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Below is a copy of an e-mail received from Ed Brocksmith of the Oklahoma Scenic River Commission.
You're encouraged to send your comments to the addresses are at the bottom of this page.
Remember, "The Illinois River is Tenkiller Lake"

(Beginning of e-mail)

Below are letters from Oklahomans who are supporting greater protection for the Illinois River.

Please be sure to express your opinion to Arkansas bureaucrats who have failed to include the Illinois River on the list of streams to receive greater pollution protection (303 d list).

THE ILLINOIS RIVER STARTS IN ARKANSAS AND GREATER PROTECTION MUST START THERE TOO!
------------------------------------------
To Whom it May Concern;

Arkansas needs to include the Illinois River with its list of impaired waters (Bill 303 d). For right relationship between neighbors there must be both respect and concern for the well being of each other. Right now it appears there is a lack of respect for the waters that overflow into our state. We need to remember what goes around comes around. Life has a way of making this happen and Arkansas will need the support of Oklahoma neighbors at some future date. Neighbors understand these things and protect especially health issues. Please, Arkansas, be sensitive to us as we are requesting.

Respectfully,
Carol E Parrish
-----------------------------------------
Gentlemen:

As an Oklahoma Scenic River Commissioner and a member of Oklahoma Governor Keating's Animal Waste and Water Quality Protection Task Force (1997), I must object to Arkansas's failure to include the Illinois River on its list of impaired streams. To fail to include the Illinois River on Arkansas' list of impaired streams is obviously a political decision not a science-based decision. The levels of nutrients flowing downstream into Oklahoma originate in Arkansas and have seriously impacted the beneficial uses of this stream in our State. It is hard to believe that nutrients from poultry runoff does not similarly impact the Illinois River in your State. The Illinois River's omission from the 303d list shows an extreme lack of concern for your neighbors and a "head in the sand" approach to environmental protection. Both states deserve better. I urge you to reconsider.

Gerald L. Hilsher
Boone, Smith, Davis, Hurst & Dickman
100 West 5th Street, Suite 500
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103
(918) 587-0000
(918) 599-9317 Fax
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Dear Arkansas DEQ:

It is clear from your proposed 303(d) list, that the Illinois River is omitted from the Arkansas proposed water quality management plan. I would be interested to know how extensively Illinois River water quality has been monitored and whether the Illinois River is being managed for primary body contact recreational beneficial use inside the state of Arkansas. Too, it would be useful to know whether ADEQ is collaborating with Oklahoma to protect a zone of water quality improvement far enough upstream to meet the Oklahoma beneficial uses at the point that it enters Oklahoma's boundary. It is logical that Oklahoma's exceptional quality water standard should be met at the state line. Oklahoma is a riparian and stakeholder at the state line. The Illinois' millions of recreationists over time who use the river are beneficiaries of ADEQ planning. Downstream beneficiaries should be taken into account in any comprehensive plan. To omit full preservation of beneficial uses at the state line would be irresponsible and would be a planning deficit. Instream values can and must be based on logical surrounding facts, because Arkansas' stewardship has extrajurisdictional implications. ecoLaw institute, inc. urges vigorous, affirmative water quality management in the Plan, and 303(d) listing which acknowledges and takes responsibility for meeting, Oklahoma Water Quality Standards at point where Arkansas' stewardship is handed-over to Oklahoma-- the state line dividing Arkansas' river use and Oklahoma's river use. An alternative might be to retrocede Arkansas state implementation, back to the federal regulatory level, so that fragmentation of planning does not interfere with accomplishment of the aims of the Clean Water Act.

Kathy Carter-White
Staff Attorney
ecoLaw Institute, inc.
---------------------------------------------
Subject: Illinois River and 303 d list

June 6, 2002

Regarding the Arkansas 303 d report:

I understand the Illinois River is not listed as impaired in your state's newest 303 d list.

If this is the case, I strongly object and believe this is a very serious oversight.

