Oklahoma's Scenic Illinois River
U.S EPA PULLS THE PLUG ON ILLINOIS RIVER SEWAGE PERMITS
EPA objects to Arkansas phosphorous permits
Federal regulators pulled the plug on permits issued for two wastewater treatment facilities in northwestern Arkansas that discharge into streams within the Illinois River watershed. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality approved the permits in December despite objections from Oklahoma agencies and Save the Illinois River Inc. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials said the upstream state ignored objections and recommendations, issuing permits that differed from draft permits and then failed to submit them for additional review in violation of the Clean Water Act. "The written recommendations from the state of Oklahoma regarding the NACAS permit were not accepted by the ADEQ, and the EPA finds the reasons for rejecting the recommendations inadequate," EPA Region 6 Water Division Director Charles W. Maguire states in a letter noting the agency's objections. "ADEQ did not accept Oklahoma's recommendations, and the EPA has determined the ADEQ's reason for rejecting the recommendations to be inadequate."
The EPA's rejection of the permits, pursuant to CWA provisions, converts the final permits issued by ADEQ to proposed permits. EPA will issue specific objections by early March to the proposed permits to which ADEQ and other interested parties will have an opportunity to request a public hearing.
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