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

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

Lack Of Expertise And Equipment Led To Unnecessary Closure A Grand Lake Beach

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Larry / Flickr

In 2011, blue-green algae blooms caused the Grand River Dam Authority to warn the public to avoid bodily contact with the water in northeast Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. So last year, few questioned the decision to keep the Bernice Area beach closed for five months after an algae outbreak there. As the Tulsa World‘s Randy Krehbiel reports “it began with goose poop:” Continue Reading

Duncan Left Wanting After State Drought Assistance For Water Project Falls Through

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J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Duncan, Oklahoma has taken some of the worst of the drought these past five years. Stage 5 water rationing is in effect, which means — with few exceptions — a ban on all outside watering.

One option the city was looking at to relieve its drought disaster was to pump water from nearby Clear Creek Lake, but as The Oklahoman‘s Silas Allen reports, funding from that project will have to come from somewhere other than the Oklahoma Water Resources Board: Continue Reading

‘Right-to-Farm’ Inches Closer to Ballot After Breezing Through Oklahoma House

Attendees listen as former Missouri state senator Wes Shoemeyer speaks against Amendment 1 at the Missouri’s Food for America sign-making event at Café Berlin Friday, June 27, 2014 in Columbia, Missouri.

KOMUnews / flickr

Attendees listen as former Missouri state senator Wes Shoemeyer speaks against Amendment 1 at the Missouri’s Food for America sign-making event at Café Berlin Friday, June 27, 2014 in Columbia, Missouri.

A bill that would allow voters to decide if the state Constitution should be changed to guarantee “the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices” passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives without debate Thursday.

It now heads to the Senate, where it’s also expected to meet widespread support.

Right-to-farm is a controversial national issue that barely passed in Missouri in November 2014. The effort pits agricultural interests against, specifically, the Humane Society of the United States, which House Joint Resolution 1012‘s author, Scott Biggs, R-Chickasha, mentioned when introducing his bill on the House floor: Continue Reading

Why Oklahoma’s Newest Lake Might be Built by Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith Public Utilities Director Steve Parke.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Fort Smith Public Utilities Director Steve Parke.

In Oklahoma, the natural beauty of Lee Creek — one of the state’s scenic rivers — is protected by state law. In Arkansas, Lee Creek is an important water source for fast-growing Fort Smith. Now, Fort Smith has a plan to turn Lee Creek into Oklahoma’s next lake, and reignite a dispute that was settled more than 20 years ago.

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Lawton to Dredge Waurika Lake in Latest Attempt to Combat Drought

The dry boat ramp at the Chisholm Trail Ridge Campground on the eastern shore of Waurika Lake.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The dry boat ramp at the Chisholm Trail Ridge Campground on the eastern shore of Waurika Lake in Jan. 2015.

Lawton is pulling out all the stops in its battle with the ongoing drought in western Oklahoma. Last week, StateImpact reported on the city’s plan to create more rain through cloud-seeding. Now Lawton is moving forward with a project to dredge built up silt from the bottom of Waurika Lake that’s clogging pumps and making what little water is left in the lake harder to access. Continue Reading

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