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.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • CN, UKB battle over trust land application

    Two Tahlequah-based tribes presented oral arguments Friday in a protracted fight over a land-in-trust application.

    Over the course of five hours, attorneys for the Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and the Department of the Interior made their cases before Northern District Judge Gregory Frizzell in a hearing that was originally scheduled for February.

     

    July 25, 2014

  • ts-NSU-Main-1-a.jpg No NSU pool, for now

    NSU experiencing delays in fitness center construction

    Earlier this month, Northeastern State University announced it is experiencing delays in the renovation of its fitness center and pool.
    The facility was officially shuttered Sept. 17, 2012, and at the time, the projected completion date for renovation was this fall.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • jn-Suspect-1.jpg Officials: Images of suspects may help nab church burglars

    Cherokee County investigators hope surveillance footage captured around the Crescent Valley Baptist Church in Woodall helps lead to the suspects accused of breaking into the complex and setting fire to one building this week.
    According to Undersheriff Jason Chennault, cameras captured footage of two suspects on bicycles early Tuesday morning, July 22.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw-movie-night.jpg Local library hosts family movie night

    Nova Foreman and her two daughters were about to leave the Tahlequah Public Library Thursday, when they saw the Family Movie Night flyer.
    The three decided to stay and enjoy a movie they had not yet seen at the free, theater-like event.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Keys.jpg Grant to fund stepped-up Keys PE program

    Kair Ridenhour’s new office is filled with pedometers.
    Ridenhour officially started his new position as assistant elementary principal at Keys Public Schools on July 1.
    But his other role at the school – that of physical education project coordinator – prompted the influx of pedometers.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn cvbc fire.jpg Church catches fire after burglaries

    Authorities are looking for the person accused of breaking into the Crescent Valley Baptist Church two times this week and likely causing a fire that damaged the youth building early Wednesday morning.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw Humane photo.tif More volunteers needed to house strays, help with spay-and-neuter

    Furry friends may seem like the perfect addition to round out a family.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marijuana, seeds lead to four arrests

    Four people were arrested on marijuana related charges early Wednesday morning after a traffic stop on South Muskogee Avenue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Sex offender found living in tent at river

    Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators arrested a convicted sex offender this week when they discovered he has been living in a tent along the river.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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

Poll

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

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Stocks