In testimony at meetings in recent years and documents filed in support of its application to the EPA, Oklahoma environmental officials and utility industry representatives argue strongly for more state authority over coal ash.
Since the passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has set the standards for what constitutes safe drinking water for all the states.
Occasionally, the agency updates its rules and regulations. That happened in 2006, with the passage of three new rules addressing contaminates in ground water.
Not long after that, Oklahoma ran into a serious budget crises, and the state Department of Environmental Quality was cut, so much so that it could not afford to implement the new EPA rules.
As of March 2013, DEQ still hasn’t implemented those new rules, and if it doesn’t, the federal government is set to take over drinking was regulation in the state. That would put millions of dollars in federal assistance to communities with water infrastructure needs at risk.
EPA Administrator and former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was back in the Sooner State last week — to talk about what his agency plans to do about saltwater contamination in Bird Creek in Osage County that could be tied to the oil and gas industry.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to roll back many Obama-era rules meant to combat climate change.
Republicans Outmaneuver Democratic Boycott to Allow Senate Vote on Oklahoma’s Scott Pruitt for EPA Boss
The section of the Arkansas River that runs through Tulsa is changing. For much of the city’s history, business owners constructed buildings facing away from what has been considered a polluted eyesore. But now Tulsa is embracing its most prominent physical feature.
Coal is the king of modern electricity generation in the United States. It’s also responsible for one of the nation’s largest streams of industrial waste. About 130 million tons of coal ash containing arsenic, cadmium and mercury are produced every year. The waste can be disposed of — or recycled. But critics and residents in southeastern Oklahoma question whether federal rules and state regulations are enough to keep the public safe.