Oklahoma Senate supports bill to investigate aluminum contamination in Blue River



Suspected aluminum contamination of the Blue River and Little Blue Creek in southern Oklahoma will be targeted under a bill that won state Senate approval this week.

The Senate on Wednesday passed Senate Bill 1273, by Sen. Jerry Alvord, R-Ardmore, off the floor. The measure seeks to investigate and improve the water quality of the Blue River and Little Blue Creek. The bill establishes a revolving fund at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to support a comprehensive water quality study of these important water bodies.

SB 1273 would address a series of concerning water quality events that have recently affected the Blue River and Little Blue Creek. These events have raised significant concerns among property owners, farmers, ranchers, and water suppliers in the region. The Blue River also serves as the primary water supply for the City of Durant.

During the events, the stream turns an unusual milky white color prompting DEQ to conduct water quality testing. These tests have revealed elevated levels of aluminum, significantly higher than baseline samples. Despite ongoing monitoring, DEQ has not been able to determine whether these events are part of a natural cycle or caused by other factors.

The bill directs the DEQ to conduct a detailed study to identify the causes of these events and determine the necessary steps to mitigate them.

“The Blue River and Little Blue Creek are vital natural resources for our state, and ensuring their health and safety is of utmost importance,” Alvord said. “SB 1273 will enable us to thoroughly investigate these troubling water quality events and take the necessary steps to protect these precious water bodies for future generations. I am grateful for the support of my colleagues in the Senate for recognizing the importance of this study.”

The bill now moves to the House for further consideration.

Source: press release