Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

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

“Are Oklahoma Fish Safe To Eat?”

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality just added eight lakes to its fish consumption advisory, which now includes 40 lakes in total. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the fish aren’t safe to eat. Just try not to eat too much.


The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) last week cautioned citizens against eating too much fish from some state lakes because they pose a higher risk for mercury poisoning. The agency issued a fish consumption advisory for eight Oklahoma lakes, making a total of 40 lakes now where DEQ says mercury levels are high enough that people should pay attention to how many fish they are consuming.

Read more at: newsok.com

Regulator Says Budget Cuts Could Imperil Vital Water-Monitoring Programs

Jet Stein with the OWRB's lake monitoring program prepares to test the water at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Jet Stein with the OWRB's lake monitoring program prepares to test the water at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City.

Water contaminated by algae blooms or choked by sediment and pollutants kills wildlife and isn’t healthy for humans. It’s up to the state to make sure Oklahoma’s lakes and rivers are safe, but budget cuts are threatening that mission, officials say.


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“Federal Appeals Court: Clean Power Plan Can Proceed”

The Clean Power Plan still faces litigation from more than 20 states, including Oklahoma, but in the meantime it will be allowed to go into effect.


WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court refused Thursday to block Obama administration regulations aimed at reducing power plant pollution while a legal battle wages on. The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was a victory for environmentalists and a defeat for states challenging the Environmental Protection Agency regulations in court.

Read more at: www.usatoday.com

Budget Crisis Could Hinder State’s Ability to Manage Floods and Protect Streams

Children play in a small tributary of the Illinois River near Tahlequah, Okla., in May 2015.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Children play in a small tributary of the Illinois River near Tahlequah, Okla., in May 2015.

Oil and gas are endangering the Oklahoma’s streams, soil and wetlands. Not by polluting them, but because plummeting oil prices have blown a billion-dollar hole in the state’s budget. Funding cuts at agencies that manage Oklahoma’s natural resources could threaten the state’s beauty, as well as people’s lives and property, officials say.


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Fallin Taps Emergency Fund and Feds To Fix Oklahoma’s Flood-Damaged Dams

Oklahoma Conservation Commission Watershed Technitian Dennis Boney inspects damage to the Wildhorse 80 dam's spillway in Garvin County in July 2015.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Conservation Commission Watershed Technitian Dennis Boney inspects damage to the Wildhorse 80 dam's spillway in Garvin County in July 2015.

Dozens of Oklahoma’s flood control dams took damage from heavy rains in spring 2015. Despite a looming state revenue failure, enough money was found in the state’s emergency fund for repairs. Continue Reading

From Revenue Failure to Right-To-Farm: StateImpact Oklahoma Covers 2016

In January 2015, drought stricken Waurika Lake was dangerously low.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

In January 2015, drought stricken Waurika Lake was dangerously low.

There’s a $1 billion hole in the state budget that has consequences for Oklahoma’s environment and natural resources. A controversial state question could pit farmer against farmer. The ground beneath Oklahoma is shaking — figuratively and literally in 2016 — and StateImpact is on it.


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EPA’s Haze Rule for Texas Meant to Clear the Air In Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains

Meers area resident Bill Cunningham looks for haze over the Wichita Mountains from the top of Mt. Scott.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Meers area resident Bill Cunningham looks for haze over the Wichita Mountains from the top of Mt. Scott.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has gone state by state to enforce its Regional Haze Rule, which means to increase visibility at national parks and wilderness areas by cutting haze-causing emissions at coal-fired power plants. Continue Reading

Bigfoot is Scaring Up Stories and Tourism Dollars in Southeastern Oklahoma

Charles Benton, who claims to have seen Bigfoot, stands with a statue of the creature in front of Janet's Treasure Chest in Honobia, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Charles Benton, who claims to have seen Bigfoot, stands with a statue of the creature in front of Janet's Treasure Chest in Honobia, Okla.

The stories go back for generations. Reports of something not quite human in the wooded hills of far southeastern Oklahoma. The legend of Bigfoot is growing in McCurtain County — and attracting tourists.


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