The Illinois River in Oklahoma is a legally designated state scenic river.

The Illinois River in Arkansas and in Oklahoma is degraded by nutrients including phosphorus. The extent of this impairment is such that Oklahoma has found it necessary to establish a standard for phosphorus in state scenic rivers including the Illinois River.

Arkansas and Oklahoma water quality officials are meeting now on ways in which Arkansas will meet the new Oklahoma standard.

Certainly one way to meet the standard would be for Arkansas to acknowledge the damage to the Illinois River caused by phosphorus and to set a standard for phosphorus in Arkansas.

I urge you to review your newest 303 d report and rewrite it to show the Illinois River is impaired by nutrients.

This would be a good faith effort by Arkansas to show Oklahoma citizens your state is indeed concerned about protecting the Illinois River in Oklahoma.

Ed Brocksmith
24369 E. 757 Rd.
Tahlequah, OK 74464
918 456-3407

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Brocksmith [mailto:brocksmi@tah-usa.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2002 5:09 PM
To: Oklahoma Clean Water Group Send
Subject: Arkansas 303 d list

Please remember to comment on the failure of Arkansas to list the Illinois River on that state's 303 d list of impaired streams.

JULY 8 IS THE DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS.

The Illinois River is impaired by nutrients and should be listed. Listing would require an action plan for improvement.

Fact: Phosphorus levels in the Illinois River near Siloam Springs, Arkansas are extremely high...well above Oklahoma's recently approved phosphorus limit of .037 mg/l.

Fact: Arkansas says it is concerned about phosphorus pollution of the Illinois River in Oklahoma and wants to work with Oklahoma.

Inclusion of the Illinois River on the Arkansas 303 d list would be a good start to working toward a solution.

Ed Brocksmith
-----------------------------------------------------

News Release
Contact: Doug Szenher, Public Affairs Supervisor
For release: June 5, 2002
Telephone 501-682-0915 Fax 501-682-0880 E-mail
do-@adeq.state.ar.us

COMMENTS SOUGHT ON 2002 ARKANSAS 303 d LIST

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has developed its list of water quality limited waterbodies in the state, commonly called the 303 (d) List, and will accept written public comments on the document until July 8, 2002.
The list is designed to identify waters in Arkansas whose designated uses are being impaired, attempt to determine the cause and degree of impairment, and prioritize the waters for development during the next two years of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plan to address the impairment. The decisions for making the proposed stream listings were based primarily on chemical and physical water quality data collected and analyzed by the ADEQ. The data involved more than 7,000 samples, collected between October 1, 1998, and December 31, 2001. ADEQ samples were collected monthly from 142 permanent sampling stations, bi-monthly from more than 110 other locations, and from special sampling projects. Additional sampling data was supplied by other government agencies which regularly collect water samples, including the Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission, the University of Arkansas' Water Resources Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S.
Geological Survey, and U.S. Forest Service. Copies of the proposed Arkansas 303 (d) List are available for public inspection at ADEQ information depositories located in public libraries at Arkadelphia, Batesville, Blytheville, Camden, Clinton, Crossett, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Forrest City, Fort Smith, Harrison, Helena, Hope, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Magnolia, Mena, Monticello, Mountain Home, Pocahontas, Russellville, Searcy, Stuttgart, Texarkana, and West Memphis; in campus libraries at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the University of Central Arkansas at Conway; and in the Arkansas State Library located on the State Capitol grounds at Little Rock.

In addition, the proposal may be viewed or downloaded at the Department's Internet web site located at: www.adeq.state.ar.us .
Written comments on the 303 (d) list will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. July 8, 2002.

Comments should be mailed to:
Doug Szenher, Public Affairs Supervisor
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 8913,
Little Rock, 72219-8913.

E-mail comments may be sent to:
reg-co-@adeq.state.ar.us , and also must be received by 4:30 p.m. July 8, 2002.

(End of e-mail)

 

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