Agriculture

House Committee

Committee on Agriculture

Committees News & Announcements


Feb 22, 2024
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Hardin Releases Statement on House Bill 4118

Rep. David Hardin, R-Stilwell, released the following statement today in response to the spread of false information about his legislation protecting law-abiding farmers and landowners from sue-and-settle tactics.   "Oklahoma farmers are worried about the potential threat of wealthy, out-of-state activists suing them to promote a liberal environmental agenda. These sue-and-settle tactics are commonly used nationwide to impose regulations, and the lawyers behind them are known for targeting those who lack the means to defend themselves, such as small-family farmers. "Let me be clear: House Bill 4118 will only shield Oklahoma's protein farmers who comply with the state's nutrient management plan. Those not in compliance will face recourse, which could include litigation. "In Oklahoma, there are strict laws and regulations in place for poultry growers. They must follow a state-approved nutrient management plan that provides guidelines for responsibly handling poultry waste. These plans ensure poultry growers protect soil and water resources as they produce affordable food and responsibly use the byproducts to benefit other agriculture commodities around the state. Recently, I spoke with Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma's Secretary of Agriculture, where I requested an increase in the budget for more poultry inspectors to implement better testing and preventative measures. "Oklahoma's poultry producers and the industries that support them have demonstrated their dedication to maintaining clean water for decades. Their diligence in following nutrient management plans has contributed to a more than 50% decline in phosphorus levels in the Illinois River watershed since 2002. Nearly 1.8 million tons of poultry litter has been transported out of the Illinois River watershed since 2005, and even the Oklahoma Tourism Department continues to rave about the pristine water in the Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller. "It is crucial to protect Oklahoma's family farmers and ranchers now more than ever, as we have lost over 8,000 farms since 2017. These farmers and ranchers work hard every day to provide a healthy and affordable food supply for people worldwide. I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensure that they can continue to do so for generations to come, even if it means taking a stand against radical groups who seek to mislead Oklahomans." HB4118 passed the House 68-28 on Monday and now moves to the Senate.  


Committee Members

(15)

Chair

Dell Kerbs

R

District 26

Vice Chair

Kenton Patzkowsky

R

District 61

Arturo Alonso Sandoval

D

District 89

Ty Burns

R

District 35

Trey Caldwell

R

District 63

Scott Fetgatter

R

District 16

Jim Grego

R

District 17

David Hardin

R

District 86

Toni Hasenbeck

R

District 65

Dick Lowe

R

District 56

John Pfeiffer

R

District 38

Ajay Pittman

D

District 99

Trish Ranson

D

District 34

Danny Sterling

R

District 27

Rick West

R

District 3

House Staff Assigned

Mariah Searock

Deputy Fiscal Counsel

Jacob Laughlin

Staff Attorney II

Tricia Hines

Policy Analyst / GIS Coordinator