Study critical of polluted water in Oklahoma and other states


A new report by an environmental group contends that half of US water is too polluted for swimming, fishing or drinking and that includes parts of Oklahoma’s waterways and lakes and reservoirs.

The report was released by the Environmental Integrity Project, a nonpartisan nonprofit created by former Environmental Protection Agency attorneys. They published a report that found more than 700,000 miles of waterways, about 51% of assessed river and stream miles are impaired by pollution.

The report ranked Oklahoma 19th highest for such pollution, stating that of 9402 assessed miles of rivers and streams, 5,345 miles or 57% were reportedly “impaired.” The EIP also maintained that of 315,957 miles of lakes and reservoirs in Oklahoma, 9,602 miles or 3% were impaired due to pollution.

The EIP defines “impaired” as waters that are too polluted to meet standards for swimming and recreation, aquatic life, fish consumption or as drinking water sources.

The same report ranked Texas 18th 19% or 6,497 miles polluted out of the assessed 34,603 miles of rivers and streams. Of the lakes and reservoirs totaling 1,554,292 assessed miles, only 1,009 or 0% were considered polluted or impaired.

Kansas was ranked 25th with 24% of its 18,031 assessed miles of rivers and streams to be polluted. At least 20% of the state’s 190,418 assessed miles of lakes and reservoirs were also considered to be polluted by the study.

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