OKLAHOMA CITY - (May
27, 2005)--The House voted Thursday to extend tax credits
that make it cheaper to transport poultry litter away
from watersheds and reduce pollution.
House Bill 1014, by State Rep. John Auffet, would maintain
a tax credit for the purchase and transportation of
poultry litter until 2008. The credit was set to expire
at the end of 2005.
"I am very pleased that our Legislature came together
to do something positive for the poultry industry that
is so vital to our state," said Auffet, D-Stilwell.
"At the same time we are cleaning up our water
supply in rural counties."
In eastern Oklahoma, the concentration of chicken litter
near poultry operations has contributed to phosphorus
pollution in water due to runoff.
The tax credit provides buyers with $5 per ton of poultry
litter purchased and transported with a maximum total
credit of $375,000 per year.
Under the program, only litter purchased from an Oklahoma-based
poultry operation located within "an environmentally
sensitive and nutrient-limited watershed area"
would qualify for the credit.
Officials have used tax credits to make it economically
feasible to purchase chicken litter for use as fertilizer
in parts of the state that do not have water pollution
There are roughly 3,000 poultry houses in Oklahoma,
each producing an average of 125 tons of poultry waste
per year, or a collective statewide total of 375,000
Research indicates 1,845 poultry houses are located
in nutrient-limited watersheds generating an estimated
231,000 tons of litter.