This is part one of StateImpact Oklahoma’s four-part series on the history of Oklahoma’s scenic rivers and the threats they face.
The six eastern Oklahoma waterways classified as scenic rivers are each examples of the pristine beauty of that part of the state. They’re also tourist magnets. Even on a Monday morning, rowdy Tulsans pile into a bus at Diamondhead Resort and rumble toward the nearest access point into the Illinois River.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says a limit on phosphorus concentrations in the Illinois River in Oklahoma was "unfairly calculated" when it was set a year ago.
So, McDaniel said Wednesday that Arkansas entities will pay for a new $600,000 study to work out a more scientific and reasonable limit.
The Illinois is designated a scenic river in Oklahoma, but officials there say runoff from poultry operations in Arkansas has harmed the water quality in the river, which begins in Arkansas and flows into Oklahoma.