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'Farms, not factories': Delaware Co. residents push back on poultry farms

Posted at 7:25 PM, Jul 03, 2024

DELAWARE COUNTY — A Delaware County judge sided with concerned residents over the rapidly increasing poultry farms in the area.

The concern is over the distance between the farms and houses as well as the output of waste from the chickens.

"They bring in all the chickens, they take out the chickens, they bring in the feed. They don’t take the manure. We get that," said Pam Kingfisher, a Delaware County resident.

She is part of a group called Green Country Guardians. The Facebook group's profile photo reads, "Farms, not factories."

She supports the Spring Creek Coalition, a citizen-led group suing the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry.

Kingfisher said the poultry farms already built are already causing problems.

"My creek is now dead. Double Spring Creek is dead. The water is, the rocks are brown and slimy, and it stinks year-round, not just in August," said Kingfisher.

She said the creek used to be full of fresh water and is disappointed by its current state.
Kingfisher said the farms are not strongly regulated, "we followed trucks full of dead chickens, feathers flying; you know it's just out here. It is still the Wild West. They got away with a whole lot of crazy stuff."

In a decision on June 28, Delaware County Judge Dave Crutchfield found nearby residents were not informed of the farms before construction began.

It also said poultry waste is a concern for nearby waterways.

"It’s a very big win because when you see words like 'the problems should be inherently visible. It should be inherently apparent to anybody.' Judge Crutchfield understood exactly the problem," said Grant Hall another Delaware Country resident.

He is also involved in the movement against the state and poultry farms. He said that he is not anti-poultry, but he wants the regulations.
"To get reasonable regulations is what we have been asking for. Reasonable regulations that are enforced," Hall said.

To understand more about the state’s side, 2 News reached out to the ODAFF, they said they don’t speak on active cases.

2 News was told the legal battle will continue, however the residents are confident with their efforts so far.

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