Oklahoma

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Guarded Hope At Oklahoma’s Abandoned Mine As EPA Promises Focus On Contaminated Sites

Rebecca Jim, executive director of the L.E.A.D Agency, at the nonprofit's headquarters in Miami, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Rebecca Jim, executive director of the L.E.A.D Agency, at the nonprofit's headquarters in Miami, Okla.

Newly minted U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spent his first months on the job steering the agency away from climate change to focus, in part, on cleaning up contaminated sites around the country.

The former Oklahoma attorney general has directed a task force to create a top-10 list of locations that need aggressive attention — welcome news at Superfund sites like Tar Creek in the northeastern corner of the state.

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Oklahoma Latest Front As Military and Wind Developers Fight For Open Sky

Trainees in the control tower at Altus Air Force Base watch as a C-17 cargo plane taxis to the runway.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Senior Airman Yazmine Nanasca watches as a C-17 cargo plane taxis to the runway from her perch in the control tower at Altus Air Force Base.

Developers recently announced plans to build the country’s largest wind farm in Oklahoma’s Panhandle. The industry is growing and turbine projects are expanding across the state. But wind energy developers are facing a new headwind: military air bases.

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Oklahoma And Other States Planning to Enjoy Solar Eclipse From The ‘Cheap Seats’

A partial solar eclipse captured over Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City in 2014.

Bill Davis / Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

A partial solar eclipse captured over Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City in 2014.

A temporary mass migration that could reach into the millions is expected as people across the United States relocate to catch a prime view of the country’s first coast-to-coast total eclipse in nearly a century.

The vast majority of the country, including Oklahoma, isn’t in the path of “totality.”

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Teach First, Train Later: Becoming An Emergency Certified Teacher In Oklahoma

Lindsay Judd will be one of hundreds of emergency certified teachers taking the helm of Oklahoma classrooms this year.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lindsay Judd will be one of hundreds of emergency certified teachers taking the helm of Oklahoma classrooms this year.

Oklahoma schools are becoming more and more reliant on teachers with no training.

A lack of school funding, low pay, and waning morale have driven many of the experienced teachers out of the classroom, or out of the state.

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Alternative to Earthquake-Linked Wastewater Disposal Stirs up Opportunity for Oklahoma’s Oil Industry

Electricians complete last-minute work at Newfield's Barton Water Recycling Facility near Calumet, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Electricians complete last-minute work at Newfield's Barton Water Recycling Facility near Calumet, Okla.

A key part in solving the state’s earthquake crisis is the long-term management of an enormous amount of oil-field wastewater likely triggering the shaking. The energy industry is working to solve this billion-barrel-a-year problem, and one promising alternative to risky disposal wells is reusing wastewater instead of pumping it underground.

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Software Could Help Cities in Oklahoma Plan for Costly Weather and Climate

Olivia and Carter Kempen playing on a splash pad in Edmond, Okla.

Zoe Travers / KOSU

Olivia and Carter Kempen playing on a splash pad in Edmond, Okla.

People who live in Oklahoma know the state’s weather is hard to predict. Erratic rain, heat and ice, and drought can also devastate government budgets. To combat this, researchers from the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University are using new software to help cities predict these economic strains.

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When School Lets Out and Meals End, Educators Struggle to Feed Students Over the Summer

Heidi De Leon, 18, and her younger brother regularly get free lunch through Oklahoma's summer feeding program.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact

Heidi De Leon, 18, and her younger brother regularly get free lunch through Oklahoma's summer feeding program.

For some low-income children in Oklahoma, summer does not mean vacation and playtime — It means being hungry. The lunch and breakfast these kids receive at school is no longer readily available, so they often go without — or they eat junk food. And while Oklahoma has summer food programs to combat this, there are roadblocks for many children.

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As Cities in Oklahoma Woo Innovative Industries, Researchers Say Schools Are a Weak Link

General Electric's new Oil and Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City.

VICTOR A. POZADAS / KOSU

General Electric's new Oil and Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City.

A new report from the Brookings Institution says Oklahoma City is positioned for growth. It says the city has a solid layer of infrastructure essential for development — and diversifying the economy.

But there’s a threat to this development, and that’s a potentially weak workforce. Some researchers say local officials need to ensure schools provide the training innovative companies need. And they need to be doing it now.

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