JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS

Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- An attorney representing Oklahoma says several Arkansas poultry farms for years cut corners when disposing of waste and knowingly polluted a sensitive watershed out of greed.

Attorney Louis Bullock said during his closing argument Thursday that 11 companies turned the Illinois River watershed shared by Oklahoma and Arkansas into a "green, slimy mess."

The state contends the companies, including industry giants Tyson Foods Inc. and Cargill Inc., for decades disposed of hundreds of thousands of tons of chicken litter by allowing crop farmers to spread it on their fields. They say the runoff from the farms tainted the watershed and endangered the health of those who live, work and visit the area.

The state is seeking to stop the practice.

The companies say they handled the waste responsibly and lawfully.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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