and went to inspect the Tyson plant at Waldron.
Perhaps it is time for the Tyson company to help purchase a "state of the art" water purification system to be installed at the Poteau Valley Improvement Authority water treatment facility at Lake Wister. And, maybe if the right strings were pulled, a few dollars of "stimulus money" might be procured for such purposes ? Maybe Attorney General Drew Edmondson could help us accomplish this ? Now, that's "my two -cents" ..what's yours ?

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