Natural Resources

StateImpact Oklahoma
11:57 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Oklahoma's Largest Water Loan Goes To Norman To Fix Stressed, Stinky Treatment Plant

A water tower in Norman, Okla.
Credit MELISSA MEGGINSON / FLICKR

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board uses the state’s good credit to secure loans for communities and rural water districts that need help paying for expensive upgrades to their water systems.

And at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, the board approved a $50.3 million loan to Norman in what Joe Freeman, chief of OWRB’s financial assistance division, calls the “largest single loan request” it’s ever acted on.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
5:03 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Norman Mayor And Residents Question Use Of City Drinking Water For Fracking

Credit Tyler Ingram / Flickr Creative Commons

Many residents — and some members of the city council — didn’t know Norman’s drinking water is being used for hydraulic fracturing until The Journal Record broke the story in March about Texas-based driller Finley Resources tapping a fire hydrant near Franklin Road.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:32 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Anadarko’s $5 Billion Environmental Settlement: Four Things Okies Should Know

A Kerr-McGee service station and refinery in Wynnewood, photographed in 1974.
Credit Kerr-McGee Corporation Collection / Oklahoma Historical Society

Anadarko Petroleum on Thursday agreed to pay more than $5 billion for an immense environmental cleanup that includes U.S. sites contaminated by nuclear fuel, rocket fuel waste and wood creosote.

The case was brought by a trust representing the U.S. government, 11 states, Indian tribes and individuals affected by the contamination, and sought funds for cleanups at 2,700 sites in 47 states.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:07 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

To Frack Wells In Norman, Driller Buys City Drinking Water Right From The Hydrant

Credit alphageek / Flickr Creative Commons

For a fee, most municipalities will give contractors and other industrial users a special water meter and temporary access to a city fire hydrant. The meters and hydrant access are often used for construction sites, and the buyer usually pays a higher per-gallon water rate for the high-flow access.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:24 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Bill to Allow New Tax On Limestone And Sand Mines Dead Until Next Year

State Rep. Charles McCall (R-Atoka)
Credit Provided / Oklahoma House of Representatives

Representative Charles McCall’s bill to allow counties to impose a tax on sand and limestone mining operations that sell their product elsewhere didn’t make it through the full House by the March 14 deadline.

But McCall, R-Atoka, says he will try again next year.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:40 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Federal Flood Insurance Fix Still Means Higher Premiums For Some Oklahomans

Credit Robert Pos / Flickr Creative Commons

Only about 18,000 of Oklahoma’s 3.8 million residents have flood insurance. And less than half of that many have policies that are subsidized by the federal government. But for those 7,000 or so Oklahomans, flood insurance is getting much more expensive.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:02 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Oklahoma Chemical Company Settles With EPA And DEQ, Agrees To Pay Fines And Reduce Emissions

LSB Industries has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, which had accused the Oklahoma City-based chemical company of violating the federal Clean Air Act.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:41 am
Wed March 12, 2014

State Senate Easily Passes Bill That Could Make Mining Permits Harder To Get

U.S. Silica's sand processing plant north of Mill Creek, Okla.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Some landowners frustrated by the expansion of mining in south-central Oklahoma — particularly in the sensitive Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer — hope a slight change to the state’s mining law will make a major difference in the public’s ability to go up against large sand and limestone mining companies.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:27 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Lawmakers Join Landowners Who Think Getting A Mining Permit Is Too Easy

Johnston County Landowner Clyde Runyon just outside a limestone mining operation near Mill Creek, Okla.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Limestone and sand miners are getting a lot of attention lately. The amount of groundwater they can displace from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer was recently capped, and the state House could authorize a new tax on the industry.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
10:09 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The Reason Toxic ‘Releases’ Are Up In Oklahoma, And Why It’s Not That Scary

Toxic waste from New York, New Jersey and Wisconsin is brought by rail to Oklahoma, where it's treated and stored at the Lone Mountain Landfill.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

New data from the federal government show a drop in the amount of toxic chemicals being released into the nation’s air, water and land. In Oklahoma, however, so-called toxic “releases” have soared.

But it’s not as scary as it sounds.

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