Dear STIR members and friends,
Another positive development in protection for the Illinois River and Tenkiller Lake has occurred!
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has approved the Tahlequah Public Works Authority's (TPWA) request to permanently abandon land application of biosolids (sewage sludge) on three sites in the Illinois River basin. ODEQ responded to TPWA in a letter dated August 11, 2005. ODEQ's letter to TPWA states: "No land application of biosolids is allowed on these areas."
STIR formally commented on the latest Tahlequah WWTP permit asking for discontinuance of land application of sludge. The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission also asked ODEQ to disallow land application of sludge in the Illinois River basin.
Previously, ODEQ disallowed land application of industrial waste within the Illinois River basin in Oklahoma.
Two of the sites are in Adair County (Davis Site 1 and 2) and one is in Cherokee County (Nottingham Site).
This is a positive action for water quality improvement for the Illinois River and Tenkilller Lake.
STIR has raised the sewage sludge question several times for Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas applications for wastewater treatment plant permits. The permit for the new Fayetteville WWTP requires that sewage sludge be removed to a landfill and not land applied.
STIR wishes to thank the Tahlequah Public Works Authority and ODEQ for taking this step.