Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

Opponents of Arbuckle-Simpson Withdrawal Limit Ask for Court Review

OWRB Executive Director J.D. Strong (left) addresses members of the water board at its Oct. 23 meeting.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

OWRB Executive Director J.D. Strong (left) addresses members of the water board at its Oct. 23 meeting.

Just one week after the Oklahoma Water Resources Board decided to cap the amount of water that can be taken out of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, opponents of the move are continuing the fight — in court.

The Ada News’ Eric Swanson reports:

Several organizations that oppose the MAY [maximum annual yield] are attacking the order on a variety of grounds, including a complaint that the board relied on bad science and incomplete evidence, according to a copy of the organization’s motion seeking judicial review. The group also contends that the order violates landowners’ property rights because it limits the amount of groundwater that can be transferred from the aquifer each year.

Supporters also asked for the court review, which has been filed but hasn’t been assigned a court date:

“Many of the documents included in CPASA’s Motion to Include are scientific studies of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer and relate directly to the points that the corporate special interest groups challenge,” the organization said.

In an interview with StateImpact from mid-October, Oklahoma Water Resources Board Executive Director J.D. Strong said the scientific study that led to the new limits took more than 5 years to complete, and opponents already aired their concerns about it at previous hearings — and were rebuffed.

“The Water Resources Board staff is extremely confident in the study and the science, more so than any maximum annual yield study that’s ever been done by this agency,” Strong says. “There was a lot more time, a lot more money, a lot more scientists and research that went into developing the models, the science, the data to support this maximum annual yield.”


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