Just how good was that chicken poop settlement?


In the full-court press to secure the reappointment of Jim Cameron and Lou Reynolds to the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority, the Whirled and others have repeatedly praised the two for their role in settling the lawsuit with poultry companies over poultry waste pollution in the watershed of Lakes Spavinaw and Eucha, major sources for Tulsa drinking water. Their leadership, we are told, is why the City must have them continue their service on the TMUA board, and why it was irresponsible for the City Council to reject their reappointment.

Just how good was the settlement they achieved for the City of Tulsa? Here's the front page from the July 17, 2003 Tulsa Whirled (jump page here):

The city of Tulsa and its utility authority will receive $7.5 million from six poultry companies the city sued over pollution in creeks and streams that feed two city water-supply reservoirs, Lake Spavinaw and Lake Eucha. The money will be used to pay the city’s attorney fees and litigation expenses, with none left to reimburse the city for the $4 million it has spent treating taste and odor problems in its water supply.

Of the $7.5 million, $200,000 will go to the city for out-of-pocket expenses, and the remaining $7.3 million will go to Oklahoma City law firm McKinney & Stringer. The firm is receiving $600,000 for out-of-pocket costs and the rest in cash and deferred payments, said Jim Cameron, Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority chairman.

Some deal. $7.3 million in attorney's fees but no reimbursement for the the cost of dealing with the damage the City of Tulsa suffered. The spinners argue that we got the poultry integrators to agree to clean up the watershed -- or rather, not to make it worse -- but it remains to be seen whether that will come to pass. The money Tulsa spent to make its once-pristine water palatable again is a tangible loss that was not addressed by the settlement. As long as the lawyers are happy, right?

400,000 people live in Tulsa, and there is no compelling reason why these two gentlemen should be selected over the remaining 399,998 to serve on this board.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 15, 2004 1:06 AM.

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