Nearly 8 years after efforts started to create limits for some pollutants in the Illinois River and Tenkiller Lake, the project remains unfinished, according to a report in the Muskogee Phoenix.
The newspaper also reports Ed Brocksmith, Secretary-Treasurer of Saving the Illinois River has yet to hear from the Environmental Protection Agency after requesting information in January about the project. He wrote the acting administrator of the regional EPA office in Dallas requesting the information and has not received a reply.
The project started in 2009 and in October of 2015, environmental regulators released a modeling program for the Illinois River Basin. But Brocksmith and others with STIR say there is no indication of efforts to establish pollution limits known as total maximum daily load.
“That is not a huge surprise — I think they are waiting for the dust to settle and to see who still has jobs,” STIR President Denise Deason-Toyne told the Phoenix after the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator. “When you have the antithesis of environmental protection and an enemy of what you have been doing coming in, it might be worrisome to have your name on something that might be in the crosshairs of your new boss.”