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

“Settlement Reached For $955K In Hugo Water Quality Case”

More than $900,000 of Severn Trent’s fine will go to help other small towns with water infrastructure needs.


The private company that has been operating Hugo’s water supply system has agreed to pay $955,000 to settle $3.17 million in proposed fines levied for drinking water quality violations, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality announced Wednesday. The agreement calls for Severn Trent Environmental Services Inc.

Read more at: newsok.com

Aubrey McClendon Dead One Day After Being Charged In Bid-Rigging Conspiracy

Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon and Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennet chat during an Oklahoma City Thunder game.

Brett Deering / Getty Images

Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon and Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennet chat during an Oklahoma City Thunder game.

Oklahoma oil and gas pioneer Aubrey McClendon died Wednesday morning following a traffic crash in Oklahoma City.

It’s unclear whether the wreck is related to McClendon’s indictment on Tuesday on charges he masterminded a conspiracy to rig the bidding process for oil and gas leases in northwest Oklahoma. He was due to appear in court later in the day on Wednesday. Continue Reading

Right-to-Farm Opposition Hopes Lawsuit Can Stop State Question Before the Ballot

Dustin Green, owner of 10 Acre Woods farm near Norman, feeds a few of his 400 or so chickens.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Dustin Green, owner of 10 Acre Woods farm near Norman and right-to-farm opponent, feeds a few of his 400 or so chickens.

Will Oklahoma be more like Missouri or North Dakota?

In Missouri, Right-to-farm — a constitutional amendment that broadly protects the agricultural industry from future laws and regulations — was a contentious fight that pitted farmer against farmer and forced a recount of the statewide vote. But in North Dakota, Right-to-Farm passed by a 2-to-1 margin. Continue Reading

Another Oklahoma State Park Cast Off As Department Of Tourism Takes More Cuts

Gary Vanarsdel and Dannie Caldwell wrap up a day on the lake at Dripping Springs State Park near Okmulgee, Okla.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gary Vanarsdel and Dannie Caldwell wrap up a day on the lake at Dripping Springs State Park near Okmulgee, Okla.

Tourism is Oklahoma’s third largest industry behind energy and agriculture. State parks are big reason why. But the number of parks is dwindling after years of budget cuts at the Department of Tourism. And more cuts are on the way.


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State Budget Crisis Could Leave Small Towns With Big Infrastructure Problems ‘Dead in the Water’

Corn, Okla., Mayor Barbara Nurnberg outside city hall in January 2016.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Corn, Okla., Mayor Barbara Nurnberg outside city hall in January 2016.

It costs a lot of money to clean, transport and dispose of water. Big cities can spread the cost of multi-million dollar sewer or treatment projects across thousands of customers. But many small Oklahoma towns don’t have that option, and often rely on a state-funded grant program that’s being squeezed by budget cuts.

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“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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