DELAWARE COUNTY, Okla. (KTUL) — In a big win for Delaware County residents opposing chicken farms, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture announced Monday it won’t approve any new or expanding chicken farms any time soon.
In a release sent to Tulsa's Channel 8, officials wrote they are temporarily suspending approvals for any new or expanding chicken farms. Officials said they plan to wait until a new council on poultry growth can analyze current issues with poultry growth in eastern Oklahoma before making any new decisions.
Channel 8's investigative team spent months looking at the issues facing Delaware County residents.
The announcement came after Delaware County residents voiced raising concerns over water usage, pollution and property values. Delaware County has seen more than 150 new chicken houses built since January 2017.
In the release, Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese wrote, " We find it timely to pause and temporarily suspend accepting applications. The board intends to take into consideration the work of the Coordinating Council on poultry growth and determine if a more structured plan can accommodate neighbors, communities, and the poultry industry. ODAFF is supportive of the poultry industry and its expansion, we hope this pause allows for discussions to avoid yet another ‘boom and bust’ impact that Oklahoma knows so well.”
According to officials, there is only one application pending.