OKLAHOMA CITY – At Friday’s Oklahoma Water Resources Board hearing on Oklahoma water quality rules revisions, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau spoke against a proposed rule for Tenkiller Lake.

OFB and the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association said they feared the costs associated with compliance. OIPA objected to tougher rules on sediment. The Indian Nations Council of Governments also objects, said the OIPA.

OFB objected to the new rule on chlorophyll for Tenkiller and other reservoirs of high-quality water. OFB said higher standards would categorize more reservoirs as “impaired,” which would mean greater controls on pollutants, mandated by the Clean Water Act.

Poultry and animal waste are leading causes of nutrient impairment of streams and lakes in eastern Oklahoma. The state has sued out-of-state poultry companies for polluting.

“We are not happy with the inclusion of Tenkiller,” said Marla Peak of OFB, speaking of the proposed new chlorophyll-A water quality standard. She asked that the chlorophyll-A rule and another rule dealing with nutrient-limited watersheds be withdrawn by the OWRB.

Chlorophyll-A is produced by algae. Testing would give regulators a better idea of the extent of the impairment caused by nutrients.

Speaking for the rules revisions were Bob Kellogg and Ed Brocksmith from Save the Illinois River Inc., and a representative of the Greater Tenkiller Area Association. Kellogg is an Oklahoma City attorney.

“It’s time for the OWRB to look at greater protection for Tenkiller Lake, including a limit on nitrates and nitrites,” Brocksmith said. “Most attention has been focused on phosphorus, and very little attention seems to be paid to nitrogen as a cause of water impairment.”

The full OWRB must approve the proposed rules revisions that were suggested after a year’s study by regulatory agency employees. The Oklahoma Legislature and governor must also approve changes.

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