Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

“Seeping Dam Is Expensive Threat to Norman Neighborhood”

Dam safety is expensive and time consuming. For this Norman dam, who that cost falls to is unclear. In the meantime, the structure continues to leak.


NORMAN – When James and Dawn Tomlins bought their home in Summit Lakes Addition in east Norman 15 years ago, they were in love with the site. Their spacious brick house had a lakeside view. Wild geese sometimes wandered across the front lawn, and a paved walk encircling the water was just feet from their front door.

Read more at: newsok.com

OG&E Again Asks Regulators to Approve Environmental Plan For Coal Plant

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

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

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

Oklahoma Gas and Electric went before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission again this week to try to get approval for environmental upgrades at its coal-fired power plant in Red Rock, Okla.

The state’s largest utility is running out of time to comply with new federal air quality standards. OG&E’s Sooner Power Plant needs to have air scrubbers installed or be converted to natural gas by January 2019 to comply with the EPA’s Regional Haze Rule. Continue Reading

Fight Over Sardis Lake Entangled in Ancient History, Indian Culture and Sacred Water

Grave sites at the Sardis Cemetery go back well into the 19th century and many of them are homemade.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Grave sites at the Sardis Cemetery go back well into the 19th century and many of them are homemade.

The fight over control of Sardis Lake and water across southeastern Oklahoma pits the state against Native American tribes. To the Choctaw and Chickasaw who live in the area today — and for the Caddo who preceded them — water isn’t just vital to life: It’s culturally sacred.


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“Blake Production Appeals Fine Over Acid Spill to State Supreme Court”

Blake Production Company is appealing a pollution enforcement case stemming the “largest frack-acid” spill in Oklahoma history, The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports.


Walker appealed the proposed fine and contempt charge, alleging three service providers should also be held liable for the spill. He argued before OCC Administrative Law Judge Michael Decker the contractors knowingly provided faulty equipment.
Walker told The Journal Record he disagreed with the OCC’s final order, which found the contractors weren’t liable for the spill. He said he didn’t appeal the decision to remove one contractor, Cascade Integrated Services, from the proceedings

Read more at: journalrecord.com

The Transportation Department’s New Plan for Inspecting Bridges After Earthquakes

A flowchart from ODOT's new manual on inspecting bridges after earthquakes.

A flowchart from ODOT's new manual on inspecting bridges after earthquakes.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has changed its post-earthquake bridge-inspection plan after a year-long study showed no structural damage from seismic activity.

Under the new plan, which went into effect April 1, ODOT will only inspect bridges after magnitude 4.7 or greater quakes. Regions where bridge inspections are required will expand as earthquake intensity increases: Continue Reading

Sardis Locals Say Lake Economy Suffers As Southeast Oklahoma Water Fight Drags On

Donna McFadden in her closed convenience store along the north shore of Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma.

Allison Herrera / Invisible Nations

Donna McFadden in her closed convenience store along the north shore of Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s lakes drive millions of dollars of tourism to otherwise impoverished parts of the state. But the local economy around Sardis Lake is missing out because of uncertainty about the water’s future.

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Why Oklahoma’s Earthquake Risk Could Be Lower Than USGS Forecast Suggests

Earthquake activity cracked a wall of a workshop used by monks at St. Gregory's Abbey in Shawnee, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A wall of a workshop used by monks at St. Gregory's Abbey in Shawnee, Okla., shows cracks from nearby earthquake activity.

The U.S. Geological Survey on Monday released new maps and models showing Oklahoma has the highest risk for potential shaking from human-triggered earthquakes.

The first-of-its-kind report was based on information on the frequency and intensity of earthquakes throughout the country, but the analysis didn’t include data on the injection of wastewater, the oil-field practice scientists have connected to the upsurge of shaking in Oklahoma and other states.

The USGS report also does not “include changes to policies or wastewater injection rates,” either stemming from the state’s regulatory response or a slow in activity due to low oil prices, The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports: Continue Reading

Oklahoma Has Highest Potential for Earthquakes, New USGS Forecast Shows

The U.S. Geological Survey on Monday released for the first time maps that forecast regions that could experience damage from human-triggered earthquakes. Oklahoma has the highest risk for potential shaking, researchers say. Continue Reading

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