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Poultry Lawsuit Ruling

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By Associated Press

Oklahoma City, OK – Appeals court upholds Cherokee Nation ruling

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling to block the Cherokee Nation from intervening in Oklahoma's water pollution lawsuit against 12 Arkansas poultry companies.

A divided three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down the ruling on Tuesday. It upheld a decision by federal Judge Gregory K. Frizzell last year.

The tribe had asked to intervene so it could try claims it has against the poultry producers. But Frizzell said that would likely trigger a lengthy delay. Last year's ruling cleared the way for the case to go to trial.

Frizzell says the tribe can still bring a separate lawsuit against the companies.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson sued the companies in 2005. He claims chicken waste produced in the Illinois River watershed has wreaked environmental havoc.