Environment
1:08 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Gov. Fallin Criticizes EPA For Cutting Fire Department Vehicle Agreement

Governor Mary Fallin added her voice to the Oklahoma lawmakers who oppose the discontinuation of a program that supplies vehicles to rural fire departments. Fallin wrote a letter Wednesday to an administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency criticizing the discontinuation. 

Credit Office Of The Governor

"The decision to terminate this successful program was clearly made without thought to the adverse effects to local firefighting efforts and the ability to protect the lives and property of our citizens," Fallin said. 

The EPA and the Department of Defense partnered on the program, which supplied more than 9,000 vehicles to Oklahoma fire departments. The program was stopped because of carbon emission concerns. 

Fallin said in her letter that the rural fire departments, which benefited most from the program, are first responders to 75 percent of wildfires in the state. She also said that wildfires can significantly harm the environment. 

"The EPA’s decision to hamstring fire departments seeking to control those fires is counterproductive to its own environmental goals," Fallin wrote. 

State Representative and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Joe Dorman, State Representative Mike Sanders and Insurance Commissioner John Doak have also expressed concern about the agreement to stop providing vehicles to fire departments. ----------------------------------------------------------------------

KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.