Water Board grants higher standard to Lake Tenkiller for protection of waters...STIR (4/05)
Tenkiller Lake now has additional water quality protection.
The additional protection given Tenkiller Lake by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board has received approval of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Waters of Tenkiller Lake are now designated High Quality Waters (HQW). This designation means the state and federal governments recognize that "No water quality degradation which will interfere with the attainment or maintenance of an existing or designated beneficial use shall be allowed."
The HQW designation stems from the determination by the OWRB that Tenkiller Lake meets the following criteria: "...certain waters of the state possess existing water quality which exceeds those levels necessary to support propagation of fishes, shellfishes, wildlife, and recreation in and on the water. These high quality waters shall be maintained and protected."
There is one higher water quality designation under sate law, that for Oklahoma Scenic Rivers. That designation states that designated scenic rivers are an outstanding resource with exception values. No degradation of water quality is allowed. That is why no no point sources of pollution are allowed for the Illinois River and its tributaries.
Thanks to the many STIR members and Greater Tenkiller Area Association members who supported the HQW designation for Tenkiller Lake with their calls, letters, and email comments to the OWRB.