Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 24, 2013

STIR fears letters will derail EPA efforts

TAHLEQUAH — Members of Save The Illinois River Inc. are worried efforts are under way to derail the formation of a Total Maximum Daily Load of nutrients within the Illinois River watershed.

STIR forwarded copies of six letters sent to Ron Curry, administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6. The organization asked the EPA to pause the Total Maximum Daily Load being developed for the watershed to allow the findings of a two-state stressor test response to become available, involving Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Those submitting letters included Tyson Senior Vice President Kevin Igli; Simmons Chairman Mark Simmons; Poultry Federation President Marvin Childers; Rogers/Lowell, Ark.; Chamber of Commerce President Raymond Burns; Northwest Arkansas Council President Mike Malone; and Springdale, Ark., Chamber of Commerce President Perry Webb. Copies of all six letters were also sent to the corresponding U.S. senators and congressmen Northwest Arkansas.

In February, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel signed a Statement of Joint Principles, providing for a new “best science” study of the phosphorus load for the river. Both states, for the first time, agreed to be bound by the outcome.

The new study will take three years, and could result in a standard stricter than the current requirement. Oklahoma’s .037 milligrams per liter phosphorus standard will remain in effect throughout the new study.

STIR member Ed Brocksmith sent a letter to Pruitt, asking for assistance.

“STIR believes that you and the Secretary of Environment should attempt to counter these letters by urging the EPA to continue full-speed ahead with the TMDL process,” wrote Brocksmith.

“We cannot allow the important TMDL development to be further stalled by Northwest Arkansas forces.”

Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Administrator Ed Fite was a signatory on the recent Oklahoma-Arkansas agreement.

“I was a signatory to the original agreement in 2003, and on the second agreement,” said Fite. “I believe as long as [the states] are working together, the river benefits.”

Fite agrees with Brocksmith that the EPA should disregard the letters.

“From my standpoint, several of those letters misrepresent the agreement,” said Fite.

“The second agreement is simply a three-year extension of the original document. The reason we did the extension was to avoid costly and protracted litigation and administrative hearings that would undermine the goals both states have achieved since working together in 2003.”

Fite also pointed out that the EPA, which has conducted public hearings related to the TMDL, has indicated it will continue to develop the TMDL, regardless of any agreement reached between Oklahoma and Arkansas.


To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-NSU-MAIN.jpg Fledgling RiverHawks arrive

    Over 200 incoming freshmen took part in orientation class at Northeastern State University

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-TCP-jump.jpg Tahlequah Community Playhouse revving up for new season

    Tahlequah Community Playhouse is kicking of its 41st season with a nod to friendship and aging.
    TCP finished auditions for its first play of the season, “The Dixie Swim Club,” on Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Infant mortality dropping in county

    When a mom-to-be is expecting a healthy, happy baby, every week of pregnancy is crucial.
    Short gestation, or premature births, is a leading cause of infant mortality. Any child born before reaching 37 weeks of gestation is considered premature.

    July 23, 2014

  • Board considers combining tourism, chamber positions

    Members of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the local Tourism Council are discussing the possibility of combining two jobs into one.
    Chamber President Steve Turner encouraged board members Tuesday morning to be prepared next month to decide how it will begin a search for a new executive director.

    July 23, 2014

  • New chamber board members nominated

    Three new board members will likely be installed during the regular August meeting of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce.

    July 23, 2014

  • ts-camp-cherokee-main.jpg Camp Cherokee

    About 500 area youth attending popular camp for tribal citizens.

    In reality, two camps are taking place at the Camp Heart ‘o the Hills: a day camp for children in first through sixth grades, and a residential camp for those in middle and high school.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • leatherman-chad.jpg Man gets 20 years for robbing local Walgreens store

    A Tahlequah man accused of robbing a local Walgreens this year has received a 20-year sentence.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-orphan-train.jpg ‘Orphan Train’ authors visit Tahlequah

    Imagine, for a moment, being a child whose parents could not care for him, and the only alternative was to ride the rails across the country, hoping to find a new family and home.
    For local resident Peggy Kaney’s grandfather, this scenario was a reality.
    Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster shared the stories of over 200,000 children taken from New York City and then given away to families in western states from 1854 to 1929, at the Tahlequah Public Library on July 17.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City council gives family deadline to rehab property

    Tahlequah’s city council is giving a family with local ties a little more than a month to develop and submit rehabilitation plans for two pieces of property containing six dilapidated structures in the 400 block of Lee Street.
    Members of the city’s abatement board recommended the homes be demolished, according to Tahlequah Building Inspector Mark Secratt. City officials then sent a certified notice as required by law, but the letter was returned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man ‘howling like dog,’ arrested for APC

    When a Kentucky man pulled into an area convenience store over the weekend and began “barking and howling like a dog,” sheriff’s deputies checked on him and eventually hauled him to jail on alcohol-related charges, an arrest report shows.

    July 22, 2014


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament