Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed Conservation Commission Water Quality Division Director Shanon Phillips as one of three representatives from the state on a joint committee with Arkansas to review the phosphorus water quality standard for the Illinois River.
The six-member committee is tasked with designing a study and selecting independent researchers to determine the critical nutrient concentrations that lead to excessive algae growth in the Illinois River.
The comprehensive, three-year study was announced in February following months of negotiations between Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
The Illinois River is designated a scenic river in Oklahoma. State officials have said that runoff from poultry operations in Arkansas have harmed the water quality in the river, which begins in Arkansas and flows into Oklahoma.