Oklahoma’s Clean Water Needs Your Help!

From Susie Shields of Oklahoma Sustainability Network:

Please call your state representative and ask him/her to vote no on HB
1470

Dear Friends of Oklahoma’s Environment:

Oklahoma’s clean water protections are under attack at the State Capitol. The animal factory corporations responsible for polluting some of our most important rivers and streams are working hard to secure a legislative “pass” for their activities.

As you know, Attorney General Drew Edmondson has filed a lawsuit against the chicken corporations polluting the Illinois River to force them to clean up the mess they have created. Because agriculture is already largely exempt from requirements under clean water laws, that suit is based on the federal “Superfund” law that regulates hazardous waste. This is appropriate because poultry waste is laced with arsenic, antibiotics, pathogenic bacteria, loads of phosphorus, and other materials that are actually hazardous. This approach was successful in the recent suit filed by the City of Tulsa to protect their public water supply.

In response, the poultry companies and their corporate agriculture allies are pushing a bill to legislatively decree that all animal manure is not hazardous and cannot be regulated! Not only that, but anything else mixed with manure would also be decreed to be not hazardous.

This is a dangerous over-reaction and a transparent attempt to shackle those public officials trying to protect our water.

We need your help to stop this outrage. There are at least 3 bills to re-define manure as not hazardous. The first of these will be voted on by the House of Representatives as soon as the week of February 26.

PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND ASK HIM/HER TO VOTE NO ON HB 1470 *

The big agriculture corporations behind this measure are wealthy and powerful but a strong outpouring of public concern can prevent adoption of this misguided proposal. Please call now! Some calling tips are included below.

On behalf of the Oklahoma Sierra Club Chapter Legislative Committee – THANK YOU!

PROTECT OKLAHOMA’S ENVIRONMENT, FOR OUR FAMILIES, FOR OUR FUTURE

Calling your legislators

Don’t know who your Representative is?
Click here to find out: http://www.capitolconnect.com/oklahoma/default.aspx

Your state Senators and Representatives want to hear from you. When you talk to a legislator, your voice will be listened to. Often, a few calls from concerned citizens can make the difference in a legislator’s decision about a vote. Because of the strict deadlines that the Oklahoma Legislature follows, letters are often too slow to keep up with events. Telephone calls are often the only way to give your opinion before a critical vote.

Legislators can be reached at the Capitol during the week. The number at the House of Representatives is 405/521-2711 or 1-800-522-8502. Reach the Senate at 405/524-0126 or 1-800-865-6490. Ask for your legislator by name and you will be connected with their office.

State legislators have no real staff. Most even share a secretary. If you call during the session, you will probably leave a message with their office. Even though they may not have a chance to return your call until later, they check their messages frequently. Your chances of speaking to your legislator directly are best if you call early in the morning, before committee meetings begin (generally 9:00 AM).

When leaving a message with the office, keep it brief and to the point. Know the bill number you are calling about and the specific action you want them to take (support an amendment, oppose a bill in committee, etc.). In general, the very fact that you care enough to call and express an opinion will carry great weight.

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