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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: POULTRY MANURE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO REDUCE NON-POINT SOURCE PHOSPHORUS POLLUTION

Location: Poultry Production and Products Safety Research

Title: The Eucha/spavinaw Phosphorus Index: a Court Mandated Index for Litter Management

Authors
item Delaune, Paul - UNIV OF AR - BAEG
item Haggard, Brian
item Daniel, Tommy - UNIV OF AR - CSES
item Chaubey, Indrajeet - UNIV OF AR - BAEG
item Cochran, Mark - UNIV OF AR - AEAB

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 11, 2005
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Phosphorus (P)-based management strategies have been adopted in state planning standards nationwide, as most states have modified and adapted the original P Index approach to better assess local landscape characteristics and management practices. In December 2001, the City of Tulsa, OK and the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority filed suit against six poultry companies and the City of Decatur, AR for P related environmental concerns in the Eucha/Spavinaw Watershed (ESW) in northeast OK and northwest AR. A settlement agreement was reached in July 2003 requiring the development of a new P risk-based index by January 2004 for use in writing nutrient management plans throughout the entire watershed. The result of this settlement agreement was the submission of two separate P management tools from the University of Arkansas and Oklahoma State University. The University of Arkansas found it most appropriate to modify the existing P index in use in Arkansas to meet terms of the settlement agreement and to better reflect landscape characteristics and management practices specific to the ESW. Hence, the Eucha/Spavinaw Phosphorus Index (ESPI) was developed and submitted to the court. By court decree, nutrient management plans in the watershed were written using ESPI beginning in Feb. 2004. Through 2004, it was reported that the implementation of ESPI resulted in litter application rates that were substantially less than two-thirds of the total litter produced within the watershed, which was the target amount of litter allowed to be applied by the Court.

Technical Abstract: Phosphorus (P)-based management strategies have been adopted in state planning standards nationwide, as most states have modified and adapted the original P Index approach to better assess local landscape characteristics and management practices. However, P-based management strategies and environmental issues have become the focus of political debate between the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma due to differing management strategies in trans-boundary watersheds. In Dec. 2001, the City of Tulsa, OK and the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority filed suit against six poultry companies and the City of Decatur, AR for P related environmental concerns in the Eucha/Spavinaw Watershed (ESW), located in northeast OK and northwest AR. A settlement agreement was reached in July 2003 requiring the development of a new P risk-based index by Jan. 1, 2004 for use in writing nutrient management plans throughout the entire watershed. The result of this settlement agreement was the submission of two separate P management tools. The University of Arkansas found it most appropriate to modify the existing P index in use in Arkansas to meet terms of the settlement agreement and to better reflect landscape characteristics and management practices specific to the ESW. Hence, the Eucha/Spavinaw Phosphorus Index (ESPI) was developed and submitted to the court. By court decree, nutrient management plans in the watershed were written using ESPI beginning in Feb. 2004. Through 2004, it was reported that the implementation of ESPI resulted in litter application rates that were approximately one-third the rates that were common before the implementation of ESPI. This is substantially less than two-thirds of the total litter produced within the watershed, which was the target amount of litter allowed to be applied by the Court.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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