Logan Layden

Logan Layden is a native of McAlester, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 and spent three years as a state capitol reporter and local host of All Things Considered for NPR member station KGOU in Norman.

  • Email: loganlayden@ou.edu

Why Midwest City Might Fight Norman’s Plan to Recycle Treated Wastewater

Norman Utilities Director Ken Komiske

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Norman Utilities Director Ken Komiske

With concern over drought at a high point and plans to get water from southeast Oklahoma falling through, the City of Norman decided in 2014 to pursue a plan to clean water that has been used by customers and return it to Lake Thunderbird — the city’s main water source — to be used again.

There’s a growing trend toward wastewater reuse to combat drought and conserve water sources for the future, but not everyone is comfortable with the idea of drinking what is, in essence, retreated toilet water. And Norman isn’t the only city that relies on Lake Thunderbird for its drinking water. Continue Reading

“Bill Giving Oklahoma Attorney General Say In Clean Power Plan Response Passes House”

Oklahoma lawmakers are being forced to take sides on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan in the form of their votes on Senate Bill 676, which gives Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt a larger role in developing the state’s plan to comply with the new rules.


Echols warned his House colleagues that voting against the bill would be an endorsement of the EPA’s plan, which he called an overreach from a “rogue agency.”

“This vote will decide where you stand on EPA overreach,” Echols said.

Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, questioned why the bill was needed when Pruitt already has been active in fighting other EPA rules.

“Why do we need this extra step, this extra way for him to challenge this?” Virgin said.

Read more at: newsok.com

Update: What StateImpact Is Watching In Oklahoma’s 2015 Legislative Session

20150424-Capitol001_WEB

Matthew Rutledge / Flickr

There’s only about a month left in Oklahoma’s 2015 legislative session, and if bills haven’t made it out of the chamber they started in by now, they’re dead.

Of the bills of interest to us at StateImpact, the highest profile place new restrictions the wind industry and reduce local control over oil and gas activities. Wind farms have been getting a reimbursement on their property taxes, but that will almost certainly end if Senate Bill 498 get’s to Governor Mary Fallin’s desk. Last Thursday, Republican Representative Earl Sears told the House his bill has the blessing of the wind industry.

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The Murrah Bombing’s Role In Oklahoma City’s Downtown Renaissance

Bill Mihas, owner of Coney Island in downtown Oklahoma since the late 1970s.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Bill Mihas, owner of Coney Island in downtown Oklahoma since the late 1970s.

It’s been nearly 20 years since a bomb destroyed the Murrah building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more. As Oklahoma City prepares to look back on the bombing, one thing is clear — downtown OKC is a far different, and much better place than it was in April 1995. And it’s hard to deny the role the bombing played in the area’s resurgence.

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The View From Sardis Lake: Why Moving Water to Where It’s Needed is So Hard

A sign along Oklahoma Highway 43 near Sardis Lake.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

A sign along Oklahoma Highway 43 near Sardis Lake.

Moving water from where it’s plentiful to where it’s needed seems like a logical way to meet all Oklahomans’ future water needs. But water transfers are complicated, and not just because they’re expensive but because communities with lots of water want to keep it. Nothing illustrates this tension/challenge/whatever better than Sardis Lake.

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OG&E ‘Attacked From All Sides’ Over Request for Record Rate Increase

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's coal-fired Sooner Plant in Red Rock, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's coal-fired Sooner Plant in Red Rock, Okla.

When Oklahoma Gas and Electric — the state’s largest utility — lost its battle with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Haze Rule, it was clear the utility would have to spend millions to come into compliance with it, and looming deadlines related to new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Continue Reading

EPA Settles With Ponca City Carbon Black Plant Owner Over Air Pollution

Photo of the Ponca City Continental Carbon plant from NPR's 2011 investigation Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities.

David Gilkey / NPR

Photo of the Ponca City Continental Carbon plant from NPR's 2011 investigation Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities.

settlement agreement announced Monday between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Continental Carbon will cost the Houston company nearly $100 million.

Continental owns plants in Texas, Alabama, and in Ponca City, Okla., that produce a powdery substance called carbon black, which is used in a variety of everyday items, including tires, plastic, printer ink. Continue Reading

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