Happy New Year. Let’s Toast to Oklahoma Scenic Rivers
Thank you for your support in 2018. We’re looking ahead to the new year and it appears that a lot of work is ahead to protect Oklahoma Scenic Rivers and Lake Tenkiller. The new Governor, new Secretary of Environmentand many new legislators are unfamiliar with why we must protect Oklahoma Scenic Rivers. Water quality rules are being attacked nationally and at home. You can help meet these challenges by renewing your STIR membership for 2019 and making an extra contribution if possible. Then, be ready for action when you are needed. That might be an email or letter to officials or newspapers or it might mean attending a meeting or a hearing on rules changes or legislation.
2018 in Review
STIR’s plea to enforce Oklahoma’s phosphorus limit for scenic rivers was denied in 2018. Instead, Oklahoma negotiated still another agreement with Arkansas forming more committees and bureaucracy. This will result in more years of delay in fully protecting Oklahoma Scenic Rivers as well as Tenkiller Lake. We asked for a scientific study of Illinois River and Tenkiller Lake pollution. Both EPA and Oklahoma refused. This study, a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), is critical to enforcing our water quality limits and halting pollution from farms and cities.
Construction of new poultry houses was on a rampage in Green Country last year. Some of the chicken barns are in the Illinois River watershed. A moratorium on new poultry farm licenses was approved with STIR’s help but it ends in May. Property owners concerned for the water wells, clean water and air and property values will be looking to lawmakers for relief.
National and state clean water regulations are in jeopardy. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) is considering a rule that many consider to be a“polluter’s pass”. At the urging of theEPA, the OWRB may allow polluters a variance to continue polluting our water including scenic rivers. STIR is watching this, and other rule changes closely.
Please Renew Your STIR Membership for 2019
With your support, we will continue to speak out about rules promoting dirty water. Please renew your STIR membership for 2019 and encourage your clean water friends to join. Dues are $15 for individuals, $25 for families, $35 for businesses and organizations and $300 for a lifetime STIR membership. Contributions may be deductible as STIR is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. Please mail your checks to STIR at 24369 E 757 Rd, Tahlequah, OK 74464 or join online.